Mindfulness: 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.

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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.

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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!

Do you Instagram your food? Where do you get your recipe ideas from?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

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6 thoughts on “Mindfulness: In defense of #foodporn

  1. Good for you! I don’t photograph my food but I agree it brings awareness. And if we stopped to photograph every biscuit or sweet before eating it , it would be less absent minded and make us realise just how much junk it’s possible to hoover up without noticing.

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  2. I rarely photograph my food, but that is because most things I eat really aren’t that picturesque. But I have felt discouraged from taking photos of food in restaurants because I’m worried about what other diners will think. It’s the popular thing these days to mock people for taking pictures of their meal, even though its actually very common. I’m always self-conscious about people thinking I’m “that girl” who has to Instagram everything. That’s very interesting that studies show that photographing food actually increases mindfulness!

    What’s happening here is really not that different than what happens every generation. There are always the “back in my day” types grumbling about things changing and acting superior to new trends. And sadly there are always people who feel the need to bitch and moan about what others do on social media. The beauty of social media is that we can all use it however we please. Deal with it, curmudgeons.

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  3. I don’t take pictures of food I get in restaurants. My reason isn’t about what other people think. It’s that I personally don’t enjoy pinning, instagramming, facebooking other people’s work.

    I DO take pictures of cakes I’ve decorated, cookies I’ve made, garden fresh veg I’ve canned and recipes I made myself. I’m a half-assed food blogger so I have a thing about doing it myself.

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  4. This is an interesting topic-I definitely take pictures of food! I went to a vegan sushi restaurant the other day, and the food was just too pretty not to! However, I do work in the restaurant industry myself, and will admit it can be difficult to take care of guests when they won’t put down their phones, and can actually negatively effect the chain of service-so I can see both sides of the coin. I would say the food-Instagramming phenom has definitely inspired my cooking at home-it makes me want to recreate something equally as beautiful and tasty!

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  5. I do occasionally take photos in restaurants, usually because what I’m about to eat looks gorgeous and I know I have friends who’ll appreciate seeing it.

    I’m not so good at presentation when I cook. I try to make a lot of my meals look good, because I belong to a Facebook group where we share healthy recipes and meal ideas, so it’s nice for them to see an image of the meal I’m talking about.

    I think it’s true that making your food look attractive does make you stop and think about it, and generally take more pleasure in the meal.

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