Do Super Hot Challenge Videos Help or Hurt the Industry?

There has been so many pepper eating videos in the last year that I can’t keep up with them all. Some show intense suffering, which I will admit are sometimes really funny to watch. Others show some rare chileheads that can handle that type of super duper heat intake. After a while who really wants to see someone who can eat a pepper and handle it? Sure there has to be some chest pumping. It isn’t easy, I know believe me. I ate a dried ghost chile to start off my website over 2 years ago, but I made a comic bit out of it to make it entertaining. The Moruga Scorpion video I made in January 2012 tore me up and it showed. I was not proud in anyway that I did it at the time. Now that there is a study on the pepper, making it the hottest chile pepper in the world, I can say proudly, “been there, done that!”

For years, Tony aka Darth Naga from the UK and Neil Smith from the HippySeed Company from Australia shared a modest following from YouTube fans on their pain journeys. There just weren’t many people doing what they were doing, and now they are lost in the constant flooding of YouTube with more and more super hot challenges. Some people do not do much of anything on the video outside of chewing. One word: Boring! If there was still some entertainment value in watching these it is lost on the never ending quantity that our Facebook Chilehead group has seen these past few months. There are some small attempts at levity here and there, but when is enough enough?

Which brings to me the topic in the header above. Do these type of pain-inflicting videos help or hurt this industry? Let us look at the helping part first. People love to be entertained and a form of this is watching people suffer and if there is attention being drawn to this community, then as they say, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Well I will say whomever came out with that saying is an idiot. Of course there are endless cases where bad publicity turns people off. Yet, is burning on video turning people off or is it leading them to look into super hot chiles and spicy products made with them even more than before? One could say that if you Google these super hot trends people might find the source of the peppers, as Jim Duffy of Refining Fire Chiles can tell you, profit can be made by these videos.

Jim has gladly sent off his super hot chiles to garner the internet’s great Google friendly attention. People eat his peppers on their videos, they mention Jim’s website, and the people out there that want to find these chiles now have the information they need to get them some. It works, and he has reaped the benefits of these videos. The more people that eat his chiles the more Google searches will come up. The more people click on those videos, the more people that will find Jim, and order up some of his super hots. Plant season is upon us and Jim can’t wait to start sales again anew.

Are there more benefits to these videos for the spicy product makers out there? Perhaps there is. When the Butch T record was recognized by Guinness Book of World Records, Heartbreaking Dawns and CaJohn’s Flavor & Fire immediate impact last year was felt with some of their Trinidad Scorpion products, some of the only products that were in the marketplace at the time. If people hear about these peppers via these type of challenge videos, then some of these people might find these spicy products and purchase them. Good thing indeed.

There are many people that go to shows looking for the hottest thing out there. Extract sauces are what they usually find, but now with the attention of the super hots, people see the name, and the words “World’s Hottest Pepper” on the label or sign and want to try some. I have seen CaJohn’s Execution Station in action at these shows, and there are lines to get the pain from these extremely hot sauces. Flavor? Sure there is, but pain drives some of the diehards out there looking to show off what they can handle. Most quiver and run away to fight another day. Those that can handle the heat often purchase some to share with others. Defcon Sauces has made a living out of torturing people at the shows, and the Creator, John Dilley truly gets that any attention is good attention, and if people are coming to his booth for pain, then others might look and want to see what the fuss is about.
He was profiled a few years back on the Travel Channel just for that reason.

With all that I said above, do these type of videos hurt the fiery food industry? The rationale is this- if the people out there that fear spicy food see stunts like these videos, then that is all they will think when it comes to anything spicy. No matter what level that spiciness might achieve they develop a phobia to even try anything. They are afraid of the hurt they will get from it, and there is very little you can say to get them off this narrow minded belief. Much like racism, the chileheads are typecast as pain junkies. Forget any value around flavor, in their eyes we all seek the pain. If you have any friends or family like this, then you know how true it is.

How can we convince these people otherwise when someone makes a YouTube glorifying this pain? There are those of us that laugh like I said. I know I enjoy it to some degree. Then again there are most people that shake their heads at the stupidity of it all. How dare they ruin food with that evil stuff? Hot sauce might as well have the poison skull and crossbones symbol on every label. The Surgeon General needs a warning on there too because it will kill you if you have too much.

