The One Chip Challenge: A Spicy Test of Endurance
If you are a fan of spicy food, you might have heard of the One Chip Challenge, a viral internet challenge that involves eating a single tortilla chip that is coated with one of the hottest peppers in the world. The challenge is not for the faint of heart, as many participants have experienced intense pain, sweating, tears, and even vomiting after eating the chip. But what is the origin of this challenge, and what are the risks and benefits of taking part in it?
The One Chip Challenge was created by Paqui Chips, a company that specializes in gourmet tortilla chips with various flavors and heat levels. In 2016, Paqui Chips launched a limited edition product called the Carolina Reaper Madness, which contained one chip per package that was made with the Carolina Reaper pepper, the spiciest pepper in the world according to the Guinness World Records. The company challenged its customers to eat the chip and share their reactions on social media using the hashtag #OneChipChallenge. The challenge quickly became popular, as many people wanted to test their spice tolerance and show off their bravery. Paqui Chips has since released new versions of the One Chip Challenge every year, each time increasing the heat level by adding other spicy peppers such as the scorpion pepper and the ghost pepper.
The One Chip Challenge has been attempted by celebrities and social media personalities, such as congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, basketball stars Shaquille O’Neal and Joel Embiid, and rapper Lil Yachty. Some of them have handled the challenge well, while others have suffered from severe reactions. For example, Shaquille O’Neal tried to act cool after eating the chip, but soon started coughing and drinking water. Lil Yachty had to spit out the chip after a few seconds and said he felt like he was going to die. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez managed to finish the chip, but admitted that it was a mistake and that she regretted it.
The One Chip Challenge is not only a test of spice tolerance, but also a test of endurance. The challenge rules state that participants must wait as long as possible before eating or drinking anything else after eating the chip. The longer they wait, the higher they rank in the challenge. According to Paqui Chips’ website, waiting for five minutes earns them the title of “Featherweight”, waiting for 10 minutes makes them a “Lightweight”, waiting for 30 minutes makes them a “Middleweight”, and waiting for an hour or more makes them a “Heavyweight”. However, waiting for too long can also have negative consequences.
The One Chip Challenge can be dangerous for some people, especially those who have medical conditions or allergies related to spicy food. The challenge can cause symptoms such as burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, dizziness, headache, and difficulty breathing. In some cases, the challenge can even lead to hospitalization or death. For example, in 2023, three high school students from California were hospitalized after taking part in the One Chip Challenge on campus. They experienced severe abdominal pain and vomiting after eating the chip.
Therefore, before attempting the One Chip Challenge, it is important to be aware of the risks and benefits involved. The challenge can be fun and rewarding for some people who enjoy spicy food and want to challenge themselves. It can also provide entertainment and amusement for others who watch their reactions. However, the challenge can also be harmful and dangerous for others who are not prepared or suited for it. It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking part in the challenge, and to follow safety precautions such as wearing gloves when handling the chip, having milk or yogurt nearby to neutralize the heat, and seeking medical attention if necessary.
The One Chip Challenge is not for everyone, but for those who dare to try it, it is a spicy test of endurance that can either make them or break them.
Source: Conversation with Bing, 9/12/2023
(1) One Chip Challenge – Chilli, Challenge, Food, £5.99. https://onechipchallenge.co.uk/.
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(3) One Chip Challenge – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Chip_Challenge.
(4) Is the One Chip Challenge dangerous? | Poison Control. https://www.poison.org/articles/is-the-one-chip-challenge-dangerous.