Proving that just about anybody with a video camera can become a star online, we bring you Food Oddities — a Web series hosted by 10-year old Remy Mumby, of Lansing, Michigan. His YouTube fame is growing daily, as is the list of gustatory oddities he consumes. Think of him as a modern twist on Life Cereal’s Mikey, with social media savvy.
To date, his menu includes buffalo and deer hearts (for Valentine’s Day, of course), scorpions, dung beetles, worms, brains, ants, cow testicles, pig lips, a placenta mix from Japan and more. “I get new experiences in life and it’s sort of like an adventure,” Remy recently told Esquire‘s Eat Like a Man blog from his parent’s home in his first national interview.
His inspiration is the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods star Andrew Zimmern, who praises the youngster but cautions the pre-pubescent foodie to keep grounded as his status and popularity grow.[more]
The things Remy (born Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn Mumby) eats sometimes make him wretch but he bravely carries on (for the camera). “I just love trying new things.”
His father, Douglas, attributes the start of his son’s eccentric palate to a trip to a local Asian market. “They had chicken feet and what they call a ‘thousand-year-old egg,’ which are just preserved eggs, but they turn black. Remy was always willing to try absolutely anything.”
Father and son both draw the line at pets, refusing an offer of dog meat from a fan. Some of Remy’s fans were offended when he drank breast milk. “That polarized people,” said Douglas. “We got a lot of positive responses, but some people thought it was horribly immoral to drink breast milk if you weren’t a baby.”
Remy also reviews the foods he eats: Haggis – “livery… sort of like corn-beef hash;” balut, (duck embryo cooked in its shell), “like a hard-boiled egg, only it’s a just a little crunchier;” scorpions – “like eating a tasteless lobster with the shell still on it. It was just terrible — basically just shell and hard guts.”
Agents and publishers are already circling, offering Remy multimedia empire building offers. Too much too young? Is YouTube, famously the third-biggest search engine on the planet, really a platform for personal brand-building at any age?
Or is Remy himself another oddity, one of many spawned by the rise of social media and the Web? And what role should parents take in monitoring, let alone enabling, such personal brand-building on steroids?