Man v. Fruit: Barry Holchin Tries to Eat 72-Oz. Pineapple & Loves It, but Gets Stomach Ache"/>
Upon first sight of a 72-ounce Costco pineapple, maybe your first instinct is to reminisce about your grandma's pineapple upside-down cake. Or perhaps you jump with glee, and plot how you yourself will consume the entire fruit in one Bacchus-inspired act of gluttony.
Barry Holchin, 70, from California, felt more inclined towards the latter, attempting to down his 72-ounce fruit mere days after Randy Satel became the first person to win the Wedgwood Broiler's 72-ounce Steak Challenge.
In a thank-you note to Chestnut Hill Farms, the Florida-based Coscto produce supplier responsible for his citric majesty, Holchin wrote that he let his first fruit sit for three days before he ate it, claiming it left him "experiencing the best taste, texture and flavor ever to reach the pallet of man - even perhaps surpassing that fantastic chocolate we had in Costa Rica!" Despite his orgasmic response, Holchin also decided to include in the thank you: "However, now my stomach feels rather full and not so good. What did I do wrong?"
Chestnut Hill Farms and Costco decided to get to the bottom of Holchin's note. In a reply to Holchin, Raul Romero, President of Chestnut Hill Farms, asked him to repeat his pineapple-fueled ecstasy: "This may have been a one-time occurrence and for the sake of science it is very important that you repeat the 'experiment' to see if you re-live the experience. It would also serve us as reassurance that what we are doing on the growing side is being done right."
Holchin agreed, and was promptly sent an additional pineapple, which also weighed in at 72 ounces.
Genny Byrne, a dietician from Santa Rosa, California, says that eating a lot of pineapple at once can create intense digestion-related irritation, as well as small sores along the mouth, esophagus, and intestinal tract.
"That's a lot of fruit and sugar and fiber at one time," she laughs. "The rule of thumb for balanced nutrition is moderation. There could be long-term health benefits if he ate it in moderation, but another component is variety: sometimes having pineapple, sometimes mango, sometimes papaya."
Holchin is a vegetarian who grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania. Moving to California in 1959 for college, he made his living as a software engineering consultant. Now retired, he spends his time gardening, and grows much of his own organic produce. He says he ate the Costco fruit himself not out of selfishness, but because his wife is "not a huge pineapple fan."
Left in a state of satiation, he deemed the second pineapple to be a bit riper than the first, but still with "an optimum flavor." Holchin often provides Issaquah-based Coscto with customer feedback, and thought this fan letter provided a fresh opportunity to "pull their chain a bit." His digestion-related symptoms did not return with the second fruit, and in both cases, Hochin concedes, he failed to eat the entire pineapple in one sitting.