Posting selfie and food porn on social media is becoming a norm. It is almost impossible to scroll through news feed without coming across a few duckface selfie, selfie in the gym, mandatory bathroom selfie, stuck in traffic selfie or selfie with a #ootd hashtag; and pictures of food such as spaghetti, cheesecake, latte with a string of hashtags including #foodporn, #instafood, #foodgasm, #foodheaven, #fooderiffic and so on. Some consider such behaviour rude but for some others, selfie and food porn are part and parcel of their lives.
For some people, food porn is merely a method for them to document their daily lives and since pooping is gross and sleeping is a bore, eating becomes the most interesting of all. Some indulge in food porn because they enjoy “food art”, especially coffee art – 3D coffee art, to be more precise. Then there are people who regard the act of sharing photo of a meal from high end restaurant as a way to raise their status.
Moreover, researchers at Harvard discovered that when we share our thoughts and experiences, dopamine – a natural hormone that is closely associated with reward-motivated behaviour – is produced. Simply put, sharing food porn and selfie makes us feel good.
Whatever reason it is, we share picture of food because it amuses us. Well, guess what? Someone is not amused by this.
Be it Michelin chef or a personal chef in Singapore, we are seeing more and more stories of chefs getting frustrated at the way customers take photo of their palatial dishes and sharing such photos on social media.
Gilles Goujon, from the three-starred L’Auberge du vieux puits in the south of France, has stated that foodtography is not only poor etiquette but he believes that when pictures of his dishes appear online, it takes away “a little bit of my intellectual property”. Another chef in La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil has also included a “no camera” policy on his menus for this reason. US chef RJ Cooper, from Rogue 24 in Washington DC, has stated this: “They publish food photos without your consent, which is taking intellectual property away from the restaurant. And also, generally, the photographs are terrible.”
Of course, not all chefs are so unwelcoming of the craze. Justin Llewellyn, the head chef at the award-winning Laguna Kitchen & Bar at Park Plaza Cardiff does not bear a grudge against food porn and he had said this: “Those chefs complaining about breaches to their intellectual property are fighting a losing battle. You can’t copyright food or food ideas, and even if you could I wouldn’t want to. Social networks are the new word of mouth. It’s the new advertising. You have to move with the times.”
From the eyes of law, despite the chefs’ worries of food porn exposing their ideas to the risk of being stolen, copyright belongs to those taking the photos rather than the chef or the restaurant owner.
So, the next time when your light and golden crispy waffle arrives, fret not about to food porn or not to food porn. Just do it, and then…