How human flesh tastes: Canadian teacher on child abuse charge over BBC video

The BBC's Greg Foot tucks into a burger that scientific analysis suggests is close to that of his own flesh.
PHOTO: Screengrab from Youtube/BBC

An English teacher from Canada who showed a BBC documentary titled "What does human flesh taste like?" to a group of children as young as six faces child abuse charges in South Korea.

Footage from surveillance cameras in the classroom shows shocked children burying their heads in their arms to shield themselves from the images in the BBC Earth Lab programme, which was uploaded to YouTube in 2016.

"We're helping the children receive treatment for post-traumatic stress," a detective told the South China Morning Post on Monday, after parents filed complaints with police authorities in Sejong City, where the language institute is based.

In the footage, which is almost four minutes long, the host of the show allows a medical professional to take a sample of flesh from his thigh for analysis and has the sample cooked. The host, Greg Foot, then smells the sample, saying its aroma is "a lot richer than pork or chicken" and that "it's like beef and ale stew or something".

However, noting that eating human flesh is illegal, he stops short of tasting it. Instead he gets a scientist to analyse the sample's aroma, concluding that it is closest to a mixture of beef and lamb. He then cooks and eats a burger made up of a mixture the analysis suggests is close to his own flesh.

"I think that's going to be the closest I am ever going to get to tasting human. I tell you what, it's pretty good", he says.

The teacher told police she had searched for the video in response to a question from a child about what human flesh would taste like. Her lawyer said she did not intend to shock the children.

Police said the teacher would be barred from leaving the country until the case was closed.

"Although the video might be aimed at satisfying innocent curiosity, the children's parents protested strongly," the detective said. "We're going to press [child abuse] charges against her."

This article was first published in the South China Morning Post.

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