By Sammy Caiola
Native Foods Cafe
a waiter delivers a colorful, aromatic meal to your table these days, you can’t
just dig into it. No sir. You first have to photograph it from a few angles, adjust
it to low-fi or whatever seems appropriate, and post the picture on your
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all at once. Doesn’t matter where you are.
Doesn’t matter whom you’re with. This is our generation’s custom.
food photography as a social mechanism exploded a few years ago, when
decent-quality cameras became accessible to the masses in the form of iPhones.
Now, with the ability to snap photos, artistically doctor them on Instagram and
share them with everyone we know within seconds, we can share whatever we want.
And what does America most like to share? Food, of course.
most recent user statistic states that the network is bombarded with 40 million
day. And that’s not even counting food photos uploaded directly to
Facebook, or to Tumblr or FourSquare or OpenTable or any of the other trillion
networks that young people use to share what they’re eating. The numbers are
when you think about our generation, it doesn’t seem so far off. Eating is not
an individual activity anymore. Every time we get a unique meal at a
restaurant, every time we make a masterpiece at home, heck–every time we buy a
bagel or a coffee- we want people to know about it. It’s no longer about the
actual experience of cooking or going out to dinner or eating a delicious
thing. It’s about showing other people that we did it, and gauging their
reaction (jealousy, admiration, etc) accordingly depending on how many likes it
got. Food photography is just a new form of narcissism, and it prohibits us
from actually living life because we’re too busy documenting it. College Humor
does a hilarious
bit on how self-obsessed we’ve become. I suggest you watch it.
the same time, food photography has done incredible business for the restaurant
industry. You can check in on FourSquare and post a photo, so people know
exactly what restaurant that exotic-looking martini came from. When people know
where their friends and loved ones have been frequenting, they’re more likely
to try it out and then post a photo themselves. It’s a never ending, ever-profiting
cycle. See- here are some instagram photos that guests took at Native Foods.
Don’t they look great?
constant flow of food photos and the fervor with which people propagate those
photos is kind of embarrassing. But it’s also a way to keep us connected, and
to continue to spread our love of eating, and of cooking. As someone who’s
spent many hours idly searching food blogs for “food porn”, or really
good-looking photos of food like the one below, I can attest that it has an
impact. The more you look at other people’s food (especially vegan food!) the
more inspired you’ll be to make something of your own.
chip cookie dough cupcakes with cookie dough frosting, from
experts are starting to say that the food photo obsession is indicative of a
larger problem. At an obesity conference in May, University of Toronto
psychology researcher Valerie Taylor warned
that too much food photography implies an unhealthy obsession with food, one
that can prohibit healthy social interaction and promote eating disorders.
concern becomes when all they do is send pictures of food," Taylor told
HuffPost. "We take pictures of things that are important to us, and for
some people, the food itself becomes central and the rest -– the venue, the
company, et cetera — is background."
Problem? Not a problem? You
decide. Until then, enjoy the surprise new dessert at our next Native Community
Days, whether you snap a photo of it or not.
Native Foods Cafe, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan