Sometimes, dropping the mic is the only way to get your point across, even if your mic is a box of frozen chicken nuggets for kids and your stage is your own YouTube show.
Gregory Ng, also known as the Frozen Foods Master, spent six years running the YouTube channel FreezerBurns dedicated to the wide world of frozen meals. Just eight episodes shy of his 700th video, Ng quit mid-review, but shared the video with his 23,000 subscribers anyway. He even posted the clip of his quitting moment as its own video as a final goodbye to his channel.
“There are great, healthy, all-natural frozen meals out there,” Ng told the Daily Dot. “There are also high-fat, high-sodium, chemical-laden meals from the freezer aisle. My show was a business. More views meant more revenue. I came to the realization that it was the more unhealthy meals that gained more views. This just didn’t sit well with me because I was in constant conflict on whether to review something that was healthy or something that was money-making. After this realization, I decided to end my show. I had told myself I would close out the year or maybe quit on a round number, episode 700 for instance. While shooting episode 692, I got very worked up around the use of a movie tie-in to sell a frozen kids’ meal. I started to rant, and it turned into what you see in that episode: me walking off camera for good.”
Ng began the channel in 2008, inspired by the number of people in his office lunchroom waiting to microwave their own frozen meals. He decided to create a resource to review those meals and give people more information. Ng said he ran the channel as a business and a side project in addition to his full-time job, giving him the luxury and patience to develop his niche into something he could market. Ironically, his most successful videos will be the two in which he quits the project, with half a million views generated by the duo combined. Ng says there’s nothing he would change about the niche he created for himself.
“It was a niche I could own, one that had everlasting content, and one backed by big potential sponsorship dollars,” he said. “The only problem for me was the fact that I built the brand around me eating food on camera. Even though I only ate a few bites of a meal to review it, I would review four or five meals … in one shoot, and that just got tiresome.”
Now that he’ll no longer be reviewing frozen foods, Ng says the response from his followers is mixed.
“Some have been very thankful for years of content I provided and were sad to see it go,” he said. “Others were downright angry, saying things like ‘I abandoned them.’ While I’m happy that I had some fans who took my channel seriously, I am very scared that they seem to have taken it more seriously than I did! I mean, it’s frozen food!”
Ng says that the response from the general public has been mixed as well, with some users just finding out the show existed and others using his video as an opportunity to condemn the frozen food industry, which he thinks is unfair.
“Some frozen food is really bad for you,” he said. “But there are tons of great frozen food meals out there with all natural, non-GMO ingredients!”
Departing FreezerBurns does not mean an end to Ng’s work in the foodspace. On Sept. 26, he’ll host a 24-hour telethon for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina that will be livestreamed at www.foodbank24.org.
“Food insecurity is a major problem in my area of North Carolina and in the entire country,” Ng explained. “Food insecurity is the state of being unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life.”
Screengrab via Freezerburnsdotcom/YouTube