The Global Mukbang Phenomenon: Unveiling the Cultural Connection Through Food

In recent years, a unique trend has emerged from South Korea and taken the world by storm. Mukbang, a portmanteau of the Korean words for ‘eating’ and ‘broadcast’, involves individuals filming themselves while eating large amounts of food. While it may seem like a simple concept, the global Mukbang phenomenon has become a fascinating lens through which we can explore the food culture of different countries. As Mukbangers from various nations showcase their local cuisines, they inadvertently represent and promote their respective food cultures to a global audience.

The Origin and Evolution of Mukbang

Mukbang originated in South Korea around 2010 as a form of online entertainment. It quickly gained popularity for its unique concept and the sense of companionship it provided to viewers. As the trend spread globally, Mukbangers began to incorporate their local cuisines, transforming Mukbang into a platform for cultural exchange.

How Mukbang Represents Food Culture

As Mukbangers consume their meals, they often share stories about the food, including its preparation, ingredients, and cultural significance. This not only educates viewers about different cuisines but also provides insights into the food culture of the Mukbanger’s country. For instance, a Mukbanger from Japan might showcase a traditional sushi meal, explaining the art of sushi-making and its importance in Japanese culture.

Impact of Mukbang on Global Food Culture

Mukbang has significantly influenced global food culture by introducing viewers to new cuisines and food practices. It has sparked interest in foreign foods and encouraged viewers to try them. Moreover, it has fostered a sense of global community around food, breaking down cultural barriers and promoting understanding and appreciation of diverse food cultures.

Controversies Surrounding Mukbang

Despite its popularity, Mukbang has faced criticism for promoting overeating and unhealthy food habits. Some argue that it glamorizes binge-eating and could potentially trigger eating disorders. However, many Mukbangers and fans defend the trend, stating that it is a form of entertainment and cultural exchange, not a dietary guideline.


While Mukbang may have started as a form of entertainment, it has evolved into a global phenomenon that offers a unique perspective on food culture. By showcasing their local cuisines, Mukbangers from different countries are not only sharing a part of their culture but also contributing to a global understanding and appreciation of diverse food cultures. Despite the controversies, the cultural connection through food that Mukbang provides cannot be denied.