Freak Eating: We Interviewed Naader Reda
Naader Reda is a high school administrator, competitive eater, YouTuber, and television personality.
In the world of competitive eating, many great challengers answer the call in the fight against food. Naader Reda is no exception. Naader has been answering this very call for 15 years and has a total of 500 food challenge wins.
Naader started his YouTube channel in 2012 and currently has over 17 million views. He has taken on a variety of food challenges over the years. He even went to the Heart Attack Grill to take on their Octuple Bypass Burger Challenge.
Naader has also appeared with Wreckless Eating and participated in a series titled "Naader vs. The World." In this series, Naader attempts to take on just about anything. I'm not kidding. He has attempted to eat five pounds of jalapeños and once took on the extract of the hottest pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper.
We sat down with Naader to talk more in-depth about competitive eating, his career, and his future plans.
Food Challenge News: Hi, Naader! Thank you for sitting down with us. What have you been up to recently?
Naader: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to interview me. Recently, I went on a trip to Boston to see some of the historical sites in the New England region. Along the way, I completed a few food challenges in three states I'd never visited before. Those should be coming to my social media channels soon!
Food Challenge News: How did you come up with the name "Freak Eating?"
Naader: My friends noticed that competitive eaters seemed to have nicknames. We tried to come up with something that could fit on a license plate. We came up with Freak8r since I liked eating weird, offbeat, or unusual foods. That became Freak Eating when I got onto YouTube.
Food Challenge News: How did you get into competitive eating?
Naader: Purely by accident, I'd go to dinner after work with friends, and they noticed I was eating far more than them, without really trying. They suggested that I try to tackle this 5-pound burrito challenge at a nearby restaurant. I did - just barely - and a few months later, I started to do online searches for more eating challenges and met other competitive eaters. As they say, the rest is history. Hard to believe this all began back in late 2007.
Food Challenge News: What is the most amount of calories you have consumed for a food challenge?
Naader: I would guess 20,000. Unfortunately, you never feel good after eating all that much.
Food Challenge News: You are also a high school administrator. How do you juggle your career and competitive eating? Do students know that you have taken on such epic food challenges?
Naader: Honestly, as my teaching career has advanced, my competitive eating has taken a backseat. It's something that I definitely enjoy, but it is strictly a hobby and something I do on vacations and the weekend. My true passion in life is education, working with young people, and trying to do for others what my awesome high school teachers did for me. Of course, no one hides on the internet for long, and many of my students have found me on YouTube or Instagram. They think it's pretty cool.
Food Challenge News: You had the opportunity to take on the "Brahma Bull" challenge on the hit show Man v Food Nation, starring Adam Richman. How was your experience? Do you still get free food every Friday at that location?
Naader: It was incredible to meet Adam Richman and tackle such a delicious sandwich. That was my first time being on a TV show, and it definitely comes across differently when you're on the other side of the screen. Adam is a wonderful fellow, and we both share a love for history and food, so it was a fun experience all around. I don't get free food every Friday because my record was broken, but I don't feel bad. I'm grateful someone found my record worth defeating.
Food Challenge News: You have been the lead on a series with Wreckless Eating called "Naader vs. the World." What was your favorite and least favorite challenge?
Naader: Wreckless Eating is always a fun time! My favorite challenge with them was eating the 5-pound gummy bear. I was one of the first competitive eaters to do that on YouTube, so it's a memory I will treasure. My least favorite challenge with Wreckless Eating was trying to consume a shaker of seasoning salt, which was a miserable concept. You don't feel good after too much sodium!
Food Challenge News: In May of 2021, you helped Randy Santel secure his 1000th food challenge victory. What was your favorite part of that challenge?
Naader: My favorite part of that challenge was teaming with three absolute legends in the food challenge game. I'm proud that Randy was able to reach 1000 wins at restaurant challenges. I doubt anyone else will be touching that number. It's a happy memory for me that the big man invited me to eat at the table with him. He and I share a great respect, and I always look forward to hanging out with him.
Food Challenge News: What are your upcoming plans for traveling, competitive eating, and your YouTube channel?
Naader: I will be traveling out to Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New Orleans this year. I am a sucker for all the historical spots, roadside attractions, and food challenges made famous by Man v Food, so I love to get out there and see what America has to offer. I plan to continue completing food challenges as time allows, and I will continue publishing those challenge videos to my YouTube channel.
Food Challenge News: Thank you again, Naader, for sitting down with us. It's been an honor. What is something that you would like our readers to know?
Naader: Thank YOU for the honor! I would like your readers to know that axe-throwing is my new favorite sport. My eventual goal is to complete a food challenge in all 50 states and Washington DC before I'm done with the game. I also plan on running a half-marathon in every U.S. state. We'll see how that goes!
Naader "Freak Eating" Reda is known for being genuine, hard-working, and caring. He is proof that if you work hard and have the determination and drive for what you love, it can make it all that much more possible.
As Naader says: "Stay in School, Don't Do Drugs, and Eat Like a Freak!"
Naader's blog: Tumblr
Photo credit: Freak Eating
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