You can say what you want about how the videos attract more chileheads, but are we on an island to ourselves with a population that only grows within said isle? Is there a driving force to create new chileheads? I for one share my favorite products with my friends, co-workers and family, but once you have been burnt, you will have to work extra hard to convince them not to trust you again. I take a considered effort to give mild to medium products to the newbies, and warn when it is above that line of no return. I want them to enjoy what I do with the smallest of buzzes not to scare them away. With my Feast Your Eyes Cooking Spicy Cooking Contest I try to show people through our contestants that you can enjoy the food you always have loved with a little heat added to it. Food is not ruined as they are so quick to believe.

So do super hot challenge videos help or hurt the fiery products industry? What is your opinion, I would love to know? Thank you for your time.

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82 thoughts on “Do Super Hot Challenge Videos Help or Hurt the Industry?

  • April 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm
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    I’m not sure “racism” is the correct analogy.

  • April 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm
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    That either.

  • April 7, 2012 at 1:30 am
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    I think these videos hurt the “industry.” Personally, I find the videos boring and seldom watch them, but if the general public gets the impression that all peppers are blow your head off hot, they become afraid to try them. Because superhots get all the press and are the subject of all these insane videos, I think most mortals decide NOT to try them, and they tend to paint all peppers with the same “hot” brush. It is a shame that they won’t know the flavor of a good green chile burger, or the fruity heat of a hab-based salsa because they are scared. But, you tube and Flip cameras have made “experts” out of everyone, and that is what people see and watch. My wish is that more people discover the different chiles and flavors and heat levels available and realize that there is something out there for everyone.

  • April 7, 2012 at 4:18 am
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    Thanks John, I appreciate your 2 cents worth. Welcome to ILIS. I do not allow attacks on individuals, so I removed your last line. I don’t want the so-called finger-pointing to escalate into something else. I hope you don’t mind the minor censorship.

  • April 7, 2012 at 10:27 am
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    I will say what everyone else has been saying: any publicity is good publicity. I do have a few other points.

    I don’t think “racism” is a good term. That’s a little melodramatic. You’re probably looking for “stereotyping”.

    And it is stereotyping. A lot of people think that all chileheads are people who only care about blasting our mouths with blowtorch heat, and care nothing about flavor. (Personally, I’d much rather have great flavors than just great heat.)

    It irked me a few years ago when a very prominent member of the FB Chileheads group stereotyped me like that, even after I gave her products a good review. Things like that aren’t going to keep me up at night, but it disappoints me that so many people view me as such, especially when they get to dismiss my reviews because of that falsehood.

    I do find it boring now to watch people eat chiles on video. What’s the point? It’s old hat now. Been there, done that. There are TOO many videos on YouTube of people doing that.

    I have a video to do of me taking a few drops of Texas Creek Capsaicin Drops, but after that I may never do another “daredevil” video again. And as much as I loved watching people getting burned at the Defcon booth or CaJohn’s Execution Station, I’ve kind of grown tired of it. I would much rather see what people like Ryan Graub and Mike Hulquist have done, and that’s how to COOK with superhot chile peppers.

  • April 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm
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    I am always looking to hear about the newest hottest pepper, but then I use just a little bit of them in cooking, I don’t just pop them in my mouth. So I guess there is a place for these videos to get the word out about the hottest new pepper, but then I would like to see cooking and recipe videos using the peppers because it is really about what flavor they can add to food.

  • April 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm
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    John & Scott; I could not agree more. A video should be about educating and these seem more for entertainment or self promotional purposes when who are they to be promoted and for what reason. As it had been said prior, I believe most if not all of the pepper eating videos just scare off and concrete in the general buying public’s mind that anyone associated with anything spicy outside the Franks and Tabasco world, is just a lunatic that enjoys pain and there is no flavor or culinary use for these chiles.

    It is not in me nor most people to trust some schmuck on a Davenport in their parents basement, that this pepper they are attempting to consume and then “describe” the “flavor” they supposedly taste, while sweating and cussing up a storm and then talk about their BM that morning from the pepper they had last night is just ludicrous. Who cares?! Who said your word holds any value?

    Your video may sell a few seeds and plants to the home hobbyist whom is more than likely already familiar with the chilehead community and the chiles and sauces involved/available, but in NO WAY does it bring in the semi curious or the everyday consumer who maybe on the precipice of moving on from Franks to maybe something a bit warmer and even from a smaller manufacturer.

