The Mukbang Craze

The Mukbang Craze

Food Porn Gone Wrong?

Mukbang is a South Korean cultural phenomenon that has swept the screens of many Americans since 2015. Millions of South Koreans and Americans tune in daily to watch their favorite food hosts broadcast themselves eating a massive calorie-dense meal while socializing with their audience. The most popular "mukbangers" are gaining thousands of dollars of revenue each night, through advertising revenue, viewer donations, and sponsorships. While South Koreans usually broadcast their mukbangs live on Afreeca TV , Americans are making mukbang one of the top trending video categories on YouTube with hundreds of channels dedicated to mukbangs, competitive food eating, food drive-thru hauls, and high-calorie food challenges. While most viewers might be tuning into this mukbang frenzy as a form of vicarious eating , some might be seeking these videos to experience an ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response, to make your body tingle at the sound of food eaters slurping, burping, crunching, slapping, finger-licking, chewing, and exaggerating other noises made while eating.

I was unsure whether I should feel amazement or disgust when I first discovered the world of mukbang through Matt Stonie's YouTube channel. Matt Stonie is an American competitive eater ranked #3 in Major League Eating. In addition to his multi-World Record holdings for food challenges, some of his most popular food challenge YouTube videos are the massive ice cream sundae challenge (11,000 calories), with 20M views, and his massive English breakfast challenge (10,000 calories), with 16M views. Along with other popular mukbangers such as the ever-popular Keemi, the cute Hyunee Eats, the "sloth" Nikocado Avocado, 500 lbs Hungry Fat Chick, famous Trisha Paytas, and even the creative Raphael Gomes, all of whom I am regretfully subscribed to.

This Mukbang Craze is a growing health concern not just for the competitive eaters and mukbangers but also for the viewers with eating problems who might be triggered by these food binge videos. Many viewers, including myself, have often wondered how competitive eaters manage to stay relatively thin despite all of their food challenges. According to TIME, competitive eating poses severe health risks as doctors found the stomach's and colons of competitive eaters "appeared as a massively distended, food-filled sac occupying most of the upper abdomen...with little or no gastric peristalsis." Health professionals speculate that in order to compensate for the massive food injuries that can be sustained from these popularized and sported food binges, many competitive eaters and mukbangers alike most likely fast on water for days at a time.

Some mukbangers like food YouTube vlogger and competitive eater Erik the Electric said: " Mukbangs and having eating videos have helped me overcome my bouts with undereating – they’ve also helped me be able to be more “social” around food which is primarily what mukbangs are about. I’ve had viewers and subscribers send me countless emails over the years telling me that my videos have helped them realize that just one day of eating or hours of eating isn’t enough to make them “fat” or overweight and that it’s okay to indulge once in a while."

While some viewers might find mukbang helpful, I worry that mukbangs and epic food challenges, which often feature unhealthy junk foods, are promoting binge eating disorder which leads to obesity, a national health epidemic that often co-occurs with related debilitative diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Can this latest mukbang food trend of people gorging on enough servings of food to feed a whole family be sinful glamorizations of gluttony and an unhealthy obsession? You can decide by watching a mukbang video for yourself of Nikocado Avocado and Hungry Fat Chick gorge on large fat-laden foods at the famous Heart Attatck Grill located in Las Vegas, Nevada where many of the city's residents are considered one of the most obese populations in the nation with some of the highest rates of childhood obesity. The British TV show Super Size vs Super Skinny captures this food trend's discrepancy quite well. After watching a few mukbangs, you might begin to wonder are you hungry in amazement or disgusted?

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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Let's Have A Tea Party: The Right Tea For The Right Time

6 teas and what you should drink them for.

I go through phases when it comes to drinking tea. Some weeks I have at least a cup a day, other weeks I don't even touch the stuff. Having been sick recently, I've turned to tea for some assistance, and that was a smart move!

Tea has many health benefits– some of which being that it has less caffeine than coffee, has excellent effects on your heart, does not erode your teeth like coffee or soda does, and green tea helps to soothe your digestive system.

I have found that drinking coffee (or any form of coffee, including my beloved Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks), especially later in the day, makes me anxious and jittery. This is not at all the case with teas, though. Another advantage to tea is that it isn’t coffee. I actually can’t stand the taste of coffee, which is why I mask it with chestnuts and praline, but tea typically has a natural sweet flavor to it, without the bitterness of coffee beans.

But I want to encourage you to drink the right kind of tea for the occasion. So let’s have a tea party.

1. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is great for relieving anxiety and inducing relaxation. But that’s not all. Chamomile tea is also useful for stomach cramps, migraines, IBS, dark circles under your eyes, and acne prevention. Who would have thought?!

2. Green Tea

Green tea is fantastic to drink in the morning because it evidently boosts your metabolism.

