New Fad Diet: Eating Foods Together Only if They are in The Same Color Triad.

Updated: May 20, 2020

Beauty standards for food: How new is this concept, and have we taken it too far?

Food—its quality and its presentation—has a long history of displaying social status, from Roman banquets in the 1st century AD to kings' coronation feasts in the 1900s (see: "A Short History of Pigging Out") and well beyond. This history has, as many things have, taken on a new and modified role with the introduction of social media. In my opinion and from my observation, “Culinary Art” is incredibly first-world, thoughdespite its seemingly newfound popularitynot necessarily modern. Having the access to an abundant and beautiful array of food, and healthy food at that, is an incredible privilege, especially at a time like this. It is a privilege I am lucky to have, and though all my meals do not look like the one in the photo above (or the others I post photos of for that matter), I do enjoy lingering over the aesthetics of food, and as art guides so much of my life, it seems natural. That being said, I also see the ridiculousness of such preoccupation and know it is only with great fortune that I am able to view food as art when others are struggling to feed themselves. At times “Culinary Art” seems like such a embodiment of income inequality and boasting of wealth that it makes me feel physically sick. Yet at others, I feel that holding animosity towards it will do no good and that the best I can do is be grateful for the circumstances which have allowed me to experience its beauty. I can not deny my enjoyment of a finely balanced, cooked, and plated meal. However, in the time of #phoneeatsfirst, when valuing food aesthetics is becoming more and more sought after, I find myself frequently questioning its implication for and about society. Is "Culinary Art" spreading because more people have access to it—thus displaying an overall increase in society’s food-security and wellbeing—or only because of the increasingly widespread ability to show it off? How harmful is the new role it possesses? How helpful? How are we to compare food's role in social status today to that of the past?

I have many (and conflicting) thoughts of my own on this, but my perspective is limited, and I am really more interested in hearing other people’s opinions than continuing to write my own. So, please comment any thoughts you may have, and let's chat!