    CHILE’S ARE A FOOD…SAUCES ARE A FOOD… COOK WITH IT, EDUCATE, SHOW THE VALUE OF THE PEPPER AND PRODUCT! Not your ability to use a camera and act a fool….

  • April 7, 2012 at 11:52 pm
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    Someone sent me this article and I got a good laugh from it.

  • April 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm
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    Ted, I hope you do not take any of this personally. It isn’t about you, although some people have brought you up. We been talking about the wave of videos since the new year, actually they probably started after the Butch T, but not as much as the Chilehead group has seen since. I have had serious talks with makers about this, and I thought I would write a piece and get feedback from the community on it.

  • April 8, 2012 at 12:14 am
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    I think the video’s are very informative.. I’m part of the new Chili challenge groups…. Even though i’ve loved Peppers for many years… I’ve never videotaped me eating them! I’ll try any pepper!! I don’t think it hurts the industry in any way!!

  • April 8, 2012 at 12:57 am
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    I didnt take offense to it but I know people that will. I help support the new guys and will continue to do so.

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:17 am
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    Scott, you make an excellent point. Last week I made some steak poblano heated up with some dried ghost chile and took it to work and people were raving about it. It was hot, but I made it so that almost anyone could eat it. I just kept some pickled ghost chile on the side for us who like it even hotter. People find out that ghost chile is in something and they freak.

    I have loved hot stuff for years and used dried chipotle and habanero in a rub I developed and look forward to incorporating butch T’s and some of the various 7 pot strains that I am growing this year as well as in my bbq sauce and hot sauces I have developed. Hopefully I will start marketing it a bit more beyond my local farmer’s market.

    I appreciate all that guys like you and Buddah are doing, and I think that the videos have been a good thing. Although I do not do the challenges any more (until I get some fresh ones that is :-D) I do like to incorporate them into foods.

    Thanks

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:18 am
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    John, I have to disagree. I have watched quite a few of these videos from various different people. The one thing that a lot seem to have in common is identifying the pepper they are eating. Showcasing that it is a super hot, and comparing it with normal peppers that most people have tried. If you watch one of those videos and think all peppers are that way, you either weren’t paying attention, or you were looking for an excuse not to do it to begin with.

    People enjoy these videos. This is evidenced by the number of views and subscriptions there are on you tube. We are not talking about hundreds of people, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people.

    I think the real problem is that people want to keep the pepper world as a sub culture, and they use any excuse they can to put down, demean, and otherwise undercut anyone trying to bring this amazing culture to the general public.

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:20 am
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    We love you Ted!

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:24 am
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    Hey Scott, I wonder if this is a natural evolution. You say “been there done that” implying that you were once too a member of the daredevil video population, which means you must have enjoyed it at some point. Now as you say it is “Old hat” for you, and you have moved on to the finer points of the “hobby”.

    So I guess I am confused how in the same paragraph you can indicate that this was a fun and entertaining thing for you when you began, while at the same time condemning it as boring. What about all those new to this? Why would you want to deprive them of the same enjoyment you had in the begining. For all you know the daredevil stuff brings in new people who will participate for awhile, then get bored with it, and like you move on to things like cooking, and making new recipes, etc.

    I think people forget that just because it is getting old for YOU doesn’t mean it is getting old for everyone else, especially all the people to have yet been introduced to this.

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:25 am
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    Wow…. I think you have a few valid points, however, DON’T USE THE WORD ‘Racism’ and peppers in the same sitting… I respect ones opinion but think that saying all that might have gone a little over the top…

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:28 am
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    I completely agree with you, Jen. I love the taste of peppers, not the heat. There is a place for everyone however, and if you don’t like one aspect of the community, then you don’t have to participate in it. support what you like, stay away from what you don’t. Seems simple to me.

  • April 8, 2012 at 1:52 am
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    I think what Scott is trying to say that now the industry is “flooded” with videos so it is old. I too find them boring and have only ever watched a handful.

    I do send my products off for video review though because I think it is good to have on my website next to the actual product so people can see what others think. The problem is everyones pain tolerance is different and if one reviewer that is used to extremely spicy stuff then they may make no fuss over it and then someone who isn’t quite used to it may get quite a shock when they try it. Another thing is people may be looking for the hottest thing to try and if the reviewer isnt bothered by it they may just pass up trying it. I think you need someone who is halfway in between.

