We're at the frontier of a new campaign supporting research for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. So step aside Ice Bucket Challenge (it's much too cold for that anyways!). Enter, hot and spicy peppers.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, the rules are simple: Participants are tasked to endure a mildly uncomfortable "ritual" in front of the camera after which they nominate three friends to join in on the spicy challenge. From there, appointees have 48 hours to complete the challenge, then pass it on. The cycle continues, leaving mouths ablaze and charities funded. Understandably, spicy foods aren't everyone's dish, so instead people are encouraged to donate to an ALS charity instead.
YouTube chef Andrew Rea, the man behind the popular cooking show "Binging With Babish," posted a video to his channel in November 2017 announcing his Hot Pepper Challenge idea. The viral video, titled "For Garmt," was inspired by one of Rea's earliest subscribers and fans, Garmt van Soest, who passed away from ALS in late October 2017. To commemorate Garmt, Rea launched a GoFundMe fundraiser benefiting the ALS Association. And he kicked off the challenge by eating a ghost pepper (video below) -- the second hottest pepper in the world next to the almighty Carolina Reaper.
The host suggested that the spiciness of your pepper corresponds to the amount of money donated. For example, a super spicy habanero equates to a $5 minimum donation, as Foodbeast suggests.
The first of its kind, the Ice Bucket Challenge was a huge movement that turned into a fad in 2014. Thousands of people, including notable celebrities Oprah, LeBron James, Conan O'Brien and Bill Gates, wielded ice buckets over their heads (during a California drought, no less) to raise awareness for ALS, which, unfortunately, does not yet have a cure. In the end, over $115 million was raised in charitable donations for ALS research.
In the name of ALS, I challenge you to eat a hot pepper of your choosing. Should you choose to accept, you will join the cast of celebrity donors who continue to raise awareness and charitable donations for ALS research.