In defense of #foodporn
Often when I’m out eating, I’ll snap a quick picture of my gorgeous brunch, coffee or salad bowl before I tuck in, and this is often met with looks of disapproval from my fellow diners. The prevailing assumption is that taking a photo of your food in someway takes you out of the moment, that it stops you enjoying the social bonding of sharing a meal with a friend- or, that it’s just downright rude.
But those assumptions, whilst logical, may be incorrect. A recent study published by the journal of consumer marketing seems to have proved the Instagram Generation right; it turns out that stopping to take a picture of your food before you eat it may enhance your dining experience. The working theory is that taking a moment’s pause before tucking in allows you to eat more mindfully and appreciate the dining experience as a whole, as opposed to merely scoffing your meal down.
I’m encouraged by this study, as it seems to prove that that we’re making more effort to put thought into our food- both with respect to what we eat, as well as how it looks on the plate. In my mind this can only be a good thing- it’s so easy to get caught up in mindless snacking and convenience food, but maybe Instagram and other forms of social media can make us evaluate our food choices more holistically.
I personally try to eat healthily, and making sure my food choices are varied, aesthetically pleasing (and yes, I admit it, Instagram-worthy) helps me to keep motivated and prevents me getting bored. Inspiration from various bloggers and Instagrammers often reminds me to switch up my recipes, and often I’ll take an extra minute to make my meals more aesthetically pleasing. This can only be a positive thing as far as I’m concerned- for instance, if a teenager sees a photo of a gorgeous fruit medley, wholegrain salad bowl or yoghurt parfait, they may take an interest in eating colourful, varied and nutritionally-dense food, instead of heading to the McDonald’s round the corner. And if Instagram can make us proud of the food we put in our bodies, then why the hell not?!
It’s for these reasons that I’ll continue snapping away at my plate, scrolling through #healthyfoodporn and fangirling over other blogger’s recipes- the enhancement of the eating experience is worth the looks of derision!