I have a confession to make and you can tell by the title what it’s going to be. No I am no longer addicted to protein bars as I was before (but I do love me a good Quest bar!) nor am I addicted to lettuce wraps as pictured above. Okay, the latter’s a bit of a lie but I can survive a few days without them.
Truth is, I’ve been addicted to taking pictures…
….of my food…
……even the really ugly ones..
…at least it’s not drugs…
Regardless, it is definitely a problem I have and that others may find a bit bothersome. The meals come out at a restaurant and I whip out my phone to spend a good minute capturing the best photo. On top of that, I would take another three minutes to select and edit the best one. Next thing I knew, I missed the conversation and didn’t fully understand what my family and friends were talking about.
I know for a fact that I’m not the only one with this problem. For some reason, it’s become such a huge obsession that even people outside of the foodie community flood their feeds with their meals. Firstly, we have to make sure the actual meal is legit pretty. Would you rather look at oatmeal that is decorated with bananas, superfoods and expensive goat milk yogurt in a heart bowl, or plain porridge topped with cinnamon and five raspberries? What’s even worse is the rising competition to take the best one: we are so fixated on acing the photo’s angle, lighting, focus, background, etc. It’s no longer about sharing the wonderful experience. It’s about which one will get the best likes, the most comments, and if it has a brand, the most reposts.
I don’t take foodie photos just because I want to upload them on social media. Many times I like capturing my food so I can remember the recipe for later or photograph a delicious meal at a restaurant I want to eat again. When I’m in the kitchen alone and don’t know what to make for lunch, I can look up that delicious tahini omelet I whipped up a while back, or I can refer back to the almond butter cinnamon chocolate Greek yogurt I made a few months ago when the munchies come. I’ll admit that I get excited about capturing food! It’s as if I capture a new idea–an experience.
Am I going to take action against this addiction? In all seriousness, kind of but not really. I can take the photo and just turn off the cell phone while being fully present. Food porn shouldn’t just be about how beautiful the food is, but about recreating or imagining what it would be like to be in the same moment. That In-n-Out burger might be basic, but it got hundreds of likes because everyone loves In-n-Out and it reminds them of being with friends and being happy. Same goes with the simple apples and peanut butter that happens to be outside on a beautiful porch, which may make viewers think of summer and a fresh garden breeze.
The next time you look at a fruit platter, paleo Christmas cookie or poached eggs on kale photo, look a bit more into depth. Don’t initially try to count how many calories/fats/protein/carbs are in the food. Instead, ponder a bit about what it would be like to be sitting in front of the meal, enjoying around the ambience and getting ready to eat. Rather than making foodie “goals” or one-upping each other, we can easily become a part of it if we just closely observe the details and use our imagination. Editing is just the cherry on top.
How many food photos do you take in a day? Do you also take pictures of your “ugly” food?