    I think if you are going to do a video you HAVE to make it entertaining or don’t bother putting it up. I think something different and unique will have to start being done to make me want to watch them.

  • April 8, 2012 at 2:58 am
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    Candice, I certainly see the point you are making. I have this in response however. Internet videos are self-limiting. By that I mean, the ones that get the most views are the ones that generally speaking are the most liked for whatever reason. Some of these people have viewers in the MILLIONS. That is the kind of numbers these video’s are bringing in to the industry. The ones that are boring fall by the wayside, and don’t generally propagate into the internet mainstream.

    When you look at the views, and the likes, and the subscribers on these videos, it is easy to see that they are embraced more then abhorred. These are real numbers that you can find simply by looking at these videos. On the counter side what data is there to support that these video’s are turning off potential customers/hobbiest? At best you, or Scott know a few people that have stated that they were turned off of peppers/chillies because of these videos, which is not a valid data set for any realistic study.

    So if your (and by which I mean the people against, not you personally) opinions are not based on data, one must ask what they ARE based on? Again, I maintain that the hostility to these videos, which I am willing to bet have brought in more people then they have driven away on the order of many magnitudes, is based on nothing more than a personal dislike of particular people, or videos.

    In the end while you may find these videos boring, It has not stopped you from utilizing them from advertising your product, which at the very least means you recognize the potential for your business, and I can’t imagine anything being good for your business, being bad for the industry as a whole.

  • April 8, 2012 at 4:19 am
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    Hey my opinion is the cooking shows should stick to television. Only cooking YouTube show that I enjoy is Epic Meal Time and it has nothing to do with peppers. I know ILOVEITSPICY has over 800 videos but how many are exciting to watch? How many are guys pounding Ultra Hot Peppers? For anyone who says they hurt the industry YOUR A FOOL. 
    Yep I said it  
     Every week I have a new video from some grown man or young boy saying hey I tried a ghost pepper look at my video. I say more power to them and I’m going to help them make more and more videos but you don’t need to watch them. Go watch the cooking show you might need a nap. Please don’t think I’m offended I’m not everyone has an opinion. 🙂

    (hate typing on a phone )

  • April 8, 2012 at 5:23 am
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    Well it is obvious by now that the word, “racism” should not have been used. Too harsh of a word to use for such a minor issue. All I meant was that many non-heat-seeking people stereotype chileheads as pain junkies as a whole much like the ignorance of looking at Jewish people and saying they are all doctors and lawyers. It was a bad comparison as a whole, but I didn’t remove it to avoid the chastising. I said it, I will live with it.

    I thank everyone for expressing their opinions on the topic. It is great to from the makers’ point of view because those are the ones that might hear the most feedback from consumers at their marketplace. Chris has some great points about how do we judge what the impact is when there is no study on it. I do not think there ever will be one. All we have is our opinions, so we express it here openly, and I appreciate that.

    Speaking with Duffy quite a bit, I know he has sent these peppers off to a lot of people to get their mugs on video munching on his super hots. For him it is exposure, the more the better. Well before Ted got his videos up and running there was all ready way to many videos to watch, and I think Scott and I got burnt out watching the earlier ones. I tried a Trinidad Scorpion pepper in late 2007, and was leveled by the heat of it. I watched Neil of Hippyseed eating a Trinidad Scorpion a few months later on video, and was wowed by his reaction. At the 2010 Houston Hot Sauce Show I brought a bag of them I had picked from the Bowers, Chile Festival to pass out to people so I could capture their pain on video. I had a load of fun watching the best of these pain junkies get clobbered over the head with this pepper. It was exciting to me. After a while it loses it’s steam and now everyone wants to sample them on YouTube. I just hit a wall, it was nothing personal for me.

    The Facebook Chileheads group has had waves of new videos from all of Duffy’s pepper donations such as Ted, before him it was Phil Lanza, Sr and his son. For us that have been here longer than others, it was old hat, and it was hard to watch anymore. I have grown out that group from a measly 100 people a year ago to over 800 members now. Mostly thanks to Facebook’s new settings. Sure, for many of these newbies those vids are a cool thing to watch, and I know there are those that are entertained by those videos. For Scott and I it’s become overkill. No offense to any of the new influx of video entertainers.

