My mother told me to chew my food 100 times before swallowing.

I’m guessing you were told the same thing when you were young.

I find it almost impossible to actually chew a mouthful of food 100 times; by the end of the hundred-bite cycle, I’m basically just chomping down teeth-on-teeth.

There’s no doubt, though, that it’s a good idea to chew food more than we usually do. It helps digestion, and it just feels better in the belly to let the teeth do the job they were designed to do.

Still, it seems an average mouthful of food is pretty much gone after 30-35 chews.

If I were to chew my food 100 times, I’d need to take bigger bites, and I’m not going to do that.

So given that I usually take medium-sized bites of my food, I’m going to try to shoot for 50 chews per bite. That seems reasonable.

Do you actually chew your food 100 times? I doubt it.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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