Why TikTok Is Losing It Over Canned Chicken

While TikTok has become a place for people to come together to share common interests online, it is also known for its ability to make its users rally around elements of its specialized hashtag communities deemed questionable. Just recently in the expansive realm of health and food TikTok users found themselves less than impressed with a TikToker's healthy coke recipe. The videos instructing how to create a better-for-you version of the popular soda from Balsamic vinegar and seltzer water were so popular the topic was covered on news channels like CNN.

The latest victim of the video app's scrutiny hails from the canning side of the social media platform. Known as #canningtok, this community of TikTokers is dedicated to showcasing how they preserve their food by canning. The hashtag features videos that give tips on how to check that canned items have been sealed correctly and offer advice on what foods are able to be preserved with canning. This part of TikTok's popularity is probably thanks to Gen Z's tendency to lean towards a sustainable lifestyle (per CNBC). Forbes notes that the demographic accounts for "over 60% of TikTok users." However, one video involving canned chicken has broken loose from the canning side of TikTok and seemingly taken over the entire platform.

TikTok can't believe someone would chow down on two-year-old canned chicken thighs

The video in question was published by TikToker @pamparish, who is a popular member of and regular poster in #canningtok. The TikTok starts with @pamparish explaining that they will be making chicken salad from chicken thighs that were canned whole in March of 2020. She then takes her viewers through the process of unsealing the chicken, which includes her pulling a chicken bone out as the meat and skin peel off of it.

While the video might appear jarring to those not familiar with canning, Southern Living explains that the act of canning meat has a long history "throughout the South and beyond." The article also notes that preserving meat through canning "is perfectly safe when done correctly."

Regardless of the facts, TikTokers had many strong opinions in the comments section of @pamparish's video. Most of the users' reactions were negative. One wrote, "I am traumatised forever and never eating meat again 💀." However, there were a few people who came to Pamparish's defense. One user pointed out the possible health benefits of canned-at-home chicken compared to canned chicken sold in stores: "These comments aren't it lmao. This is literally 10000 times healthier than canned chicken at the store 😭." No matter their opinion, no one on TikTok can deny that the video has opened up a conversation about the traditions and technicalities of canning meat.