    This discussion is not solely about the number of extreme videos, but their impact on the non-chileheads out there. Do the painseekers scare them away? Chad thinks so, and I know other makers feel the same based on our discussions at the spicy food events I attend. It is hard to justify any questions I bring up because it is all opinion based. Ted tries to make a point about my spicy cooking contest as non-entertaining, and that is fine. What entertains us as individuals is different from one person to the next. What I will point out is that my contest has over $1500 in sponsorship, and brings exposure for some of the great hot sauce makers in our industry. There is no present spicy cooking contest of it’s like on TV because TV’s version of spicy entertainment is the Heatseekers TV show. My cooking contest might in itself be as boring as this here lengthy response, but at least I tried to showcase the flavors and spiciness I love into a contest with decent prizes thanks to our many sponsors and spicy product making contestants. Even if it is not entertaining for all, it still is good exposure with great spicy recipes to share.

  • April 8, 2012 at 6:39 am
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    Hey Buddah,

    That was a great response. It is nice to read something that is honest about how you feel that these videos are old and boring for you personally. That’s obviously totally ok, and you don’t have to watch them any more. That’s a perfectly reasonable reaction I would say.

    I’d like to say one last thing before I bow out of this great thread of conversation, and that is this:

    You have chosen to express your love of peppers through your cooking contest. Ted and others have chosen to do it through their videos. To me, and this is purely opinion, claiming that these videos scare off potential chileheads because they are too (extreme, ridiculous, unbelievable, gross, whatever)is just as absurd as saying your cooking contest will scare them off because they don’t agree with your choice of a winner, or they don’t like the food, or they think your conducting the contest wrong.

    Until there is some data, or survey done( which I agree with you, that this will probably never happen), the opinion will be just that an opinion. I think some of the people in the industry that are getting anal retentive about it would do good to remember that. Just because they don’t like something, doesn’t mean everyone doesn’t like it, or that it’s bad for the industry. Again, the numbers of people watching and enjoying these videos suggest to me quite the opposite. I’m off to bed sir, have a good day/night.

  • April 8, 2012 at 7:24 am
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    The explanation on the number of hits is simple. The human mind loves to see other people suffer in an entertaining type of setting. All those people googling “world’s hottest” or “Moruga Scorpion” found what they wanted to see. That has nothing to do with wanting to try it themselves. They just want to laugh at the guy panicking and sweating for them. Ted gets that, I get it. My very first video on my website I ate a dehydrated ghost pepper from Blair, and had a surprise ending.

    As for data, it could go either way. There is no assuming anything. I have a big office and I know when I bring in spicy stuff to share, it is usually mild spicy (jalapeno) level or I warn them if it is hotter. Most people hear the word spicy and they want to no part of it. There is a fear there, and those videos do not erase that fear they perpetuate it. The only way to get them to try is one of the people they trust tells them too. That is how I try to work it. I want to gain their trust by not hurting them, except with a mild burn. I want them to enjoy the food. Our contest recipes are taking average food and putting a spicy spin on it. If we share our love in a way that does not scare people off, then our community grows. On a flip side, there is nothing wrong with these videos, but there were a lot of them being posted this past year. It became the NBA’s version of the dunk contest. Unless you come with something new, it is the same old thing. Thanks again for your contributions Chris.

  • April 8, 2012 at 7:31 am
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    I grew out that beard and hair just for this video.

  • April 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm
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    Buddah & Scott… keep doing what your doing! If people can not learn what to do with these sauces and peppers via an honest and complete tasting review and one that includes the use of food as it should be; or through the ILIS cooking videos then what the hell are they going to do with them? Make more videos too?

    The fiery foods industry is just 1% of only the specialty food industry. That does not include all your big conglomerates like P&G, ConAgra, etc. So really, it is much less than that 1%. If you want this industry to continue to grow, and if you want to actually change peoples minds about this industry, then you need to focus more on how to educate and less about entertainment and hits.

    But I will say this, I know Jim Duffy sponsors many of these videos via his peppers. Jim is a great guy and a fantastic contributor to many parts of our industry. So if these videos help him out with his business, they then in turn help out the kids program he donates to, therefore there is at least one good aspect to these pepper videos.

