When was the last time you went out to eat or made something and DID NOT take a picture of it? Food constantly evolves in the way it is portrayed through the media (Tuckman, 5). There are blogs, television shows and movies all about food. People even dedicate their lives to finding good eats. There is more to a foodie’s life than just taking pictures of food. The sharing of meals, dishes, recipes and restaurants builds relationships between people all over the world and exposes people to different cultures and traditions. However, if it were not for the media, people would not be exposed to different food cultures and traditions around the world. The media plays a major role in creating relationships by exposing different cultures, traditions and modern ideas that surrounds food.
The television show ‘Bizarre Foods’ with the host Andrew Zimmern portrays a true foodie. There is no doubt Zimmern loves food; he devotes his life to finding good food and sharing food with people. He travels the world and meets people who want to share their culture through traditional dishes. The meals are always prepared in its traditional way then a group of people enjoys the meal together, talking, making connections, and learning about each other’s cultures. Zimmern takes the time to learn the story behind each dish so he can show people around the world that these foods are not bizarre to one culture. The message that Zimmern tries to interpret is that no food is bizarre; we call it ‘bizarre’ because we are not exposed to it. When in reality, eating a squirrel to one culture is like eating a slice of pizza to the American culture. In Zimmern’s television show, a group of people builds a relationship with each other because a meal is what brought them together.
The movie Chef directed by Jon Favreau shows the life of a foodie. It is about this man named Carl who is a really good chef but gets caught up in what social media is saying about him. There is a food critic that comes into the fine dining restaurant Carl is a chef at and calls him out on things he cannot cook. Carl ends up yelling at the critic in front of everyone at the restaurant. Carl ruins his career after the confrontation with the food critic. Carl has a son who is probably 10 years old. He often cooks for his son every chance he gets and his son totally adores the good food Carl makes. After getting into it with the food critic, Carl slowly begins to ruin his relationship with his son because he tries to prove the food critics and social networks wrong. Carl realizes that without his family he does not have anyone to share his food passion with. Again, food has brought people together.
There are also food blogs that bring people together. Social networks such as Instagram, Pintrest, Facebook, Tumblr, and other blog sites are where people who share a common interest in recipes and finding new restaurants connect. A popular food blogger Stephanie who normally goes by “Steph” in her blogs shared that she began her food blog to share simple recipes she created herself with things in her fridge. Steph was not always a food blogger; she began as a photographer and realized how much she loves food. Since creating her blog 3 years ago she now photographs food for restaurants that she features on her blog. One blog of Steph’s that stood out was a party she planned. She shared her secrets about making her friend’s party successful from all the food Steph made, how she decorated and most importantly, how much everyone loved her easy dishes! Many bloggers connect on blog sites like Steph’s and learn about each other’s cooking secrets and go-to places when they are not in the kitchen.
Many people may not recognize that there are many different types of foodies. Foodies who love to cook, foodies who love to find good eats, and foodies who share their findings whether it is recipes or restaurants. Even within the term “Foodie” there are interest categories. For example, the genre ‘health food bloggers’ could consist of vegan bloggers, organic bloggers and meal prepping bloggers. There are so many different categories of foodies that it is easy to connect with people all over the world. Today, because of the media, people are brought together through food and exposed to a variety of innovative and delicious food ideas.
Throughout this class, it has raised my awareness to many things in the media and how we portray the media. I am glad that I was able to read so many things about media literacy and how we must be educated on how to read media properly and see between the lines. This class has also brought my attention to different identities. Realizing that I belong to many different identities has helped me understand the sense of community. This class showed me how important it is to build a sense of community.
Chef. Dir. Jon Favreau. Perf. Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Emjay Anthony and Robert Downey. 2014. DVD.
Le, Stephanie. Web log post. I Am A Food Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2015. <http://iamafoodblog.com/about/>.
Tucker, Tate. “The Food Trends That Will Never Go Out of Style.” : A Modern Take on How Food and Hospitality Are Shaping Society (2014): n. pag 34. Print.
Zimmern, Andrew, dir. “Bizarre Foods.” Travel Channel. 2006. Television.