Caution! Don't Watch on an Empty Stomach

We make it. We buy it. We show it off. Often, we don’t hesitate to share pictures of the food we eat or make on social media, especially if it’s aesthetically pleasing. Food is so popular because it is a shared commonality among all of us. After all, we all have to eat, don’t we?

Recently, more than just pictures of food have been taking over social media. Pages like BuzzFeed, Tasty and Spoon University have come to the forefront in sharing video recipes—most of the time lasting one minute or less. In essence, it’s like watching a compressed cooking show without comments from the chef. It’s fast; it’s impersonal; it’s addicting. Delicious recipes aren’t the only recipes that Tasty and Spoon University, among others, have created. Rather, they’ve taken two of the most highly valued factors in society—food and time—and created a trend from it.

There are a lot of great benefits that come from these short videos. You no longer have to sit down in front of a TV or computer and stream a whole cooking show that often lasts for half an hour or more. Instead, if you really wanted, you could learn 15 new recipes in roughly 15 minutes (though let’s be real, we’re often on our fifth video before we realize how much we’ve watched). Moreover, these videos are fun to watch. Coupled with some upbeat music, colorful ingredients and a modern, yet aesthetically pleasing layout, it’s not surprising that we take time to watch these videos. While learning and following the recipe may require more effort, these videos are great to watch while casually scrolling through Facebook. And finally, they make cooking simple. For most college students, cooking seems elusive, thus becoming a hassle. But with videos like these, cooking almost looks….fun.

The only drawback, if you can call it one, is the impersonal features of these videos. You never see who’s cooking the food, whereas the traditional cooking shows allow you to follow a specific chef. The compressed timing, while useful to some, also takes away the extra comments and tips that could have been useful. Of course, Tasty and Spoon University aren’t trying to make extremely complicated dishes you would find at a five star restaurant.

Overall, this trend certainly reflects the value our society places on instant gratification. However, this isn’t necessarily “bad.” It’s a representation of how our society constantly strives to make things fast and efficient, and the process of sharing recipes is one aspect of it. Here’s a fair warning though: don’t watch those videos on an empty stomach.

AAF Illinois