The internet is home to many strange fads and fetishes. The latest in these is the mukbang, a U-tube program in which someone livestreams their consumption of a truly huge meal. This started out in Korea where some mukbangers make a lot of money doing this, and where, of course, the food choice was ramen.
The craze has spread and now you can have someone consuming vast quantities of MacDonalds takeaway. The idea is that the viewers like the style of food eaten, and can choose their mukbang accordingly. They get pleasure from watching someone else gluttonise on the kind of food they would like to eat but know they shouldn’t. As one host remarked, you won’t get an audience if your mukbang is salad.
And, importantly, the viewers can chat to the host (known as a broadcast jockey) as the meal progresses so they can get as close to the actual eating as they like without consuming a single calorie.
Mukbang is from the Korean words meokneun ‘eating’ and bangsong ‘broadcast’.