Why the worst recipes imaginable are blowing up on TikTok


Jackson Gibbs / The Verge

Eli Betchik has always had a stomach of steel, but it wasn’t until they went to art school that they realized it could make them famous.

“I was perfectly willing to eat random things for the entertainment of my friends. I would take a ketchup packet from the diner and suck it up or eat an entire block of Parmesan cheese,” remembers Betchik, now 23, who makes and sells jewelry from their basement in Ohio. “The more I did that, the more I started realizing I could do this on the internet. I thought that I would be able to entertain people.”

In November 2020, the nonbinary jewelry maker was at art school in Cleveland, where they’d made friends with a group of performance artists. Soon, Betchik’s food performances became their own kind of…

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