Americans Disenchanted by Meatloaf Turn to Social Media for Mentors and InspirationBy: Heather Campobello - February 28, 2012
Studies indicate that social media plays a huge role in the recipes we use, the foods we purchase, the meals that we plan, and even how we choose to cook certain items,”… almost half of consumers learn about food via social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, and 40 percent learn about food via websites, apps or blogs.” This comes as no surprise to me. When I am challenged with the task of preparing lobster for formal dinners I have resorted to watching dozens of YouTube videos that demonstrate how to kill, season, steam, and eat a lobster properly.
More college students and young professionals like myself are trying to cut costs and replicate gourmet dishes at home, “While eating or drinking at home, nearly one-third of Americans use social networking sites. Among Millennials (18-32 years old), this figure jumps to 47 percent.” Sure, I can always call my mother if I want to know how to create traditional meals like pork chops or the run-of-the-mill tuna casserole, but once I start to mention chutneys and start asking if spicy tuna rolls are suitable appetizers for a salmon entree my mother is clueless. A new study called called Clicks & Cravings The Impact of Social Technology on Food Culture, also supports that “consumers used to rely on mom and family traditions for meal planning, but now search online for what to cook, without ever tasting or smelling.” This is when I turn to Gourmet Gods like Martha Stewart or Bobby Flay who I feel I know and can entrust with even the most demanding of dinner guests.
Laurie Demerett, COO and president of the Hartman Group, explained that the reason for the shift is that consumers are more investigatory in their approach towards food:”Digital food selection is less of a sensory experience and more of a visual and rational process: What’s on the label? What’s in the recipe? Show me the picture!”
With documentaries like Super Size Me and Food, Inc., it is no wonder that Americans want more information about the food they are about to eat or feed to their loved ones.
On the flip side there are other reasons that tech savvy individuals are turning to social media. The truth is, most Americans want to be regarded as capable chefs that put special twists on old classic dishes. By viewing Paula Deen’s latest Twittering I can find out how revolutionize a turkey club sandwich by mixing hot chili garlic sauce with mayo or using buffalo meat in a burger instead of ground hamburger.
It is American boredom with foods that is driving people to turn to social media. I don’t know how many times I have thought to myself, “as God as my witness, I will never eat hot dogs with plain old ketchup and fries again.” Instead of Hostess buns I want pretzel rolls; mozzarella is replaced by some exotic goat cheese with pimentos, and chocolate is fine, but improved with an infusion of bacon and red pepper.
Tell me what classic meals you have improvised and some social media you have used to further my point on this!