Ah, Youtube, a great source of free entertainment with a variety of unique personalities and numerous channels. Gaming channels. Beauty gurus. Comedy skits. Music channels. Cooking channels. Shopping hauls. The options are endless. However, there is one genre that many different Youtubers explore and that is, simply. food videos. No sir, food videos are not limited to cooking channels. After all, we all like food. And, while it is impossible to tell exactly where the taste-testing, DIY, and challenge video crazes started, it is evident that Youtubers are catching on to this popularity, regardless of their channel’s genre.
You might be familiar with BuzzFeed’s online empire which shares a lot of social experiments, including ones relating to food. This BuzzFeed video, titled “Non-Vegans Try Vegan Desserts,” is one of many taste-testing videos on its channel and even Youtube itself.
Foreign food taste-testing has also become very popular with Youtubers from around the world. In this video, titled “Trying Japanese Candy,” DanTDM tries candy sent to him from Japan. Interestingly, DanTDM’s main focus is his gaming channel where he uploads Minecraft videos, completely unrelated to food.
Challenges, in general, have come and gone throughout the years and, still, Youtubers continue to come up with new, crazy food challenges. If the Cinnamon challenge wasn’t crazy enough, here’s the “Eat it or Wear it Challenge” in which Ricky, Kian, and JC have a selection of disgusting foods that they must choose to either eat or wear on their body.
My personal favorite, Shane Dawson, is well-known for his comedy skits but nowadays you will find his main channel full of food-related videos including taste-testing and DIY food-preparing videos. His video, titled “Giant Twinkie Cake,” along with many of his other dessert videos, gives a whole new meaning to the term, “food porn.” Seriously, try watching this video without headphones and see how long it takes someone in your house to walk in, hear Shane’s constant moaning, and assume you’re watching porn.
While these food videos are certainly fun to watch, there’s inevitably going to be some backlash for a Youtuber who ventures out of their genre. DanTDM making a taste-testing video is not a big deal considering he continues to stay true to his original gaming content but a Youtuber like Shane Dawson, who no longer creates comedy skits anymore whatsoever and spends a lot of time eating on camera, is definitely in for some trouble with his fans who “miss the old Shane.”
Onision’s recent video, “Me Tasting Food,” aims to mock those Youtubers who switch from original content to eating videos. Onision blames the “Youtube algorithm switch” that “rewards longer videos and slits the throat of short comedy sketches” and accuses these Youtubers of only caring for the views.
While I, personally and for a reason I don’t know, enjoy these taste-testing videos, I completely understand the backlash. It might be fun here and there, but when a big portion of someone’s content is taste-testing and that’s not even their genre, or what their fans are subscribed to them for, it’s irritating. It begs the question, are they just doing this for the views? For the money?
Admit it, though. Taste-testing videos are your guilty pleasure and you don’t want Youtubers to stop making them comepletely. As long as the content stays mostly original and what the fans want, there’s no harm in sharing one’s food with subscribers. Perhaps, these Youtubers just need to take a step back, focus, and put a little more effort into producing more creative content to go along with their food videos.
Image by Julien Menichini.