Stop Spicy Stupidity

Stop Spicy StupidityA disturbing trend is emerging in the world of fiery foods. Several people are posting spicy videos that in my opinion are too extreme. Coming from me that’s saying a lot. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about eating stuff that’s crazy hot. However, there is a big difference between crazy and stupid when it comes to ultra-hot products. Crazy is eating things that aren’t fit for human consumption like ultra-hot sushi or the world’s hottest ice cream. Stupid is eating things like ultra-hot sauces, tinctures and extracts in large amounts. (More than a teaspoon for sauces or more than a drop for tinctures and extracts.)

This trend has gotten bad enough that I now feel it’s time for action. I know I won’t be able to get the morons to stop since they only care about video views, so I’m going to ask the product manufacturers to do the right thing.

What is the right thing?

I’m glad you asked!

The right thing for our industry is to Stop Spicy Stupidity! Just look at this campaign as the spicy version of “Don’t Drink and Drive”. If this extreme video one-upsmanship trend continues it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hospitalized or even dies. I will be leading the Stop Spicy Stupidity campaign by punishing manufacturers that reward these attention whores. Starting today, any product manufacturer that publicizes an individual using the manufacturer’s product in an irresponsible manner (excessive consumption, pranks, etc.) will be permanently banned from being sold at iBurn, will not be promoted/reviewed on this site and will be essentially blackballed.

Now you might be saying that’s too harsh. I disagree. I’ve reached out to several key members of our industry, and everyone I spoke to has offered their full support of this idea. In fact, Cajohn supports this idea so passionately that he asked me to include this quote:

“If this BS keeps going, the “Freak Show” label will continue to overshadow the culinary traits of capsicums (chiles). The media only sees fit to paint us as freaks, and this juvenile behavior of few, taints the public vision of the chilehead culture. Corporate America is picking up on what some of us have known for a long time, chiles are good! They are also good for you! This is a modern world, and these Neanderthals need to go back in their caves!” – Cajohn Hard

I’m sure there will be a few manufacturers that feel the publicity their products receive from these morons is worth the negative consequences. So be it. On the other hand, the vast majority of manufacturers should want to encourage responsible use of their ultra-hot products. If you share my beliefs, then prove it. Don’t send FREE ultra-hot products to known extreme reviewers (If they buy it that’s different.), and thoroughly research everyone before you send any freebies. If you’ve publicized extreme videos in the past, delete everything from social media and your sites. Don’t give the extremists the attention they want. I’m also going to give you an easy way to show your support publicly. Here it is:

Stop Spicy Stupidity Icon

This is the Stop Spicy Stupidity icon. Supporters of this idea have my permission to download the copyrighted picture and display it anywhere online that you see fit, on the condition that you link it to this post. I’ve already added it to Hopefully you will add it to your website, but any online support is appreciated. If you want a really basic html code to post a smaller version of the image on your site you can copy and paste this:

Let’s do our parts to stop the insanity before someone really gets hurt. The last thing anyone needs is the government having a reason to make capsaicin the next tobacco.



  • Jim Duffy 2014 May 31 / 15:19

    Amen! I had a few Vid guys ask me recently to send pods for their extreme eating contests. I declined as I don’t want my business to have anything to do with that! If someone buys pods and does something on their own I cannot stop that and thats their choice. But not going to support the extreme challenges.

  • Chad 2014 May 31 / 16:02


  • Renee 2014 May 31 / 16:47

    Totally agree. Although we make some products using super hots, it is more about adding some heat to the flavors that we loving and expertly create in our sweet treats. There are very few reviewers that we send products to anymore. We have been concerned about the craziness. We also feel strongly about people that are or may be using our products in a deceptive way to prank their friends and family.

