Is this new food trend good or harmful to our daily lives?
by Alice Alcaras
It is currently 2021 and anyone who uses social media or the internet might have noticed that food is the new trend. Pictures and videos of food fill our feeds and screens. TV shows broadcast all about food. Whether it is for healthy eating or comfort food, chefs and food bloggers have become the new dream jobs. The job that was previously thought to be merely “average” has now gained immense popularity and is the job that many young people aspire to do.
But, is this new food trend good or bad for our daily lives?
How has this trend improved our lives?
It might seem like eating healthy and having a food routine is the new “cool”. Through social media and blogs, many young adults are sharing their eating habits, recipes and new food ideas. Although a significant number of people are adopting these healthy food routines in order to stay fit, comfort and traditional food still tops the views and likes of people.
Because of the COVID-19 lockdown confining people to their houses for most of the day and thanks to the food trend, people have started to find pleasure in cooking meals again. This is very positive news considering the large amount of fast food and pre-prepared meals being purchased everyday (About 36.6% of Americans eat fast food on a given day) (from NCHS data brief Oct. 2018).
Cooking at home helps you relax, release stress, and pass time and bond with the ones close to you. In addition, this practice promotes healthier and more natural eating. Thanks to food blogs and social media accounts, healthy eating has become a trend, increasing viewership all around the world. Students and the majority who reside at home alone would especially benefit from this kind of influence.
Furthermore, becoming part of a community, in this case the food-network community, has shown a positive effect on mental health. During lockdown we can often feel lonely and food has shown to be a way to link people from opposite sides of the earth. The ways of eating have connected everyone, bringing people closer together. Studies have also demonstrated that sharing food with someone else increases a person’s motivation to follow a healthier and “greener” diet. Special enzymes and vitamins found in healthy-prepared meals have been shown to improve our mental health as well.
All in all, food brings people together and creates a healthier body. And, a healthy body brings about a healthy mind and vice versa.
Is this continuous, constant exposure to food actually bad?
Out of the many people who look at and are influenced by social media and blogs there will be those who are more vulnerable when seeing food filling social media. Some could have (had) eating disorders or the social media influence could have formed them. Being exposed to peer pressure from thin and fit models eating large meals while still retaining their body can increase eating problems for self-conscious people. This media would only make them feel more aware of their insecurities, pushing them to engage in more bad eating habits (through practices like binge eating and purging).
In addition, being so much exposed to food constantly can create eating dependencies. It can make people, especially teenagers, become obsessed with food and make them desire for control of their eating habits and routines (and change them to unhealthier ones) which can ruin their tranquility.
Everyone’s body and eating limits are different. Therefore, what might work for one person, might not work for another. However, when someone is exposed to media with their peers or idols expressing eating habits that are not suitable for their body, it would be hard for them to accept the case.
Knowing your limits and issues, and facing them and allowing yourself to try out new habits and routines, is already a big risk. If the results of a food routine adopted from the internet are not promising, the fall would be even bigger. So, it is important to always keep in mind to do things for yourself and not for anybody else. Pressure to be like others, to look good, or stand out can all be very unhealthy for the body and the mind.