Welcome to the amuse bouche of your 5-course meal served by Avocadee. It’s no classic beef liver pate, antipasti, cheddar and pickle skewers or even some smoked salmon and cream cheese but instead avocado on toast. Not just any avocado on toast, on a bagel, a heart-shaped plate, with a high brightness, low contrast and Clarendonrendon instagram effect at 55%.

And in this course, I’m exploring how people, especially that of the instagrammble generation interact with food and social media, and the extremes people go to when they are invested in a food orientated lifestyle. A recent Waitrose report has stated that almost half of us take more care over a dish if we think a photo might be taken of it. And nearly 40% of us claim to worry about presentation more than they did five years ago. But why do we do this? I myself, am in that 40% of people but how did we get to this stage of engaging with food on a digital level? Focusing mainly on how lifestyles have changed because we now engage with food on a digital level. I will also be looking at instagraming and eating out, where we eat out, why we post on Instagram and what we cook at home. The start of the Instagram take over…

EATING OUT

Photo Credit: Davinia Fielding-Cooke

Our meals have shifted from a dull cereal with milk (if we’re lucky and there’s enough left) to a bright hue of avocado toast and pink smoothie bowls, but very often not in our own homes. One of the ways social media has affected our food lifestyles is by making going out for food fashionable. Going out for dinner no longer means it’s a special occasion, or that you are well off. It just shows that you are fashionable, trendy and have a pretty Instagram account.

According to the collective partners LLP ‘bonding over food’ is one of the best ways to make new friends in London. But not any meal out, brunch in particular. The new obsession with ‘brunch’ has seen breakfast and lunch cafes pop up all over London thanks to social media and the free digital marketing platforms business’ now have access too. The likes of Elan café, Palm Vaults, and Farmgirl Café are all those that have become ‘instagram famous’ because of the eating out and brunching phenomenon, all because of Instagram. People are getting their nails done and looking nice so they can take a good picture of their spiced pumpkin latte. Young people’s lifestyles have shifted from sitting in a car park drinking to going out for brunches they share Instagram. An Independent article shows that 16-24-year-olds spend the most money on food. £28 of this in cafes and restaurants, apparently this is because they ‘don’t know how to cook’. What do we think?

WHERE WE EAT OUT

Photo Credit: Davinia Fielding-Cooke

So not only has Instagram encouraged us to eat out but it is also dictating where we eat. As I mentioned before cafes are popping up all over the place to satisfy the needs of us Instagrammers. People are going for Starbucks coffees rather than getting a bottle of drink from WHSmith, a sushi pot rather than a Tesco’s meal deal or Leon’s bakery item instead of a vending machine chocolate bar. We now want to be picture perfect!

Instagram is now the main way we are introduced to restaurants, no more of that word of mouth stuff, a recommendation from a friend? No thank you, it’s all about the restaurant that gets the most likes on Instagram. But it’s not just the food!! When searching for ‘The most instagramable restaurants in London’ in the top article you don’t even see the food!!! People are not only interested in a freak shake or Buddha bowl. They care what the interior looks like, this also dictates where people choose to eat. Eating out is no longer a ‘quick bite to eat’ or a time to catch up with friends, it’s a whole experience. Going out for dinner means immersing yourself in the atmosphere and décor. All to be posted on Instagram…

HOW WE POST ON INSTAGRAM

Photo Credit: Davinia Fielding-Cooke

The saying we eat with our eyes is more relevant than ever… people are doing this all because of Instagram!!! Whether it’s a post on our homepage or a boomerang of #yolkporn. Whatever it maybe, people are obsessed. Everyone has that friend that is so impatient for their food, jumping out their seats as soon as it comes out the kitchen doors, but not because they are starving. But they need a picture for their Instagram story, they don’t care that the asparagus side dish is currently freezing cold, as long as they have a good picture of the monster burger. That’s all that matters.

But why do we do this? There are so many reasons such as feel good eating, if someone has cooked a perfectly poached egg, posting it on Instagram and gaining likes is going to make them feel GOOD about what they cooked, and encourages more home cooking. Or wellness, if someone has made a perfect granola bowl for under 400 calories, they should celebrate this on Instagram, to encourage their healthy living regime. Or cravings, if someone has just demolished a 2ft freak shake, posting it on Instagram may make them feel a little bit less guilty. This could also encourage some home cooking…

WHAT WE COOK AT HOME

Instagram and social media hasn’t only affected what we eat when we’re out the house but also how we cook when at home. The inspiring concept of ‘tasty’ videos has made instagramable cooking in the home an easy step by step process. From burrito cups to one pan salmon 4 ways. Not only have these videos inspired us to create flavoursome dishes, but the rise in Pinterest pages and food blogs has also allowed us to consider our presentation. Making every night a michelin star in many homes across the UK.

Social media has also made ingredients fashionable, using kale and avocados are the thing. This has affected everyone’s food lifestyles massively. Many people think these ingredients don’t even taste nice but as long as everyone sees them eating it, it’s okay. I feel a certain lifestyle is being promoted with products such as kale, we feel if we eat them, we are becoming a healthier, better version of ourselves. We get into our heads that we can be someone that gets up and goes to the gym, someone who does yoga on a Saturday morning. All because we made a kale burger on Tuesday night.

So that’s a small way Instagram has changed and affected our foodie orientated lifestyles. But social media has turned some peoples lives upside down, from omnivore to a vegan… and how has food and social media encouraged this transition? Find out next week.

Avocadee

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