Video story for ABC News
MUKBANG, FAME AND MONEY FROM EATING
Four years ago, a blog titled “Pictures of Asians Taking Pictures of Food” surfaced on the web and quickly gained momentum. The website was exactly what it suggested to be, a compilation of photos of Asians taking pictures of food. Whether the ice cream started to melt or the steak got a little cold, nothing seemed to stop these enthusiasts from capturing the perfect shot.
With the popularity of Instagram these days, it no longer comes as a surprise that people simply enjoy taking pictures of food. However, in South Korea, this trend has been taken to another level, giving birth to a new phenomenon popularized as “mukbang.”
The term mukbang, a combination of two Korean words “to eat” and “broadcast," has a similar connotation to “food porn," but focuses on how people eat more that what. Through online platforms, individuals earn money from broadcasting themselves eat while chatting with viewers real-time. Those with enough dedication have achieved substantial fame and wealth in their own rights.