In a small laboratory on the outskirts of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dr. Earl A. Chew is studying a subject well known to humankind, but rarely thought about on a conscious level: Dr. Chew studies eating habits, more specifically fork-to-mouth interactive behavior.
“Think about it”, he says, “your mouth just knows to open when an eating utensil is coming toward it. Nothing tells it to; it just knows. That is the epitome of science.”
In his 32 years at this position, Dr. Chew believes that the most important discovery he has made has been the fact that with messier foods, the human mouth opens when the fork is approximately 14.2 inches away from the mouth, whereas with cleaner foods, the human mouth opens when the fork is about .7 inches from the mouth. These measurements, he says, remain consistent across the human race, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or eye color.
But Dr. Chew doesn’t limit his science to physical science– he also dabbles in psychology.
“There is concrete evidence behind the fact that getting people to pay attention to each other’s mouth behavior allows people to see each other eye-to-eye, mouth-to-mouth as equal members of the human race.” A $75 million dollar grant was just awarded to Dr. Chew’s lab, in order to conduct research about this hypothesis. Dr. Chew’s ultimate goal is to get Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin together at a Buca Di Beppo, where they must not talk about anything other than the way they eat spaghetti. While their brain and egos do not comprehend that they exist in one cohesive world,, Dr. Chew is adamant that his research will guide their conversation.
“Their mouths know that underneath it all, everyone is the same, and it should open 14.2 inches away from a fork of spaghetti.”