ST. LOUIS – A father and son who watch TikTok recipe videos decided to try one that incorporates an unusual ingredient, and they had to go to the Arch to get it.

Doug Weaver, 33, and his six-year-old son Finley live in Old North, and they saw recipe videos from Wayne Shen using Mississippi River water. Multiple videos on Shen’s TikTok page lists “water from Mississippi River” as an ingredient.

The father and son went on an adventure on Thursday, June 30 to gather some Mississippi River water and then cook one of Shen’s recipes. They chronicled their adventure in their own TikTok video.

“I’m always looking for things to do with my son when he’s on summer break instead of sitting around the house,” Weaver said. “It was just really a reason to get out and go to the Arch and go to the river.”

They made Shen’s sweet and sour chicken recipe, and they liked it.

“It was good! I might change it a little bit next time I make it,” Weaver said. “I’ll use just normal water.”

He said he’s not sure if he could tell that the recipe had Mississippi River water in it.

“I don’t know. I’ll have to make it again without it and then I’ll know,” Weaver said.

He posted the video to Reddit, and a lot of commenters had safety concerns.

“Some people on Reddit were like this is child abuse. They have very little chill about anything,” Weaver said.

They boiled the water first and let the sediment settle to the bottom.

“It’s like two tablespoons of water. It’s not that risky,” the father said.

For two years, Weaver and his wife were peace corps volunteers in Rwanda.

“Our water was questionable. So we got really used to boiling our water and filtering and making our own drinking water. So it’s not really something that’s that bizarre to me,” Weaver said.

Weaver started his TikTok channel (dougweaverart) in December 2021. After he posted another video focused on parenting, his followers went from 10,000 to 200,000 in about three weeks. He and his family now have a YouTube channel called Husbands In Training.

FOX 2 reached out to Shen but has not heard back.