A 54-year-old man in central China turns his passion for chillies into a profession. Julie Noce reports.
(Reuters) – Li Youngzhi eats chillies.
He eats dried chillies.
He eats fresh chillies.
He eats chillies with his meals.
He eats chillies on their own.
And in the morning as he brushes his teeth, in his mouth, are chillies.
In fact, the 54-year old from central China says he can’t imagine life without eating chillies.
54-YEAR-OLD RETIRED MIGRANT WORKER AND PERFORMER, LI YONGZHI,
“If I have no chillies or spicy (food), then I won’t be happy. I can tell you, it’s like this — if I have no meat, I’m all right. If I have no eggs, if I have no meat, or vegetables, or anything at all, I’m fine. Let me tell you — this is my god. This is my god. This is my own delicacy.”
Once a construction worker, Li gave it all up when he discovered he could make money eating chillies. Now a professional, he appears on television shows, commercials and at chilli eating contests. (family eating dinner sequence)
His daughter-in-law says, he simply loves to eat chillies.
Its like some sort of snack, she said. He really, really likes to eat chillies.
But is it healthy? One doctor says he appears to be just fine.
He can take it. He’s always eating chillies.
Li says he eats on average about two kilos of chillies a day.