  • Ted Barrus 2014 May 31 / 20:55

    I just got off the phone with James Wreck about this.I told him I have been wanting to talk about something like this but honestly have been afraid of the fallout and to be labeled a hypocrite. When I started doing YouTube it was more towards challenges but I eventually evolved into a reviewer/critic.The products I started out with were nothing compared to some of the things out now. I agree 100% with this whole thing. I took a bottle of Mad Dog Plutonium 9 Million and a bunch of pure Evil products to NYC with me. I made sure that people were clearly warned and did not go overboard with the consumption. Did some people suffer from what they tried ? Yes they did but it was a hot sauce expo. Did I get views from the videos I made? Yes I did that was the whole point. I wanted to see peoples reactions. Big difference from people trying something and people doing something stupid like downing a whole bottle. Will you see me consuming whole spoonfuls of extract sauces or downing bottles of capsaicin? Nope you won’t because I know my limitations. Will you see me reviewing a lot of chiles this summer? You bet you will and at times I’m sure I will eat more than one. Good luck with this campaign

  • Gerald 2014 Jun 01 / 00:46

    My chilli-related writing has recently become all about the need to “know thy chilli,” and it was because the ‘heat’ is such a special and noticeable characteristic, it’s made it too easy for people to think it’s all about that and nothing else. (Hence, “Chilli Misconception #1: It’s all about the heat”)

    You have the ones who say they can’t stand it and refuse all chilli, or you have the ones who say they love it and nothing is spicy enough – and the flavors and aromas (and even pungencies) that it’s been about in every established chilli cuisine just fall by the wayside because of all that craziness. It’s stupid.

    So, indeed, “Stop Spicy Stupidity” – and help cooks, chefs and customers discover all the diversity that the chilli has to offer!

  • Ted Barrus 2014 Jun 01 / 09:54

    I should make one thing perfectly clear. The Mad Dog Plutonium that was sent out to a few YouTubers was sent by a fan not a company. I know that the Pure Evil I consumed was sent by the company but I’m not sure how many companies have sent out products for challenges.

  • Scott 2014 Jun 01 / 22:49

    I agree 100,000 percent with FBI’s video. I know if my child ever gotta hold of some of that hot stuff, especially the Mad dog plutonium and something happened I don’t know what I would do. I’m a big fan of The FBIs videos and comments and what you professionals do, but let’s leave it up to the pros and keep the children safe! Huge fan Ted Barrus.

  • d 2014 Jun 02 / 06:38

    You can’t prevent stupid! No matter how hard you try. Seems the more you try n prevent the more it happens. I think getting companies on board with this is good idea but to start an all out campaign for general public is waste of time. People are going to do what they want. I think getting extract off the market would be best…it’s stupid. Also all this Chinese capsaicin crap is being imported..who’s the buyers of that I’d like to know…this fake synthetic garbage is poison.

  • ytrewq6789 2014 Jun 02 / 07:41

    HI, People I am ytrewq6789 from YouTube. I have no videos but like watching and commenting on them. I am a fellow chile head and Ted Barrus sent me here because both you and Ted make an excellent point. I to was getting more then a little worried about these what I call “suicide watch challenges” and people really do need a good education about the real dangers of extracts and extract products. I agree 100% with this article and Teds video relating to this article and I hope it goes viral.

  • Susan Johnson 2014 Jun 03 / 14:52

    Love this and totally agree. Thanks for putting into words what I have been thinking for years!!

  • Renee Wenzel 2014 Jun 07 / 12:44

    I agree. If your going to do a challenge do it the right way. Doing it excessively just for attention is wrong. Like the fire breathing idiot, he does it right.

  • Claude Dubé 2014 Jun 22 / 10:24

    I totally agree! I for one love an intense burn but I’ve drawn a line between being a chilehead and a jackass star. I’m not into challenges even if I’ve done reviews that only a few out there could replicate. I always stay within my limits and have never thrown-up which is something we often see out there. I think we have a responsability as reviewers to inform viewers without promoting excessive use. Getting a good burn is something nice but when you reach the point of having stomach cramps and throwing-up you need to realise you’ve crossed the line between having a good experience and hurting yourself.

  • David 2014 Aug 11 / 07:20

    Some of the videos on youtube prove that ya just can’t fix stupid. I have been a chilehead for years, but never went so far as to making myself sick trying to show off. I like a good/intense burn, but I also like to
    ENJOY what I’m eating or drinking.

  • Norfolk Chilli Farm 2015 Feb 19 / 10:12

    No extract based stuff! Keep it pure, natural and that’s gota be hot enough when pure as can be!

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