One World Hummus and Pita: Gotta Try It

Hummus And Pita: Under-rated Foods You've Gotta Try

If you live in the Peoria area and haven't had this dish from One World.... get there yesterday.

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I have recently, due to both personal interest and class requirements, have written a few entries in a food blog format. From the people who have read them so far, I have gotten really good feedback - so I thought I would try my hand at publishing some of them. So go out, support a local business, and enjoy!

Sitting in the corner booth of the clamorously loud hipster café One World on Bradley University's campus is always an excellent source of people-watching, eavesdropping, and whatever else I might do while waiting for a meal. On a busy day, the service can be considered borderline slow, but the tan blob of mush sat in front of me on an oversized ceramic plate is always well worth the wait.

On first glance, the meal really does look less than appetizing; although the One World chef tried his or her best with presentation, trying to evenly layer all of the goo on the white plate and making sure the left-over spoon dollop is centered on the plate to be filled with a pool of virgin olive oil. The otherwise bland colored dish is offset with a sprinkling of paprika on top to add a pop of burnt-orange color. In a wicker basket on the side of the plate, the server places a handful of triangular pita slices wrapped in a pristine white napkin. But don't let the mushy appearance fool you: this is a simplistic hipster presentation of One World's most well-known appetizer: Hummus and Pita.

Grabbing and folding the first triangle of warm pita into the perfect-scooping-cone shape, perfected by years of personal practice is a work of art. From extensive practice, I have determined the best method is to dip the longest point of the triangle into the hummus dish first, scoop, and make two dips into the hummus per pita slice. Yes, I double dip. Although if I am sharing, I do have the common courteously to dip with the flat backside of the triangle on the second trip.

When scooping, I start from a side and work my way across the circular plate. I have yet to decide if this is a visible example of my more OCD-like qualities, but I tell myself I do this because it allows for the pool of olive oil to slowly spill over the side of its spoon-shaped shores and spread across the remainder of the hummus. The perfect pita scoop is half-covered with hummus, dipped in olive oil, and has a tiny bit of paprika included in the bite.

The first bite brings with it the warm sensation of the pita. This is one of the most comforting signals of being home. As soon as the bread makes contact with my tongue, it begins to dissolve, and I get my first taste of the hummus. While it may not have looked like much in terms of color or texture, the hummus makes up for it in taste. The slightly lumpy texture and roasted taste of the chickpeas offset perfectly with the smooth, bitter olive oil. But the pop of peppery taste from the paprika is what sets One World's Hummus above all the rest. This simple appetizer, surprisingly simple, is always a staple of my three-hour trip home.

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The Unspoken Dangers of 'Mukbang' Culture

Ever wondered why you can't stop clicking on these addictive, self-made eating shows?

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Unless you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you've probably heard of the internet trend commonly referred to as a mukbang, or "eating show." These self-produced video clips typically involve one hungry individual, their filming device, and an obscene amount of delicious foods.

Though these broadcasts originated all the way from South Korea (hence the foreign vocabulary), the growing popularity of eating videos has taken the internet by storm. Nowadays as you scroll through YouTube, you'll find an outrageous amount of uploads with titles like "10,000 CALORIE PASTA MUKBANG," "EATING EVERYTHING ON THE MCDONALD'S MENU," or "THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE CHALLENGE."

Popular 'mukbangers' such as Peggie Neo, Megan McCullom, and Steven Sushi have made a sizable profit off of their viral eating shows, some collecting tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

So, what's the big deal you say? You order a large quantity of food, indulge in said food, film yourself completing this menial task, and upload to the internet for money and fame. On the outside, this may seem like a luxurious lifestyle, but behind the camera lens sits an individual battling their own demons and influencing the world of social media to partake in their harmful behaviors.

Mukbanger Livia Adams ("Alwayshungry" on YouTube) has opened up about her unhealthy relationship with food in the past, praising herself for fasting several hours in order to justify her over-indulgence on camera.

Similarly, internet sensation Trisha Paytas claims to diet and starve herself for weeks just to be able to satisfy her subscribers with epic mukbangs, which are essentially binges.

In all actuality, these social media celebrities are negatively impacting (and possibly triggering) vulnerable viewers.

Many fans only see the highlight reel of YouTubers shoveling bowls of cereal or boxes of doughnuts into their mouths, yet remain completely unaware of what truly goes on behind-the-scenes. Messages saying:

"I'm on a diet... watching this is giving me some sort of satisfaction, like as tho I ate, you know?"
"I watch these videos because I know I physically can't afford to eat like this because I gain weight too easily."
"When having an eating disorder, watching Trisha's mukbangs is sorta comforting in a way omg"

flood the comments sections of Paytas' videos. Quite obviously, fans young and old are heavily influenced by this content and continue to support these creators to fulfill a self-destructive need.

Additionally, famous mukbang accounts never seem to include the painful after-effects of their ginormous feasts in videos. Fitness model Stephanie Buttermore flaunts her slim physique just days after consuming over 10,000 calories for a challenge, giving the impression that her previous overindulgence had no repercussions on her health whatsoever. Because Buttermore is a trained, athletic young woman, she was able to quickly bounce back after a series of workouts and low-calorie meals.

On the contrary, if a sedentary woman of about the same age were to attempt this challenge, she would most likely feel sluggish, irritable, bloated, stomach discomfort, and even vomitous post challenge. Eating regularly like this could lead to bigger issues such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Unfortunately, because topics like these aren't glamorous and attractive to subscribers, mukbangers often edit them out.

Now don't get me wrong. Though not everyone who uploads a mukbang to the internet has an eating disorder or an evil agenda, they have to realize the kind of audience they're appealing to. This generation is more susceptible than ever to emulate the actions and words of their favorite celebrities. Young boys and girls look up to successful adults, and influencers should be remembered for the change they inspired, not the disease they encouraged.

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Thank You, Meal Ticket, For Pulling Me And My Family Through

Feed your belly!

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Dear, Meal Ticket

I thank you for feeding me school breakfast and lunch. I thank you for feeding all the children in the neighborhood. You were one the thing all of us kids from the hood remembered. Mama told us not to forget our meal ticket. No bagged lunches around here, no money for breakfast. Just the bus stop down the corner to get us to school early so we could fill our tummies while we bent over desks scribbling want-to-be cursive on the wide ruled paper.

Thank you, meal ticket, for making it easier for our families. You took two out of the three meals off our parents' plates five days a week. How could we repay you? I could make you some spam and white rice for dinner. That dinner might not be as good as you, meal ticket, but it will fill your belly. It sounds foolish I know, but there is no way I could reimburse you. So I will sit here and praise you in gratitude for saving me and my brothers and sisters from poverty. For teaching us about the service you do for us, meal ticket.

Look at where you got me, meal ticket. I am here writing to thank you for feeding me enough so that I could sit here before you today. We were hopeless, our brains stuck in the mud, not knowing what move we had to make next to fill our tables, but you saved us. You made us excited to go to school, knowing we would be fed a plate full of food and education to get us out of the hood. So that one day we could be just as great as you are and feed the whole neighborhood with integrity.

I want to remind all of you to hold on to your meal ticket even when you find the knowledge to be your own meal ticket one day. Never forget where you came from. This meal ticket saved not only you but so many others. So turn in your meal ticket with pride. And kiss your loved ones for teaching you about the service.

Thank you, meal ticket, for pulling me out of the mud with a full belly.

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