The TikTok food trends you should avoid
The social platform has a lot of love to give, but there are times when well-meaning content face-plants into weirdness – and that’s when you should scroll on by.
We owe a lot to TikTok for shepherding us through the pandemic with its perpetual online talent shows and unsolicited tutorials from self-proclaimed non-experts. It provides an omnipresent and vast spiral of video content that lulls us into a semi-comatose state of wild-to-mild amusement. It’s given us cakes masquerading as literally anything but cake, dance routines we’re strangely compelled to master, and cooking tips that range from ingenious to the downright dangerous. On that note and, in the interest of fun, we’ve rounded up a few of our least favourite TikTok food trends that we deeply hope you don’t try at home.
- The Sleepy Chicken Challenge
Let’s start by saying, if something is deemed a ‘challenge’ on social media it’s a good indication you probably shouldn’t attempt it. History tells us social challenges rarely end in glory for most and disastrously for some (we’re looking at you planking). Also known as the NyQuil chicken challenge, after a cold and flu medicine available in America, this stomach-turning trend directed users to boil chicken in the blue-hued liquid medicine and, apparently, consume it. Likely this moment of absurdity began as a jokes-intended meme and not to be onboarded as a serious suggestion, however, America’s Food and Drug Administration took it to heart enough to issue a formal warning about the practice. Cue public outrage.
- Toaster Grilled Cheese
It seems like this idea would be quickly assigned to the ‘just don’t’ column. But, of course, there is an obvious allure here. If you can enjoy a cheesy, melted sandwich without hauling out the jaffle maker or firing up the overhead grill, that’s a winning situation. But, alas, toasters are not meant to be stuffed with cheesy sandwiches or placed on their side. That would trigger a little thing we call a ‘fire hazard’. In fact, so trending was this ‘hack’ that after too many callouts, the London Fire Brigade felt compelled to release a statement urging people to please, don’t do it, just stick to the purpose-made sandwich press.
- Pancake Cereal
This one isn’t dangerous or insane, just inane. To our knowledge, there hasn’t been any public service announcement denouncing this trend, although, no doubt a squadron of dieticians would jostle to critique the idea. But, honestly, it seems the time it takes to pour and flip dozens of teeny-tiny pancakes could be better spent doing a whole spectrum of other things. Also, one has to ask: why do this? Once doused in milk the pancakes will be sodden, anyway. Surely it’s more satisfying to make big, fat pancakes? The trend, as is the way of social one-upmanship, was even extrapolated to mini doughnut cereal. To which we say, it’s time to stop now, children. But, hey, this trend sure looks cute and really, when it comes to social trends, that’s what it’s all about.
- Improper Food Storage ‘Hacks’
There are a lot of these dubious, quasi-clever-sounding ‘ideas’ out there. Thing is, though, if you haven’t heard about these ‘hacks’ already through more traditional channels where people are required to have things like, oh, you know, qualifications and accountability, there’s probably a good reason. No cute filter or soundtrack can take the botulism out of the raw garlic you’ve stored in olive oil or from your kitchen sink after you’ve rinsed raw chicken in there. Same deal with that avo stored in water to keep it longer, that, friends, is a playground for multiplying pathogens. When it comes to diet, health and hygiene advice, always go directly to a reputable source.