  • April 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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    Hey Chris

    I don’t think it hurts the industry, I just meant that personally I don’t really enjoy watching them. Yes it does help with advertising too.
    Thanks for the numbers I didn’t realise that it was that high!

  • April 9, 2012 at 2:45 am
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    I think these videos help the industry more than hurt it. I also think you are not giving none chilie heads enough credit. You think that if they see these videos they will be turned off of all things spicy? I dont think that is a fair assessment of normal people. I think most people understand the difference between people making videos of eating extreme hots and what it is like to have a bit of chips and salsa at there local mexican joint or a bit of powder in there chili. I believe people can pick out the outliers and see that extremes are just that. Extreme.

  • April 9, 2012 at 4:34 am
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    Thanks Beehunter for coming by and joining in on the discussion. As I said above, the non-chilehead’s mindset is often unmovable when it comes to anything spicy. Much like someone that has a fear of heights, there might have been an experience from their past that set the wheels of motion. So when they see pain inflicting videos such as these, it probably cements the idea more than encourage them into trying something a little bit spicy.

  • April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm
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    Well, for once i think i actually agree with Buddah on something, i think the new vids do a mix of hurt and help the industry, perhaps levelling it out somewhat? This is why i prefer watching the informative video reviews over the stupid hardman videos.

    I think atm on youtube we have three categories, you have proper reviews, that go on proper websites from reknowned reviewers (you know who you are) then you have the people who do this for fun, there’s no real structure to the vid and no proper review per se, but they give their opinion on taste and heat and credit the supplier etc, and those are good to watch as well!

    The third category are all the people that have spotted the first two categories and thought “hey!, i could become internet famous for this!” and thus proceed to eat nothing but superhot peppers and products and spend their entire time spluttering over youtube with the extracts and ultra hots, these are the people i refuse to watch, simply because they bring nothing to the table but their own self importance. For them its not about promoting the peppers, the sauces or the industry, its about their 15 seconds of fame. (yep, seconds not minutes)

    I’ve been a hobby reviewer for the Chilefoundry for nearly 3 years, i write reviews and i do video’s too, not all of them are ultra hot sauce reviews, but the majority of them are. What the “industry” needs right now is proper informative reviews done by people who genuinely love the products and peppers, because these “stunt” video’s are of no use to man nor beast!

    Disclaimer: Ted, you’re not under the third heading so don’t come to me with a rage on, LOL! These views are entirely my own and i reserve the right in future to post various types of “stunt” videos myself on my own channel, not the chilefoundry’s.

  • April 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm
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    I don’t have a problem with any challenge videos. When I first got into the chilehead world, I thought that was the entertaining thing to do. As I evolved into the community though, I became more interested in the culinary side of it. It was a natural progression I think, after meeting and becoming friends with the growers and chefs. If someone is having fun making a video, then I see nothing wrong with it, and my opinion is that it does not hurt the industry at all. What does hurt the industy is losing site of the responsibility that comes along with being labled as “authorities” on the subject, and turning disagreements into trash talk and finger pointing. The latter is steering the group as a whole away from the one constant it has enjoyed over the last several years…support and respect for each other.
    To be honest, I’m not sure I agree that Buddah’s article above was really necessary.

  • April 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm
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    I know this was not directed at me but honestly I did take offense to it. I started my videos doing crazy stuff and a I continue to do it. I add reviews and try to share info and companies while I do it. I’m not in the ranks of Paul,Darth and Neil but I enjoy the videos they make and they are the reasons I do what I do. I look at it like this I have people saying they want to do what I do and I don’t want to refuse them. I have family and friends send me videos that I refuse to post because they are filled with profanity and things I’m trying to stay away from. The people I want to support are people new to this that really want to do it.
    Everyone has a choice people don’t have to watch them 🙂 but I hope they do

  • April 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm
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    I like the chile eating videos for two reasons. First they drive traffic to my site. Second they educate and inform. Let me elaborate. People like Phil or Ted have a high tolerance so they are able to convey the flavor factorand also evaluate the heat intensity. Because they can handle it. I don’t want to see intense suffering. I want someone with a high tolerance to convey information about the pepper to the public. Also I want different people trying the peppers to give their different perspectives. Now with that being said I will be having more cooking vids done in the future. Again the public needs to be educated that hot peppers goes beyond just hot sauce and salsa. Using these superhots in small amounts brings another dimension of flavor to so many dishes. So far Ryan from RG Sauce review and Mike from Madness have given me a few nice vids. Chad will be doing it as well and I can’t wait. Cooking with hot peppers will be grounbreaking as it will open many doors for our industry. I hope to get Johnny and Firehead to do some vids as well as I wil have a June harvest from greenhouse and be ready to go. How many dishes can we add a Chocolate hab to? Or a 7 Pot? The possibilities are endless!