3. Ginger Tea

It is fairly well known that ginger aids in nausea, but it also aids in relieving stress and reducing arthritic inflammation.

4. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint oil or tea is fantastic for headaches that are caused by a poor diet or stress. During these types of head aches, the blood vessels in the brain are constricted, causing the headache. Peppermint works similarly to pain killers in relaxing the blood vessels. Peppermint also has been shown to improve brain function and memory retrieval.

The menthol in peppermint teas also thins mucous and is a decongestant. It is highly recommended during a cold or sinus infection to not only drink peppermint tea, but to breathe in the steam as well.

5. Black Tea

Black tea helps with issues like diarrhea to conditions like asthma. And of course, it gives the perfect caffeine boost.

6. Oolong Tea

Oolong tea helps support your bones and your skin, and it also contains many vitamins and minerals. Evidently, Oolong tea has a hand in managing your metabolism and can help hydrate your skin, especially for people who suffer from eczema.

Cover Image Credit: Musa

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A GCU Review: Jamba Juice Seasonal Smoothies

Are you living la vida mocha? If not, you should be.

Hey there Lopes! I hope all of you had a nice Christmas break as well as first week of classes! Are you glad that you have meal plans again because I know I am! It is nice not having to spend "real" money especially when I have a coffee addiction and that is pretty much where all my money goes anyway.

Speaking of coffee, Jamba Juice has new limited time only drinks! The first one is Lotta Horchata, and the second one is La Vida Mocha. Now, you might be thinking, "ew, coffee in a smoothie? I don't think that is going to taste very well". Well, lucky for you, I happen to work there and I tried both of them. Here is what I think:


The drink La Vida Mocha (left) contains cold brew coffee, a chocolate milk base, frozen yogurt, and ice. Pretty simple right? I bet you're wondering how it tastes and if I am going to be real with you. Honestly? I really like this drink. You can barely taste the coffee - which is good for you non-coffee drinkers.

The chocolate milk definitely dominates in this drink. If you have ever had the Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream from Ben and Jerry's, this drink definitely has a similar taste, in my opinion. I would recommend you guys try this one!

The Lotta Horchata drink (right) contains cold brew coffee, almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, honey, frozen yogurt, and ice. There is definitely more put into this drink so you would think that it is pretty flavorful right? Wrong. This smoothie tastes absolutely nothing like horchata.

All you can taste is the cinnamon and other than that, the smoothie is actually pretty bland. If you like bland smoothies, then this smoothie is definitely for you - just watch out for the strong cinnamon taste that comes from nowhere. In my opinion, this smoothie kind of tastes like watered-down apple pie. I know that sounds gross but hey, you wanted me to be honest right?

I do not recommend trying this drink but if you are one of those people that have the mentality "I will try anything at least once", this smoothie won't kill you. It just has no flavor and it is definitely not what I expected it to be.

These are the only limited time smoothies that Jamba Juice has right now. However, during the summer, Jamba brings out a smoothie called Watermelon Breeze and during the fall, Jamba brings out 3 smoothies: Pumpkin Smash, Pumpkin Delight, and Pumpkin Protein.

The Watermelon Breeze

Even though it is a summer drink, the Jamba Juice here on campus still serves it. The Watermelon Breeze contains watermelon juice, raspberry sherbet, strawberries, and pineapple.

I think this drink is really refreshing and even though sometimes the watermelon juice is a bit strong, I really like this drink. If you are feeling a little risky, ask to add our chili powder to the smoothie. It tastes like you are putting Tajin on watermelon.

Pumpkin Smash and Pumpkin Delight

Starting with the Pumpkin Smash. This smoothie consists of 2% milk, pumpkin base, and frozen yogurt. Personally, I really enjoy this drink and as soon as it is released in the fall, I get it all the time. I like to add cinnamon to mine and it makes the smoothie taste more like pumpkin pie. Yum!

The Pumpkin Delight, also known as the Pumpkin Almond Milk, consists of almond milk, pumpkin base, and bananas. I am not a huge fan of bananas in my smoothies because they have such a strong and overpowering taste, however, this smoothie was a big hit here at GCU. The smoothie is good, it is just not my favorite.

Pumpkin Protein

The Pumpkin Protein was a new one that Jamba Juice brought out earlier in the fall semester. This drink consists of almond milk, pumpkin base, chia seeds, cinnamon, and whey protein powder. I am just going to say now, this smoothie is very watery due to there being no fruit in it.

I always recommend adding bananas to it when someone orders it because that thickens the smoothie up. If you like liquid-like smoothies, then don't add any fruit. If you like thick smoothies, add fruit - recommended as bananas. I personally do not like this drink but this smoothie was a big hit with the athletes!

Hopefully this helped you make decisions on whether or not to try these drinks! I will always be around for you to ask questions. See you guys around and Lopes Up!

Cover Image Credit: Samantha Hansen

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