Healthy Coke - © 2022 healthylittlepeach via TikTok

Ridiculous Food Fads: TiKTok Promotes Waste, Stupidity

I have nothing against TikTok, really. Just stop bombarding me with stupid food fads. I’ve got better, healthier and more noble things to do with my limited stores of time and energy than watch young people pelting each other with tortillas and drinking improbable cocktails. And the implied food waste is simply unconscionable…

Tortilla Challenge - © 2022 pattysbrain101 via TikTokThe TikTok Tortilla Challenge: A complete waste of… Everything involved.

There’s an old saying, that some stupid ideas came about just because the inventors had nothing better to do than noodle (with or without the benefit of alcohol or drugs) with stuff they had at hand, trying to come up with something ‘new’. They’re still doing it today. And it doesn’t matter if it’s new. It just has to be weird enough to be fascinating; all the better if it’s somehow morbidly fascinating. Which leads me to another old saying: People always slow down to gawk at a car wreck.

And TikTok gives them a megaphone

Most of the stupid things the goofballs came up with never got farther than their cronies at school or the crowd down at the bar. But now, TikTok provides a ready and willing platform for idiots to spread their dumb ideas literally worldwide.

Take for instance last week’s monster TikTok hit, the Tortilla Challenge. The rules are simple: It’s kind of like an old-fashioned duel. Two participants fill their mouths with a beverage – usually water -and ten play rock-paper-scissors. The winner gets to slap the loser with a large flour tortilla. First player to spit loses the match.

Patricia (Pat) McDougall AKA, @pattysbrain101, came up with the Challenge – we assume, just for the sake of making a TikTok video of it. She coerced two of her friends to play the game on camera and, within 48 hours, the vid had gone viral. We wonder just what processes were at work in pattysbrain when she came up with the Big Slap.

Then, there was ‘Healthy Coke’

No, not diet or sugar-free cola. But something altogether stranger, and related to cola only in appearance. Who, I ask you, would think to try mixing carbonated water and Balsamic Vinegar? Not sure who it was, but it could have been TikTok/@healthylittlepeach (see photo, top of page), whose vid of how to prepare the stuff appeared early in the game. As of this morning, as I write, #healthycoke has had more than 58 million views.

Okay, I will stipulate that Balsamic Vinegar is considered a healthy food and it does have an extremely umami-ful flavour. But I can’t get my mind around what it would taste like with carbonation, even if it was sweetened.

Why?

There may be no easy answer. Like I said earlier, even the most politically-correct, religiously devout or high minded person will slow down to gawk at the car wreck, against all their alleged better instincts.

But I have to vent a little about the waste of food represented by the two TikTok stunts I’ve spotlighted today. Not just millions of perfectly good tortillas, but potentially tens of millions of bottles of fizzy water and Balsamico. Anybody who was moved to try ‘healthy coke’ would have to lay out some serious bucks for the vinegar. And after that, they may never unscrew the cap again.

And that leads me to the question: If they can afford to indulge in the stupidity of TikTok stunts, where is their social conscience? Imagine the positive impact on the increasingly perilous situation at the food banks (where donations are down and demand is up) if the TikTokers simply bypassed the stunt and donated the cost of a package of Tortillas or a bottle of Balsamic Vinegar to their local community relief organization!

I guess it’s just easier to follow and emulate stupid human tricks on TikTok than to do things that really matter.

~ Maggie J.

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