Food by VICE

Fart Problems Lead World Pie-Eating Championship to Switch Pie Fillings

“We’re steering things away from red meat this year for health considerations and also to avoid the methane issue.”

by Jelisa Castrodale
Dec 17 2018, 3:00pm

Photo: Getty Images

Last month, a 33-year-old Welshman named Gerwyn Price won the Grand Slam of Darts, beating 47-year-old Gary Anderson, 16-13. And although Price’s name will be in the record books, this year’s contest will be remembered less for his come-from-behind victory, and more for a previous match when one of Anderson’s opponents accused him of ripping farts during the competition.

Earlier in the Slam, Anderson beat Wesley Harms 10-2, and Harms blamed his loss on a “fragrant smell” that came from Anderson’s direction. The Scotsman denied the allegation, and said that he’d smelled the same odor of “rotten eggs,” and assumed it had been expelled from Harms’ own orifice. “You can put your finger up my arse, there'll be no smell there," Anderson told Dutch broadcaster RTL7. (The contest organizers declined this suggestion, but that could be why Price didn’t shake Anderson’s hand after his own win).

In the weeks since “Fartgate”—yes, of course, they’re calling it Fartgate—a different contest organizer has decided to change things up to prevent a similar stench, and possibly to help the environment as well. Tony Callaghan, the owner of Harry’s Bar in Wigan, England, has decided that he’s not taking any chances during next week’s World Pie Eating Championships, so he’s ditching the contest’s traditional recipe in favor of something less fart-inducing.

According to the Mirror, the competitors will eat pies with a chicken filling, instead of the meat-and-potatoes that they’ve downed in previous years. “We’re steering things away from red meat this year for health considerations and also to avoid the methane issue,” he politely explained. (Callaghan also said that he was concerned about both the “greenhouse gases from cattle,” and about what happened at the Grand Slam of Darts.)

Dave Smyth, who won the inaugural Championship in 1992, told the news outlet that he’s disheartened by the change, and thinks it will make for a less challenging competition. “Chicken is less demanding and requires a different and less ­challenging technique,” he said. “The introduction of chicken means lower-level weekend competitors will be mixing it with the elite.”

But Martin Appleton-Clare, who has won the event four times, including for the past three years in a row, seems less concerned about the filling change. “We will see what’s served up on the day,” he told MUNCHIES. “As long as I’m faster than the other competitors, it’s fine with me.”

During last year’s competition, Appleton-Clare downed his meat-and-potato pastry in a ridiculous 32 seconds, which was more than 13 seconds faster than his winning time the previous December. (His personal best is 23.53 seconds, which he achieved during his first win in 2012). “There’s no real strategy,” he said. “I’m just a big northern lad with a big northern appetite.”

This year’s all-chicken competition will be held at 12:00—”Pie Noon”—on Wednesday, December 19.

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