Food Updates

by Jake Tobin & Ben Varian

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about

In June of 2016, Ben Varian and Jake Tobin embarked on a three-week nationwide tour from Gainesville, FL to Olympia, WA. The day before the trip began, we made a pact to eat the same exact foods as each other, in the same exact quantities, for the entire tour. Whatever one of us ate, the other had to eat too. This included toppings and condiments.

Great care was taken to ensure the validity of the pact. Crackers were counted. Nuts were sorted by size. Ordering at a restaurant became an act of collaboration and compromise. Ketchup was doled out with the greatest of precision.

There were a great many difficulties along the way: the Triscuit Fiasco, the Eternal Pizza Crust Debate, The Wisconsin Cheese Altercation, and the Omaha Corndog Debacle, to name just a few. But over the course of the trip, we learned the true meaning of discipline; we learned about ourselves and about each other; and we learned a little something about selflessness.

Throughout the trip, we kept a tape recorder in the glove box of the car. We scrupulously recorded the contents of our meals and snacks, as well as our conversations about eating. By the end of the tour we had over four hours of Food Updates. Now, at last, the tapes have been digitized and uploaded to the internet for the very first time. The tapes have been slightly sped up for listenability and comedic effect.

These recordings trace the arc of our progression as co-eaters: we begin as hapless, bumbling fools engaging in long-winded attempts to make decisions and reconcile our differing food preferences. By the end, we are operating as two parts of the same mind, gastronomically synced and planning our meals with ease.

Some highlights are featured here for streaming. To experience the entire trip, download the album.

I hope that these recordings stand as a testament that, with enough courage, willpower, and determination, anything is possible. Enjoy the ride.

- Ben Varian, 2017

credits

released July 27, 2017

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