Food, glorious food.

February 18th, 2013

In defense of food shared online

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Six days into my social media diet, I’m astonished and a little embarrassed to learn that one of the few things I really miss is freely posting pictures of what I’m cooking and eating. I had no idea how much of my online sharing revolves around food. Of the five posts I’ve made to Facebook the past week (my public page and this blog are exempt from my retreat), two are about what was on my plate. I am an internet cliche.

But look how pretty this morning’s breakfast of steamed quinoa and fruit is! LOOK AT IT.

I wonder what that’s about? I could joke that I apparently have no life, but that’s not true. Maybe it’s a form of gratitude, of celebrating the pleasure of a good meal. Maybe it’s also soliciting applause I don’t always receive at the table. Maybe the “likes” on my phone help buffer the dislikes in the dining room. Twitter followers never say, “What are those green specks?” or “I’m not really all that hungry after all,” or “YUCK.”  Instagrammers appreciate the beauty of a perfectly minced mire en poix, the artful scattering of fresh herbs. And Facebook friends get really, really excited about kale, as I learned with this post on Friday (read the comments, take one drink every time you see the word “smoothie,” two for “chips”).

Maybe it’s just an indication that eating and cooking is one of my passions, because I’m also interested in what’s happening in your kitchens and on your tables. I love the snappy tone of the title to Maggie Mason’s early blogging guide, “Nobody Cares What You Had for Lunch,” but I can’t say that’s true for me. I am dying to know what you had for lunch. Helen Jane’s hand written meal plans are a voyeuristic pleasure. It’s even better than getting to peek in a friend’s handbag.

Maybe there’s something so deeply primal and tribal about sharing food that it must inevitably be part of how we express community, even the virtual one.

What do you think? Do you post about food? Do you enjoy other people’s food shared online? Or do you really, deep down, not care what I’m having for lunch?

(Roast free range chicken with braised kale. Take three drinks.)


P.S. If you are curious about what dietary restrictions I am following through Lent, it is mostly based on the Whole 30 plan, except that I am including a little quinoa and taking a moderate “cheat” day once a week. It’s actually turning out to be a great plan for the picky eaters in my house, since the proteins are prepared simply, with vegetables and fruits on the side. I add a comforting and familiar starch to make them happy, and we’re good. You can see the entire allowed foods list here.

8 Responses to “Food, glorious food.”

  1. Corrie_Alexa says:

    Oh! I care…and I also like to tell you what I’m cooking or eating. It gives me ideas and inspiration. I love it when a friend posts a tip(who knew you could throw hot boneless chicken into your mixer with a paddle attachment for perfectly shredded chicken every time?) or ask for advice. No buttermilk? Add a tsp of lemon or vinegar to your milk. Voila. Amazing. What can I do to make my shortbread more sturdy? Add an egg yolk. It is my favorite part of social media. Bring it on!!!

    • Christy says:

      Oh. My. Goodness. I would have never thought about doing the chicken/mixer thing! See! This is why we need to post about our food!

      • Corrie_Alexa says:

        I posted around Christmas that I made sausage balls using my dough hook and a friend commented and said she uses her mixer to shred chicken. It definitely works. Ahh, the power of social media. :)

  2. erniebufflo says:

    Everybody hates something I’m sharing, which is largely: food pics, baby pics, pet pics, and selfies. So, I am one big internet cliche. But I love food pics. And, judging by the feedback I get on my own food pics, my friends like them too. I will continue to post what I like and keep liking the same from others. Haters are free to unfollow. (And your breakfast DOES look delish!)

  3. kazari says:

    I could (and have) write essays about this..
    I believe that sharing meals and sharing stories is how we create family. The stories we share (particularly about ourselves, but really, every story we share is about us in some way, isn’t it?) are almost the definition of who we are.
    The food we make and share is just about the most concrete expression of love you can get.

    I know it sounds cheesy, but, for me, it’s really all there is.

  4. VB says:

    Next year I’m going to do the 40 days of water pilgramage–you fast from all beverages, except water from Mon.-Sat. Sundays are feast days so you can drink all the coffee, tea, lattes, wine etc. you want. The money you would have spent on drinks goes for Water for Uganda. We take our clean drinking water for granted. I just read about it on Dr. Edie Wadsworth’s blog http://www.lifeingraceblog.com

  5. Christy says:

    Yep. I care! I’m guilty of posting about food on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. I think most of the people I follow on Twitter are foodies!

  6. joan says:

    I printed up Helen Jane’s meal template. Love that. My Mom always had her meals for the week up on the fridge. It would definitely make my shopping easier too. I am going to use her “helpie selfie” words too. heehee That made me smile.
    I always like to see what other people are eating. It’s a part of who they are.

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