Food for Olympic Thought

Much has been written and said about Michael Phelps’ 12 000 calorie diet, whose breakfast looks something like this; 3 fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise, 1 five-egg omelet, 1 bowl of grits, 3 slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar, 3 chocolate-chip pancakes. This is quite a contrast to a male heavy weight rower, where breakfast consists of a large bowl of cereal, half pint semi-skimmed milk with chopped banana, 2 slices wholegrain bread with olive oil or sunflower spread and honey or jam, glass of fruit juice, 1 litre fruit squash. Which is similar to the seemingly normal breakfast of lightweight rower Nick LaCava, whose post-workout breakfast consists of two eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit.

Turkish weightlifter Mete Binay in front of his 3 500 calorie daily meal intake in Ankara

The diets of these athletes are quite amazing, and they make for great photos. Reuters has a great photo series of Turkish athletes posing with their daily meals.

An Olympic athletes daily meal, looks like a much more manageable meal when it is all on one plate.

Another series of photos by British set designer Sarah Parker and photographer Micheal Bodiam went for a more artistic interpretation of an athletes daily meal, creating an oversized paper setting with miniature-looking real food.

While it is amazing to think about what one of these Olympic athletes eat in one day, it is equally amazing to think about the amount of food that is required in the Olympic village to feed all of these athletes, over the course of two weeks. In order to meet the demands of all of these athletes the Olympic village is stocked with 25 000 loaves of bread, 232 tons of potatoes, 100 tons of beef, 31 tons of poultry, 82 tons of seafood, 21 tons of cheese,75 000 litres of milk, and who knows how much of this cool orange juice, and 330 tons of fruit and vegetables. This will likely comfort some of the vegetarians who are competing and winning at these Games. Yet for all of that food at the village, there will still be some athletes who will observing Ramadan and fasting during the Games. Despite all the food that is available to them, those medal winning athletes still seem hungry.

Watching these Olympic Games it is easy to work up an appetite while channel surfing. To that end, there are some great suggestions for the best British food (not an oxymoron) to make it feel like you are there. For something more patriotic, how about a National dish that looks like that Nation’s flag.


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