Everything You Need To Know About That "Cooking With Your Mouth" Video

If you've watched that viral Cooking with Your Mouth video, you probably have a lot of questions — we know we did. Thankfully, we've got the answers. Keep reading to find out what's going on with what's shaping up to be the weirdest food video of the year.

Wait, what?

You might argue you cook with your mouth every time you sip a glass of wine while you're prepping dinner, but that's not what we're talking about. That's not even close. This video suggests the only tools you need to prep your meal are carried with you all the time, and we're talking about your mouth, teeth, and tongue. If you can't bring yourself to watch the video (it's pretty cringe-worthy), we'll fill you in. She's making her (although probably not her family's) favorite Thanksgiving stuffing, all just using her mouth.

Need to chop carrots and celery? Chew away. That egg? Pop it in your mouth, swish, and presto: it's whisked. Butter? Surely not, you're saying. Clearly, you have no faith in the internet. She melts the butter in her mouth, too, and spits it into the bowl. Yuck? Absolutely. Strangely fascinating? Weirdly, yes.

People thought it was a hoax

You might have thought this couldn't possibly be a real thing. But then again, this is the century that's given us things like pickle-flavored foods and deep-fried pizza so hey, you'd be forgiven for thinking this actually is going to be the next big food trend sweeping social media. The media didn't know what to think of it, either. SBS reported it was a complete fake, calling it "the greatest food hoax of the year."

Other places, like Elite Daily, reported on it as though it was exactly what it seemed, an attempt to kick off a new food trend "that we never, ever asked for." While they say no one is quite sure what to make of this new trend, they're also quick to add the disclaimer that they're not completely against it, because "it's really cool to find new ways of utilizing different gadgets." Then, they add that you should probably only prepare your own food this way, if you do... so clearly, they're playing both sides of the fence on this one.

Sadly, it's not a hoax

The internet wanted to know more. MUNCHIES reached out to the video's producer, Nathan Ceddia. He provided some hilarious tongue-in-cheek answers to their questions, while confirming it was "100 percent real."

He went on to explain that he'd gotten the idea from friends and family who had suffered some kitchen-centric, knife-related accidents. He said he was personally terrified of knives, too, so he wanted to create a style of cooking that guaranteed no one was going to lose a finger. He thought back to how our hunter-gatherer ancestors might have prepared their meals, and the answer became clear. "It's a way of channeling my inner cavemen," he said. "I've created a foolproof concept that minimizes kitchen risks, replacing dangerous utensils with the safety of our own mouths."

He relayed all this information via email, presumably because he was giggling the whole time — because it's not the whole truth.

Here's the real deal

Ceddia spoke to The Atlantic as well, and when you find out what he told them, it starts to make sense. He's an artist with the food design company Bompas & Parr, and they do a lot of weird things. Ceddia says he came up with the idea when he made an offhand comment to a friend while they were cooking and he couldn't find a knife, and it grew from there.

He found someone willing to chew up an onion and garlic — and she really, truly did — and started filming. Ceddia created it as an exaggerated look at what's going on every day on our social media pages, saying, "Well, it's definitely looking into cooking culture. Social media has overshared food too much. Everyone watches the cooking show, but no one cooks the meal. It's become food porn, over-the-top and gross and extreme."

Ceddia says he does have a real love of food. It makes sense then, too, that he says the video is empowering. "If you didn't have a knife, what would you use? We are more powerful than we think we are."

On why he thinks people find it disturbing

Be honest. You find it gross, right? Why? You eat with your mouth, after all, and chewing and spitting are all perfectly natural things for a person to do. 

Ceddia has a theory on just why the idea makes people so uncomfortable, and the Chicago Tribune quotes him as saying it's "a bit too real for people." While he says that those who can bear to do some mouth-related food prep will find they're making a whole new connection with their ingredients, he says he knows it's a bit much for more people — even though it shouldn't be. "... if they were to see the realness of how their meal got to them on their plate, no one would eat their meal at the end of the day."

And, you have to give him that. If you knew what your food went through every step of the way — from birth to slaughter, or through various industrial processes — you might be thinking twice about what's on your plate.

He's done other food-related projects

Sneak a peek at Nathan Ceddia's website, and you'll see he's done a lot of weird stuff. Some is moving (like his look at the people who live on London's streets), and some is strange (like his film about a man in a kangaroo costume wandering the Australian outback). But a lot of it examines our relationship with food in a way that will make you uncomfortable.

There's "Man Vs. Gut," and we'll tell you right now: if you don't like adult mouth noises and hearing the grumblings of our inner workings, this one isn't for you. He's also done a completely NSFW video called Cake Holes, and we'll just say it's a look at the eroticism of food.

He's some perfectly work safe and nifty videos, too. His collaboration with Macallan was a study on the influence of time in making their whiskey, and his egg healing video was a look at the Mesoamerican cultural practice of egg healing. At the end of the day, it's all about our ever-evolving relationship with food.

"Riva Godfrey" is actually Iska Lupton

The brave soul in the video introduces herself as Riva Godfrey, but according to the Chicago Tribune her name is actually Iska Lupton. The recipe is actually her aunt's, and she said that not only did she enjoy making the video, but she discovered a whole new sense of control over her cooking — especially the onions.

"As your eyes start moistening up and your nose starts running into the mix you just feel an incredible sense of release and oneness with the food," she wrote in an email, and we have to point out that "oneness" is because there are bodily fluids in your food that should never be in any food anywhere. She continues, "Cooking with your mouth is an incredible feeling of freedom, creativity, and control..."

Is she serious? We're not sure. But we do know she's also involved in a cookbook project that will compile a series of traditional recipes from grandmothers around the world, called Grand Dishes. That, we can all get on board with — you know, as long as they use knives and spoons.

Don't try this at home

In case you're tempted to try this at home, we feel we also need to warn you about some of the reasons you probably shouldn't, so we'll start with a reminder from Toda's Food blog. Raw ingredients can carry risk of foodborne illness, especially in that egg she's swirling around in her mouth. The CDC says there's still a salmonella risk involved in eating raw or undercooked eggs. And if you're feeling a bit under the weather, this is the perfect way to pass that on to your family. 

The Chicago Tribune has another good point, too. Ceddia might be worried about knives, but his cooking-by-mouth method also poses a choking risk. More people die choking than via kitchen knife, so that's worth keeping in mind.

And, before you wonder who on earth would want to do this, we have an answer: Alicia Silverstone. In 2012, HuffPost reported on Silverstone's bizarre practice of "premasticating" her toddler's food, and allowing him to eat out of her mouth, baby bird-style. They also cited a CDC report suggesting about 29 percent of caregivers actually do this, so it just goes to show you don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

Is there a new food revolution in the making?

Ceddia seemed to love just how viral this whole thing has gone, and told MUNCHIES that he has big plans for his new cooking technique.

He says, "I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver and I love the charitable work he does with food and food awareness. I've reached out to his people, as I'd like cooking with your mouth to become the next food revolution."

True or not? It's... surprisingly difficult to tell.

There's more to come

Ceddia told The Atlantic that he thinks this would be a great trend to define cooking in 2018, and says not only was the Thanksgiving stuffing recipe just one of two recipes they originally filmed, but adds the second goes even farther.

Yes, it uses meat.

He says he originally came up with around 10 recipes when he developed the idea, and that's a lot of chewing and spitting. He also says he hopes others will embrace it, and adds, "I'd love to see people creating their own recipes and sending them to me, or requesting recipes. It'd be amazing to start a YouTube channel where we cook with our mouth."

Amazing? Really? Is that the word you would use?