  • April 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm
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    I’m in, I already have a few ideas.

  • April 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm
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    One more point will make here. I am getting so many hits a week now on my site. So you product makers that have culinary talents can use the Vids you do with my chiles to promote yourselves. True my chiles will be mentioned but I want you also to use the Vids as a platform to tell everyone who you are to drive that traffic right back to you to buy your products.

  • April 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm
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    I personally feel that the videos help the chili industry because I have met several people who after watching these videos have wanted to try eating spicy food or try spicier things than they normally eat. I have also met people that after they see the videos ask if another chilihead or I are worried about causing any health problems and we get to tell them about some of the health benefits of eating chilis. Then the health conscious become even more curious about chilis, start asking more questions, doing some research, learning more things about them and ways to cook with them.

  • April 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm
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    Ted, I value your opinion, and again this post isn’t about you at all even if someone wants to use you as an example. I have nothing against you and in our limited interaction via Facebook messages I think I showed that I value you enough to try and patch up some ill will with a fellow colleague. I don’t like calling people out unless I wholeheartedly believe they are scamming the public. If I have a problem with someone I try to handle it behind the scenes and not put anyone in a embarrassing situation.

    Much like all the gardening/pepper pics I grow weary of all the videos for pepper eating. I have in truth only seen one of your videos Ted, and you seemed pretty panicky from the heat, so there was entertainment value for me at the time. There was so many videos from the Lanzas for a while before you joined the group, then you gave a lot, then after that it was everyone else wanting to join in. Derrick Wood took a serious beating from it and has still not recovered from it. Like a lot of things in life, we get bored of the same old thing, and I just got burned out. There is nothing wrong in doing the videos, I did a couple myself. This thread was a topic to discuss something that we talk about at shows when we are relaxing and shooting the breeze. I figure it might be a hot button topic, but if we treat each other with respect the topic might be educational and informative to all who read both sides of the argument.

    Ted, in time I hope you join us at one of the shows, and get to meet the people you chat with online. Your view of this community will change immediately. There are so many people with good hearts out there that you feel blessed to ever have had the opportunity to cross their paths. I feel like it is a 2nd family, and I look forward to the next event where we can meet up with again.

    So in closing, I hope you understand my post was not to call anyone out, but just to discuss this topic with open minds and respect for the other side’s point of view.

  • April 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm
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    I am honored that you agree with me Tony. I agree with you more than I will ever let you know. lol Thanks for stopping by and posting your view on this. I got my first UK review in the mail today and I am excited about the prospect. There seems like so many great companies over there I wish it didn’t cost so much to ship here. We need a Chilehead Cruise around the world where we pick up people along the way and they each bring their sauces from the native land onto the cruise and share it with everyone else. If there was, I doubt anyone could afford it anyway! I can dream though…

  • April 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm
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    I have told both Ryan and Mike I would be happy to post their cooking videos here, but I understand they rather do it on their own site. I have been wanting to do spicy recipe videos since I started this site with anyone who was willing to send me something. Scott Roberts had the idea of letting companies post an infomercial video 20-30 minutes long, cooking with their own products. I would love to do that for any company. I could host the video on my YouTube page and they could use the embedded code for their website for a recipe page or just for promotion. The offer still is out there for any company that wants to promote themselves or a chilehead just wanting to show off their spicy cooking.

  • April 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm
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    Good points Mike. I do get those same questions from time to time mostly from co-workers who see me eat spicy things. “You are going to get an ulcer or worse”. Education is important to teach them those myths are not true.

  • April 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm
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    personally…prior to watching a few of these videos from guys like ted the fire breathing idiot, the LA Beast, and Naga Bob, I was not interested in eating hot peppers. Now not only do I eat them but I find that I absolutely LOVE to eat them. I am buying peppers up like crazy and intend to grow them this summer. So no…these videos are not hurting the industry.

