Many have chosen to take a break from social media with the start of the new year – an effort worth commending. We’ve all fallen victim to doom scrolling and lost minutes or even hours of our lives to the black hole that the internet can become. While there are numerous “bad” sides to social media, I’d also like to acknowledge that it’s far from all negative. I’m going to take a moment here to highlight some of the good that exists in this complicated space.
Lately, I’ve discovered the simple joy of scrolling through instagram reels. One of my favorite discoveries is an Italian, American couple that documents their life through short videos. Watching the duo try new foods, explore US grocery stores, indulge in fast food, and ultimately hearing the husband gasp at things such as the Costco sized “Italian dressing” is incredibly comedic. At Slow Food we promote slower, smaller, closer food, as you’re all aware. But, we’re often doing this through the lens of big important topics like justice and equality, climate change, and local sourcing. Sometimes it’s nice to laugh our way to change. So, my take-away from these reels? Approach food like the Italians. Would they press their combined fingers to their lips and explode them into the air in an exclamation of approval, or would they gasp? That’s my new meter for choosing foods that are acceptable to buy.
I’ve come to appreciate that social media can be a never-ending source of belly laughs and snorts if you want. I’ve also discovered that it can be a source of connection and collaboration. Accounts like “I Have this Friend” are connecting people across the world through their hobbies. They’re creating a space where you can post a talent or hobby for hire.
While such services have existed in forms such as Craigslist, social media offers a spotlight for individuals to turn passion projects into viable businesses that offer accessibility and affordability. All you have to do is capture this talent or skill in high quality picture, then post it and make sure eyes see it so it’s not just lost in the void. Accounts such as IHTF are even designing entire online businesses centered around helping you to find a local private chef, interior designer, photographer, or stylist that is affordable and just starting out.
Social media has always been a space for sharing. Whether it’s sharing memories, experiences, wisdom, laughs, talents, services, inspiration, or new discoveries, we congregate here to contribute a little bit of our lives to the collective experience. I’ve already highlighted the comedy and the talent offered on the world wide web, but here I’ll tie it into Slow Food in a bit more cohesive way before concluding this post.
Food is another shared experience. And as we all know, food is not always equitable. We do not all have access to the same ingredients, options, spaces to eat in, and lessons for cooking. I would argue, however, that one thing has become much more accessible, and that is information around food. That includes information about nutrition and food access, but I am mostly referring to recipes. Now, I think this is a double edged sword because I do believe that cookbook authors should get paid for their work. Still, the access to such an abundance of cooking information has transformed novices to confident homecooks left and right. And what a beautiful thing is that?
Social media has taught us how to make some of our favorite dishes, whether complicated or simple. There is something for everyone. There are accounts focused on plant based cooking, cooking in a small space, healing hormones, eating seasonally, and so much more. You no longer have to buy a cookbook for every style of cooking you wish to explore. You also no longer have to guess what size they mean when they say “dice the onion” because you can literally watch them do it and copy it. This is one of my favorite parts of social media. And I cannot wait to see how it grows.
Some of our team’s favorite social media accounts for recipes:
@justinesnacks – plant forward recipes that are accessible to those living in small spaces!
@food52! – thoughtful, joyful recipes!
@fitgreenmind – fun videos, practical and yummy recipes
@nomeatdisco – creative veggie recipes, lots of veggie dupes of classically meat recipes
@natsnourishments – easy, healthy, bright recipes
@alexandracooks – easy to follow, delicious recipes