Mukbang, an online social trend that is eating the world

Georgie and Darrien Spindler in one of their mukbang videos.
Georgie and Darrien Spindler in one of their mukbang videos. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Georgie and Darren Spindler, a couple from the United Kingdom, are sharing their usual vegan breakfast of vegan sausages, broccoli and rice. They talk about their day ahead, as any usual couple does.

The only difference? They are sharing each moment on YouTube with anyone online who is keen to watch.

As they consume their vegan fare, the couple introduce the vegan diet and why they chose it, as well as how they prepared the meal. The Spindlers are fitness and nutrition coaches known for their Vegan Fitness website, according to CNN.

They are part of a new "social eating" online movement known as mukbang where people across the world film themselves eating large amounts of food and explain their dietary choices.

Mukbang means "eating broadcasts" and the movement originated in South Korea. It is the popular practice of eating a large amount of food and filming the process.

The trend began in 2014 and has since been practised across the world.

There are presently more than 750 videos based on this habit, reported CNN. About half of these videos use the words "vegan" or "healthy" in their titles although mukbang covers all kinds of food.

Initially, the Spindlers felt the trend was odd but they still tried it. They discovered it fit right into their packed schedule.

Darren told CNN: "Mukbangs seem to help people connect with each other in busier times. We live in a time where it's hard to find time to sit down and eat with other people."

The couple also think that their mukbangs have brought them closer to their viewers.

"Daily videos allow you to create a deep connection and dialogues that follow through," Georgie said. "We are in a journey together; above all, we share our meals on camera to inspire others."

Vegan food website owner Jasmine Briones of Sweet Simple Vegan also began using mukbangs to raise awareness of the vegan lifestyle.

"Mukbangs are great. It is like your audience is sitting down and eating a meal with you, with a conversation. Eating is a very social act, and to bring it onto YouTube is genius. It is doing wonders for veganism," she said.

The rise of mukbangs worldwide has been foreseen and is not unusual, according to Qatar University scientist Yelena Mejova, whose research focuses on the relationship between real-world activities and the social web.

"Food is international and a topic that everyone can relate to. It is a huge part of our culture, and as humans, we always want the richer media experience that is as closer to real life as possible. In the modern world, networks and access to digital material help this," she told CNN.