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Mark Wiens’ Diverse Ethnicity Informs His Food Choices

Suyasha Rupakheti


Mark Wiens has always talked about his food preferences. Having a diverse ethnicity might be one of the factors behind his choices.

Mark’s videos have been loved by many, and he has garnered millions of views. But how did he find out why he loves a certain type of food?

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Mark Wiens’ DNA Test Result Told Him About His Ethnicity

On July 23, 2017, popular YouTuber Mark Wiens shared a video titled ‘My DNA Test Results!’ He started the video with a clip of him savoring a dish.

He has always told his fans that he loves to eat salty instead of sweet things. He revealed in the video that he knew it was because it was in his DNA.

Mark showed the process of sending the sample to the lab, and he had to wait for four weeks.

Mark Wiens took a DNA test. (Photo: Instagram)

Born in the United States, Mark’s mother is Chinese, and his dad is Caucasian, coming from the Germany-Austria region. And when he opened his DNA report, it showed that he is 44.4% Chinese.

Furthermore, it revealed that his ethnicity is half-European too. The result also had a few food-related tests, which showed that he consumes more caffeine, which is true because he loves to drink coffee.

Likewise, since he loves to eat salty food and snacks, the test results reflected the same. Hence, the DNA result was true for him.

Traveling Started Early on For the YouTuber

Mark was born in 1986 in Phoenix, Arizona, to a Chinese mom and a Caucasian dad. He also has a sister, Pamela Wiens.

Mark moved to different countries when he was young, so this might be why he currently loves to travel around the world.

When he was five, his folks moved to Albertville, a small town in southeastern France in the mountainous Alpes region.

While he had traveled to Hawaii and Canada back and forth a few times to visit relatives, Wiens considers this his first journey.

From France, they moved to a tiny village in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo called Tandala.

DR Congo acted as a foundation and a learning experience of culture, friendship, and food for Wiens. The family lived there for three and a half years.

Recalling his time there, Mark mentioned on his website,

“One of my favorite activities living in the jungle of DR Congo was sling-shot hunting for random birds with a few of my friends. After we’d shoot a bird, we’d setup a fire, roast, and eat them – usually there were only a few bites.”

In 1996, Mark and his family moved to Kenya, where he stayed from 5th grade until graduating high school. Then, he moved back to the USA and attended Arizona State University. He graduated with a degree in Global Studies.

Wiens Career as a Travel Food Blogger

Food blogging was not something Mark did from the beginning. Throughout his college days, he worked full-time and started a side business selling things on eBay.

He also continued to eat as much as he could. Then, after graduating, he moved to South America, where he stayed for about six months.

Then, Mark decided to go to Asia and flew into Bangkok. He traveled around Southeast Asia for six months until he ran low on money.

So, Mark went back to Bangkok and signed a contract to teach English for a year, which he said, “Definitely not something I would like to do long term.”

There, he met his wife, Ying, who is an incredible traveler, eater, and mother of his child, Micah.

During that year, Mark was able to take blogging really seriously. He knew he wanted to create something in order not to teach English again, and he worked hard for that.

Thus, Wiens started doing freelance work, continued to blog, and did all types of online projects. Now, he is based in Thailand but travels around the world, documenting foods and cuisines.

His refreshing approach towards food is his distinction among bloggers. Having started out as an amateur YouTube travel channel, he became a leading food blogger with over nine million subscribers.

Mark Wiens’ Dad Also Took a DNA Test

On 2018 Father’s Day, Mark Wiens’ dad was also invited to take a DNA test by 23andMe. The father-son duo compared their DNA test result, and Mark documented it on one of his YouTube videos.

According to the DNA test result of Mark’s father, his ethnicity is 99.3% North West European—30% French and German, 11% British/Irish, and 11% Scandinavian.

Mark Wiens’ dad also took a DNA test. (Photo: Instagram)

Just like him, Mark’s dad also loves to eat, try new foods, and loves to eat spicy foods.

Senior Wiens is willing to taste or try anything around the world. So, no wonder Mark loves to travel and try new food.