In last weeks post I talked about the wonders of Instagram in the food industry and how everyone is connected sharing more content then ever, especially chefs. I spoke of its benefits for food lovers everywhere and the great influence it has had but as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

Instagram has introduced everyone to their inner photographer, making any teenage girl the next Andy Warhol with their four frame selfies. Though when we are not busy taking pictures of our face, nine times out of ten we are blasting out what we are eating. Despite this you can not just post pictures of mum’s ‘spag bol’ or a bowl of tomato soup, if you want more then a couple likes.

If everyone is posting food the majority of user’s feeds are gonna look the same and people will want to stand out from the rest. That is when “instagram food” comes in to play, or more commonly known as #foodporn. Now these sort of pictures or videos are meant to make us feel jealous and envious, as well as make us look up that restaurants location to plan our visit.

View this post on Instagram

Oh hey, Hi. Let’s just call this burger a “challenge.” Getting your mouth around this may be a tad tricky but WELL WORTH the effort. • This Dragonslayer Burger is made with WAY too many GOOD things to list. Just go check out the recipe @modern_honey to blow away your guests at the next BBQ. **Memorial Day is just days away! ** • Whatcha doing for Memorial Day? • • • #memorialday #bbq #grilling #onthegrill #hamburger #cheeseburger #burger #burgers #abmlifeiscolorful #abmfoodie #bhgfood #feedfeed #thefeedfeed #homemade #food #foodie #f52grams #thekitchn #foodnetwork #foodgawker #tastingtable #yum #yummy #recipe #recipes #foodblog

A post shared by Melissa Stadler (@modern_honey) on

Every social media user has fell victim to this and I know for certain you reading this now have done as well. The dribble hanging from your mouth by looking at the burger above told me… Don’t worry I wont tell anyone. Although others cannot help but feel this Insta craze may have got out of hand a bit and I can see why.

Instagram made me eat it

A melted, gooey cheese video here, and a juicy red steak picture there never hurt anyone. This is the sort of food content we most commonly drool over when scrolling through our feed but now it seems this does not cut the mustard. With food places tirelessly battling over that social site spotlight, it has become a competition to see who has the most outlandish meal.

One example of this is rainbow coloured food, a guaranteed way of standing out from the crowd. I remember the bagel for me being the first rainbow food faze I saw on Instagram created by ‘The Bagel Store’. This was before places all over the world started doing it. Now people will happily queue for hours on end for one of those vibrant rings, but I cannot help but ask myself why would you?

“Rainbow bagels, for all their beautiful swirls, do not taste different than a normal, plain bagel. That’s not an insult: it’s a statement of fact.”  – Kate Taylor for Business Insider

There is nothing in that bagel to purposely alter or enhance the flavour of the bagel. Which leaves only one reason why people would wait in line for one, Instagram. Are you really that bothered about eating it if you just want others too see you are eating it. Plus it is hardly food porn is it, why do I want to eat something that looks like a two year old made it out of Play-doh?

Food does need to look good and that is a well-known fact, we eat with our eyes first. Though these sort of social media food trends throw everything else out of perspective, making people willing to put the importance of ‘likes’ over taste when it comes to their food. What does this say about our generation? That we care more of others perspective then our own satisfaction?

If it isn’t skittle coloured, it is gonna be bigger then your head. Another food porn desire is to have multiple foods “Frankensteined” together or a regular tasty food item weigh more then I do after this Christmas holiday. It makes a great picture, it looks brilliant but do you see yourself really eating it? How would you tackle that ‘Cakeshake’ above? I can imagine that fat slice on top does not stay balanced for many people.

Ugly food is beautiful food

Social media is great but sometimes I feel we all get lost in this superficial popularity contest and forget to just chill out. Let’s stop competing against each other and just post stuff we love, who cares if your noodles are not aesthetically pleasing! A great series to watch on Netflix is ‘Ugly Delicious’ by Dave Chang. Chang is a very talented and well established chef, he has many restaurants and published many books.

This eight episode series follows David Chang with a team of writers, artists, activists and chefs into different places of the world. They dive in to tasty food from different cultures and understanding them and their misconceptions. It carries the tone throughout of just enjoying food and it’s flavour, not caring about whether it is “restaurant” standard. Because no matter what, no ones food is gonna be better then when you come home to your mum’s ‘spag bol’.

Make sure to return on the 13th January 2018 to see what we have next.

Missed last weeks post? Click here