Broadcasted Eating Becomes Popular In South Korea

March 15, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. trend /trɛnd/ (n.) – something new that is followed or talked about by many people
Example: Some people base their diet on food trends.

2. voracious /vɔˈreɪʃəs, voʊ-, və-/ (adj.) – can eat plenty of food
Example: My voracious brother can eat a dozen hamburgers in a day.

3 broadcast /ˈbrɔdˌkæst, -ˌkɑst/ (v.) - to make something public, usually through television, radio, or the Internet
Example: The show broadcasts the celebrity's daily life.

4. chunk /tʃʌŋk/ (n.) – a large part or amount of something
Example: A large chunk of her salary is allotted to groceries.

5. heartily /ˈhɑrtli/ (adv.) – with lots of desire and energy
Example: The worker ate his dinner heartily after a very tiring day.


Read the text below.
South Korea’s newest trend lets people watch a person while he or she eats in front of the webcam.

The habit is commonly known as gastronomic voyeurism [vwah-YUR-iz-uhm, voi-, VOI-uh-riz-], in which users watch a person eat plenty of delicious dishes online. In South Korea, it is called meok-bang [mok-bang].

According to the show’s popular broadcast jockey Park Seo-yeon [park so-yuhn], viewers who cannot eat too much enjoy watching a voracious woman like her. Afreeca TV website provides this meok-bang content in live and recorded format.

Park started broadcasting her meals online only as a hobby. When her show became popular, she quit her job and worked full-time in Afreeca TV. Users pay through a currency named Star Balloons that can be used to ask the host some questions. Park’s single broadcast lets her earn 1.1 million Korean Won or $1,000. Her monthly income is around $9,000.

However, a big chunk of Park’s salary goes to the food she eats on the show. Around $3,000 goes to her monthly food ingredients. In one show, she can heartily consume 12 hamburgers, 12 fried eggs, and three bowls of kimchi stew [stoo].

Despite her massive appetite, she still has a slim frame. To prove that she has no eating disorder, she chats with her viewers even after finishing her meal. She added that she has a high metabolism rate.

Meok-bang was derived from the Korean word “meokda” which means “to eat,” while “bang” originated from “bangsong” or “on air” in English. Because of its increasing popularity, this trend may soon reach other countries such as the UK.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think many people enjoy meok-bang?
·         If given the chance, would you be willing to try Park’s job? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How can people avoid having eating disorders?
·         In your opinion, is it okay to spend too much money on food? Why or why not?


March 15, 2014