I’m sure most of us have wondered where this Korean Mukbang trend started from and why it’s become so viral suddenly. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, any social media app you open you’re bound to at least find a couple of videos of people eating huge bowls of ramen.
Before getting into why they’re so popular, let’s first talk about what Korean Mukbang even means.
What Is Mukbang?
Literally speaking, Mukbang is a combination of two South Korean words; “meokneum” which translates into eating, and “bangsong” which means broadcast. Put together, its basically an online show where a person or “mukbanger” sets up a live broadcast of themself eating large quantities of food while simultaneously interacting with the viewers.
I know, weird right? Why would anyone be interested in watching someone else eat? Surprisingly, this trend which started in Korea is now increasingly being picked up by other countries as well, where people are not only enjoying watching it, but also engaging in it.
One of the places where this trend has become increasingly popular is the USA. However, it’s not necessarily a good emulation.
Korean Mukbangs vs. American Mukbangs
Studies and growing research has pinpointed a few reasons why people are becoming increasingly obsessed with Korean Mukbangs.
Shift To Organic and Healthy Foods
The primary reason behind the popularity of Korean Mukbangs is that they provide a safe and healthy alternativeto greasy and unhealthy food popularly found in America. Korean Mukbangs usually consist of organic products, vegetables, and healthy meat.
On the other hand, American Mukbangs mostly consist of fast foods such as burgers, fries, pizza, etc. These products are one of the leading causes of obesity which translates into various health conditions.
Connection vs. Competition
Another reason why Korean mukbangs have skyrocketed is because they offer a great way to counter loneliness. The virtual world allows mukbangers to form strong connections with their audience and other mukbangers who share common interests and a similar position within the digital community.
However, in America, mukbangers aren’t interested in the intimacy and connection gained using live streams. Instead, they aim to compete with other mukbangers for likes and shares.
Promotion of A Healthy Lifestyle
Some of the most common Korean mukbangers, while being incredibly entertaining, also promote a healthy lifestyle encouraging the use of organic and vegan foods instead of unhealthy alternatives. Moreover, they also share healthy food recipes that they eat during live streams. This helps Korean food lovers to try healthy cultural cuisines at home and share their experiences.
If you also want to jump on the bandwagon and become a mukbanger too, at least do it the right way. All you need is a camera phone and organic Korean food.