You’re probably familiar with the concept of Mukbangs—the crazy activity of eating insane amounts of food in front of an audience.
If you type in the word “Mukbang” on a YouTube search bar, you’ll find about a million results of people stuffing their faces with food while engaging with a virtual audience.
You may be wondering what's so special about watching people overeating greasy food, so here are some lesser known facts about Mukbangs to help you make sense of the phenomenon.
Unsurprisingly, Mukbangs come from the land of everything gloriously aesthetic and strange, i.e., South Korea! As is obvious at this point, the word "mukbang" is a Korean word that literally translates to "eating broadcast." The first few videos of such content started circulating the web in South Korea sometime in 2010. Another common term for Mukbangers there is Breakfast Jockeys or BJs.
Their American debut was much later in 2015 when Fine Brothers Entertainment posted a video of famous YouTubers reacting to Korean Mukbang, and from there, it started trending.
The American And Korean Versions Differ
In Korea, the concept was to eat a lot of food live in front of the camera; it didn't necessarily have to be unhealthy food. On the other hand, the trend has translated into something of an unhealthy activity in the US, whereby people are especially consuming greasy, fatty, and sugary foods.
They Eat For Money
You’ve probably wondered how these people are sitting in front of the camera all day eating all this probably very expensive food—don’t they have jobs? Well, for some of them, this is their source of income.
In Korea, some hosts get paid hard cash, and not to mention their sponsorships. Additionally, some fans send them money too in the form of virtual currency.
A successful mukbanger in the US can earn as much as ten grand a month. It's a dream job— get paid to eat!
Do They Actually Eat That Much?
In recent months, there has been a lot of speculation by fans and other YouTubers who suspect that some of these famous hosts like Boki have been lying to the audience by spitting out the food and hiding it with smart editing and other camera tricks.
Even in live videos, it’s believed by some that they throw up right after the broadcast ends.
The Dark Truth
Some experts have said that the whole concept of Mukbangs originated from the idea of feeling lonely. Eating alone is becoming more common in Korea, which explains why millions of people tune in to watch others eat.
Others believe that it comes from the universal concept of craving food. People watch hosts eating everything they can't allow themselves to eat.
We wouldn’t be surprised if you’re inclined to try to host a mukbang at least once now, but our advice is to forgo the greasy burgers and fries and be more authentic. Try doing it with Korean food as it has healthier options and looks pretty aesthetic too.