  • April 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm
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    The desire for spicier foods is an acquired taste. This is largely reflected in the last decades huge growth of the industry. If consumers did not have a taste or desire for this type of product, it simply would not exist. The desire does exist & this industry is growing!
    The idea that seeing someone, whom can or cannot handle the heat that they voluntarily ingested (with due warning to it’s extreme heat), some how damages the industry by scaring people off seems odd to me. Anyone that would be “put off” by this display (whether it be of pain, enjoyment, stupidity, or all three), is probably not a customer anyway. It takes all kinds. Let’s enjoy the level of heat of our own choosing.

    I own a business where potentially HOT foods are served. (Chicken Wing s) As a person that prefers “next level” heat, I have to be very honest and open about the levels of heat that we offer. While I enjoy off the chart hot, my customers trust me to be educated & honest about their heat preferences. I walk through all the heat levels for them and provide answers about taste, flavor, heat, and duration for any sauce or product we serve. Over the years we’ve seen customers slowly (sometimes) raise their heat tastes and we’ve been there with them. You gotta start somewhere. Start with someone that’s tried the heat first. If they truly enjoy it, they’ll be your guide.

  • April 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm
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    its like porn for chile heads, and if you stay up late enough to core off, you dont wanna see that same bhut everynite. you get bored, and next thing you know youre lookin for something kinkier like a scotch bonnet burger eating contest or a chile de arbol stem deep in crysco, ya know?

  • April 9, 2012 at 7:29 pm
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    I think it should help the industry in a way by giving sort of a preview . Not only that , but it can be entertaining to a certain point to watch someone mutilate themselves with peppers.

  • April 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm
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    I’d have to disagree in a way . It’s like any other type of stunt like that . I’ve watched plenty of chug videos , but it’s more about the entertainment of it . Not so much that I watch it to see a review on beer . Truth is , most people watch the chili stunts for the same reason – to see someone in serious pain and how far they go . If I’m going to buy a chili sauce , I might check out a review first as long as I know that it’s not going to exaggerated for advertising purposes. I think the only way a review could cause problems is if the person gives it a bad review, the person was annoying , cheesy ect.

  • April 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm
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    I must say that we’re it not for watching a few guys on the net suffer through some hot stuff my curiosity would not have been peaked to try and experiment myself. This has led to several purchases of sauces seeds and plants. To say that videos of people eating super hots would fend people off from all types op peppers would be like me saying that watching NHRA drag racing would scare someone away from driving a Volkswagen. I have made new friends as a result and have found a new hobby. The guy who got me here knows who he is and there are some people who owe him a thank you and may never even know it. There’s my 2 cents. Thank you.

  • April 9, 2012 at 9:11 pm
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    I really appreciate everyone taking the time to share their opinion on this topic. Welcome to ILIS to all the newbies. Much thanks.

  • April 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm
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    Also the smilies presently do not work and I have no clue how to fix them. 🙁

  • April 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm
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    Hey Buddah, I read your responses and I would like to give you kudos at trying to maintain a reasonable conversation without allowing flaming threads to develop.

    Secondly I think the biggest problem in discussing the issue as to weather or not the videos hurt or hinder the industry, is the seemingly inability for so many of the more well known people to separate what is good/bad from the industry from what they personally like or dislike.

    I have read a lot of comments from people who think that the videos hurt the industry, and besides from a point you have made about solidifying a fear of peppers and spicey food in non-chiliheads, I see no implicit or explicit evidence of anything that hurts the industry, just lots of citing of personal feelings about how they as individuals don’t like the videos, or are bored with them.

    On a side note about the point that you made, the people who have a fear of spice I think, in the majority had a previous bad experience, or just otherwise don’t like spicey foods to begin with. I think you would be hard pressed to find very many people that won’t eat ANY pepper because they watched a video of someone eating a superhot.

    I’d like to hear some well thought out opinions from others about WHY and HOW the videos supposedly hurt the industry. I think it would also be interesting to see what kind of sales those of you in the business have had over the course of the past several years, and see how those are effected by this new trend of videos. It sounds to me from the few I have read that sales are up. So if that is the case, I don’t think you can rightly make an argument that anything is hurting the industry if sales and interest are at a high.

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