How many times should you chew a mouthful of food?

I was always told that you should chew each mouthful of food 30 times. This seems a bit excessive to me. When eating my meal last night, I did a quick self-survey and found that on average, I was chewing a mouthful about 10 times.

What is the reasoning behind thold 30-chews adage? Is it to do with with digestion, or just one of those things that parents say to make sure that you don’t rush your food?

Just to make sure you don’t rush your food IMO.

You should chew your food until it is broken in to small enough pieces to swallow comfortably. It would probably look pretty weird if someone kept chewing 30 times for each mouthfull, an onlooker might get the impression that the chewer had bitten off more than they could… chew.

I’ll second Ray’s opinion - your parents were tired of watching you wolf down your food so that you could get back to your favourite TV program or video game, so they told you (as their parents probably told them) to chew every bite thoroughly before swallowing.

When you think about it, the “rule of 30” makes no sense as a universal maxim. A piece of gristly beef may need 40 or 50 chews to make it acceptable, while something like jello or mashed potatoes may need no chewing at all.

There’s a strange list of rules to live by handing over our printer at work. (Everything else hanging there is work-related.) It’s been there a few years, and nobody has removed it, probably for fear of offending whoever put it up. It states that you should chew each mouthful 50 times. It also has various references to vegetarianism. We have a lot of people here from India, is this some kind of Indian thing?

Before what?

I don’t know from chewing but I do know it takes 3 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie-Roll Tootsie-Pop.

It’s probably universal that every mother tells her kids to eat slowly and chew their food properly. I wouldn’t call it an Indian thing. Although vegetarianism is very common here.

[slight hijack]What’s the negative effect of not chewing your food properly ? I tend to gulp my food down.[/slight hijack]

The old “chew your food 30 times” was the brainchild of Horace Fletcher (otherwise known as the “Great Masticator”, a popular diet author from around the turn of the century.

From a NYTimes article:

Oh, that was the “Great Masticator”? I must have mis-heard. I thought he was the hairy-palmed individual my parents also warned me about… :eek: