Mukbang – a job that pays you to binge eat on camera

Just when I thought internet trends couldn’t get any weirder, I stumbled upon a Mukbang video! The word Mukbang originates from the words Muk and Bang which in Korean mean Food and Broadcasting respectively. It all started when South Koreans took to YouTube, wherein individuals broadcasted themselves eating humongous portions of food while interacting with their viewers. These video hosts are popularly known as Broadcast Jockeys (BJs) or avatars.

The portions we are talking about here are mammoth. The videos may include anything from slurping away eight packets of Ramen noodles to more ploughing through half the menu of a famous fast food joint! Something on the lines of the show – Man Vs Food!

Some BJs have become so popular that they have made Mukbanging a lucrative profession. Their earnings include donations from subscribers, sponsorships from various brands and online adverts. Some Mukbangers make up to $10,000 a month! Many researchers believe that the Mukbang tradition may have started due to the growing loneliness amongst unmarried, single South Koreans.

Don’t you find it absolutely incredible as to why would people like watching strangers binge eat? It doesn’t just end at simple binge eating; viewers can make requests too! They can ask the BJ to make a video in which – they try out a certain type of cuisine or eat big bites or small bites, eat slowly or fast, share recipes and so on.

Taking food porn to another level

I am sure we have all hated that one colleague or friend who eats loudly! Well, that may have changed now! A simple search for the term “ASMR Mukbang” will churn out a bunch of videos wherein the BJs just whisper and broadcast every little sound they make while munching, gulping and chewing! And yes, there is an increasing number of people who find the sound of strangers eating, appealing. In fact, there are videos where the hosts emphasize in the title that the video contains “Extreme Crunching” or “Slow Eating” sounds.

There may be a few benefits of producing these Mukbang videos. Firstly, the viewers and the hosts find out a lot about different cuisines and how they are to be eaten. Secondly, it might help anorexics to develop an urge to eat and also help them see that eating may not necessarily lead to weight gain. Lastly, it may help people on diets control their cravings!

However, considering the enormous proportions most BJs consume, it makes me wonder how they maintain their health. Some of the BJs are extremely obese, and hence Mukbangs are literally suicidal for them. It is a really scary thought! Over a period of time, most BJs have figured out a way to manage their health by following a strict exercise and diet when they aren’t Mukbanging. Not so surprisingly though, there aren’t many Indian Mukbangers. The reason might be that meals are a very social affair in India.

If you haven’t checked out Mukbang videos yet, here is a list of some popular channels – Keemi, Nikocado Avocado, Trisha Paytas, HyuneeEats, Mange Tout and Veronica Wang to name JUST A FEW. For those who are a little more health conscious, here are some healthy Mukbang channels – WW Healthy-Mukbanger, Anna Marie Mukbang and Lee Gaines, etc.

I think Mukbanging has taken Food Porn to another level! Let us know what you think about Mukbanging! Honestly, I am craving for some food now 😛