Those who see me on a consistent basis know I am aware of the 15 month efforts that the anti-health food YouTube sensation Epic Meal Time have gone to great lengths to promote. I am familiar with the colossal mountain of calories they pile onto a plate each week. I know of the aggressive and nearly futile nature the host Harvey the ‘Sauce Boss’ spits at the camera each second of the film. It’s hilarious, it’s entertaining and it’s caught attention. I have recently been struggling with accepting and endorsing this radical product that goes against everything I’ve spent the last three years preaching.
At first, it was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen go viral: A group of college guys putting everything you can find in the discount frozen foods aisle onto one plate, smothering it with Jack Daniels (pardon me, Dagnels*) and eating it. After deep-frying it and dipping it in Velveeta cheese. Twice. It was enough to put your mother can your heart on the hospital bed. You could almost gain calories just by watching it. To me, this was awesome; I thought “So many are out there preaching all these different ways to eat better, and all of them claim to be the best. Here’s some guys that are taking all of that and ignoring it.”
I know my own personal health and nutrition, to me this was just another source of entertainment. However, the quicker this channel grew, the easier it was to see an impact these guys were having on society. Social media has such an influence, whatever has the most likes will certainly merit imitation. In this case, I didn’t think it to be a good form of flattery.
The question here is this: Do the guys of Epic Meal Time bring a quality product to the web that is both engaging and strictly entertaining, or are they exponentially increasing the harm of an epidemic currently plaguing society?
1) These guys by no means issue a challenge to society to change (or stay the same for this matter). Granted, we are competitive by nature, but the way these videos roll out, there’s no challenge, just a definitive statement: you can’t do what they do. Either because of budget constraints, religion or a heightened sense of nutrition and well-being, Epic Meal Time doesn’t condone a reenactment.
2) That’s not to say there’s hasn’t ever been a reenactment. In fact, there have been several. Healthy Meal Time, Vegan Meal Time, Awesome Meal Time (it’s coming, I’m sure). Not a one of these offer the fat gram inducing grotesque display of pork that the original has garnered such fame for. It’s almost like a plateau that can’t be reached, or if there is such a competition out there, the rest of these channels are competing for second. These imitators have actually spun the series in such a way that it provides a sort of counterbalance to the bacon mania. This provides a glimmer of hope for my self conscious when pondering the impact of Epic.
3) There is also another factor holding the masses from partaking from the Epic grail: the human body. These guys do these things consistently. Most who own a flip cam and made mom buy out the grocery store’s bacon don’t. Even with a high metabolism, to do something like this who create such a reaction in the digestive tract it would be enough to never want to do anything similar again.
These things considered, Epic Meal Time is a weekly channel that is worth checking out, if for no other reason than to marvel in all it’s deep fried glory. What they do raises concerns, but only for themselves. The Sauce Boss, Muscles Glasses and the crew can keep stuffing away as far as I’m concerned, based on the reaction and fan base they have attained, I don’t see that stopping any time soon.