Food for Thinkers: Food Writing in the Age of the Internet
Annie Wang of Frites and Fries wonder what a food writer is to do, now that the internet has turned everyone into an expert?
Annie Wang is a food photographer and restaurant widow whose food journal, Frites and Fries, includes recipes, food adventures, and longer posts about food perception and design. In her Food for Thinkers post, she considers the way the increasing "coolness" of food, combined with the possibilities of the internet, have changed what food writing can do:
No one wants to learn how to whip up a simple meatball casserole anymore; today, they want to learn how to cook meatballs sous-vide. [...] While knowledge is now within our reach, finding topics that reach the audience is increasingly difficult because everything can be found on the Internet. How do you write something original that doesn’t make a beginning food enthusiast feel inept but does not insult the chef reader?\n
In a world where information is only a click away, everyone is a critic, and social media platforms offer new technological opportunities, then, perhaps the food writing of the future means creating discussion about food, promoting the exchange of ideas, and building opportunities for community participation? Moving forward, is the primary role of the food writer to facilitate conversation, rather than communicate knowledge?
Food for Thinkers is a week-long, distributed, online conversation looking at food writing from as wide and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Between January 18 and January 23, 2011, more than 40 food and non-food writers will respond to a question posed by GOOD's newly-launched Food hub: What does—or could, or even should—it mean to write about food today?
Image: Laser-printed bacon, recently featured on Frites and Fries.