The Mukbang Craze

The Mukbang Craze

Food Porn Gone Wrong?
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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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9 Things All Mexican Food Addicts Know All Too Well

Don't come between me and my Mexican food.
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In the city I grew up in, there is a Mexican restaurant just about every five miles. They are the after school hangouts and first date go-to's for most of the kids here, especially the high school girls.

I know the servers at my favorite one know my order almost every time I go in there (at least once a week). However, a lot of people apparently get tired of eating Mexican food about twice a week... but I sure don't. If you are a Mexican food addict like me, I am sure you know at least a few of these yourself.

1. Cheese dip tastes like heaven and you have to have it.

That amazing creamy white cheese dip put on a perfectly salted chip is enough to make your day better. Forget the actual food---we'd be content living off of cheese dip and chips for the rest of our lives. Our restaurant trip is not complete without an order of it and if you are lucky enough to get your favorite waiter, maybe even get a large bowl for the night.

SEE ALSO: An Ode To Queso, My First And True Love

2. You never have to look at the menu.



We know when we decide to go what we are having and it is probably the exact same plate we order each time. I am sure the servers laugh after I order some days because there is only three things I rotate between. My burrito is always my go-to, unless I am feeling fancy.

3. Some of the servers know who you are when you walk in the door.

Either by first name or by order they know us. You are the ones that they tell to pick your own seat and already have your drink order placed by the time you sit down.

4. Your boyfriend/ girlfriend puts you on Mexican restaurant restriction on date night.


You drag them there so much, they get tired of eating there. So much so, they flat out say no when you ask to go there on date night. I mean, how does someone get tired of Mexican food to begin with though?

SEE ALSO: The Perfect Skin Color For A Mexican?

5. You can hum some of the songs that come on.

We may not know what they are saying in the song, but we know the song---trust us. We are in there so much we remember them. Don't ask any questions when we start humming.

6. You "have" a parking spot.

Do not park in my parking spot that is not actually my parking spot, but is my parking spot. Got it? Just do not do it. That starts my meal bad when you take my normal spot.

7. You used to hangout there all the time after school.

It was the hangout spot. Forget the nasty school lunch--- everyone goes to eat Mexican after school. It's the cool thing to do and it started your addiction.

8. You always want to introduce new people to your favorite restaurant.

Oh, you aced that exam? Let's go eat at this amazing Mexican restaurant I love! We always want to find people to go there to eat with so we always introduce new people to it.

9. People always pick on you about your addiction.


Yes, I love Mexican food. Go ahead and tag me in all the memes on Facebook about tacos. As long as I have my Mexican food, I am fine with that.

All in all, we LOVE our Mexican food and our go-to restaurants--- so here is your warning. Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

Cover Image Credit: jenaroundtheworld

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Southern Comfort Food Recipes

A recipe passed down through the family from my Grandma.

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Since the weather is turning cooler here in Connecticut, I like to keep a little piece of home with me by cooking up some Biscuits and Gravy with sausage crumbles. My Grandma on my mother's side used to make it all the time. On cold mornings it really hits the spot so long as you have the time to make it.

From beginning to end I would say the process takes about 45 minutes.

Kitchen utensils:

- Skillet (10 Inches)

- Wooden Spoon

- Baking Pan

-Measuring Cup

-Mixing Bowl

- Flour Sifter

Oven Temp:350

The easiest way to go about this is by making the biscuits first. They can bake in the oven while the sausage and gravy are being made.

Biscuit Recipe

Usually, I never measure, I know it's bad, its a Southern habit but for you guys I did.

1 cup flour (Self-rising)

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp bacon grease**

1 tsp salt- for taste

I start by sifting my flour, just make sure there are no clumps. Once the flour is sifted, I add the bacon grease to it. This is a vital ingredient. Otherwise, your biscuits will taste very bland. There will be a note at the end of the recipe on how to render the bacon grease. Add the water and salt and mix the ingredients until they are incorporated, the dough will be wet. You didn't do anything wrong; it's supposed to be that way.

After the dough is made I like to use a large silverware spoon to scoop (like you would cookie dough) them out and put them on the baking sheet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or buttered, whichever you prefer. This recipe should yield about 8 biscuits. If you want more or less, you can edit the recipe accordingly.

Bake biscuits at 350 temp for 20-25 minutes. Or until the tops are nice and golden. Once I pull them from the oven, I like to use a stick of butter and rub it on top, so it seeps into the cracks and crevices.

Sausage

This is probably the easiest part of the recipe.

-1 roll of Jimmy Dean sausage or a sausage of your choice

****Very important side note! It's best not to get the maple flavored kind. Otherwise, you will have maple flavored gravy, and that's not good.

This is where the skillet comes in. In the skillet break apart the sausage roll into the skillet. Cook until sausage is brown, probably 10 minutes. If some gets stuck to the pan that's ok. it will be used for the gravy. Once the sausage is browned remove from the skillet and set aside.

Gravy Recipe

This is my favorite part of the recipe!

Ingredients:

- 1 1/2 cups of water

-1/2 cup of milk

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp flour

After the sausage is removed from the pan, there should be some grease left behind. DO NOT THROW IT OUT! Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium and add the flour. If the flour doesn't become like a thin paste in the bottom of the pan, you don't have enough grease. You can substitute vegetable oil, maybe a teaspoon just enough to loosen the flour.

Let the flour cook until it's a light brown, don't forget to stir it! You want to get all the sausage drippings off the bottom of the skillet. Add salt and pepper. Add water and milk, stir immediately! Otherwise, the gravy will be lumpy. I usually turn the burner off and let it cook from the heat. I like thin gravy, so I only let it cook a few minutes.

Once finished add the sausage back to the gravy and stir it in.

Cut open a biscuit and lay the halves out like a hamburger bun, smoother in gravy and ENJOY!

*** SIDE NOTE- To render bacon grease, save the leftover grease from cooking bacon. It will turn into almost a soft butter consistency after it cools down.

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