Food on Instagram

By SAMMI STEIN
Salty or sweet, homemade or from posh restaurants, different tasty food items have been dominating Jericho students’ Instagram pages. With the rapidly growing number of “food porn” accounts formed and an increase in food-related hashtags, many have begun to wonder how the phenomenon of displaying meals for all of one’s followers to see came about. As soon as a sugary confection or cheesy Italian dinner entrée is placed in front of them, food Instagrammers are ready, smartphone in hand, to capture their meal and post a well-edited photograph before indulging.
One of Sarah Tract's food Instagram posts

Junior Sarah Tract regularly posts appealing images of food like this one to her personal Instagram account.

One Jericho High School junior, Sarah Tract, is well known for her frequent posts of appetizing treats. “I Instagram certain foods based on how they’re presented to me. If I’m at a really nice or well-known restaurant, I Instagram the food because of how good it looks,” she said. “I like to Instagram food because I know that they tend to get a lot of likes, probably because people enjoy looking at yummy food.” Tract also said that she often participates in “food holidays,” such as National Burrito Day and National Grilled Cheese Day, by uploading photos of her corresponding meals on such occasions.

Some Instagram accounts such as @Food, @Food48, and @Justfitfoods are famous for strictly posting photographs of food. With each account having well over 200,000 followers, these accounts satisfy their loyal followers by posting on a weekly, or even daily, basis.
“I enjoy looking at food on Instagram because it looks so good,” said sophomore Drew Cohen, who currently follows ten different food accounts. “Also, some of the accounts that I follow post recipes along with their pictures, so I am able to make my own creations at home.” Cohen added that, in addition to leaving viewers drooling, food Instagrams spread awareness about new restaurants to try through different location tags.
Another one of Tract's food posts that Senior Kelly Smith describes as "cheesy pizza goodness."

Senior Kelly Smith describes this post by Sarah Tract as “cheesy pizza goodness.”

As people’s Instagram newsfeeds become filled with pictures of food, some have questioned the effect viewing these photos has on hunger. Does looking at pictures of food make us more hungry, or on the contrary, satisfy our hunger? A new study suggests that looking at too many pictures of food may actually make eating less enjoyable. “In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food,” said study co-author Ryan Elder, an assistant professor of marketing at Brigham Young University’s Marriot School of Management. Elder added, “It’s sensory boredom — you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

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Junior Alexandra Rothman posted this image to her Instagram account on one of this year’s many snow days, with the caption “More waffles thanks to the blizzard.”

Elder and his fellow researchers asked 232 people to rate pictures of food based on how appetizing they looked. Half of the participants looked at 60 pictures of sweet foods like cake, truffles, and chocolates. The other half looked at salty treats like chips, pretzels, and French fries. Subjects finished off their experiments by eating peanuts, and were then asked how they would rate them. The people who looked at the salty foods enjoyed the peanuts less than those who didn’t, even though they didn’t see actual pictures of peanuts. The researchers concluded that, because they had looked at so many salty foods, the subjects had satisfied their salty palates.

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Rothman cites this post to Instagram as her favorite sandwich. “It’s a French baguette with roast beef, pesto, provolone cheese, arugula, and tomatoes,” she said. “I made it by myself.”

However, many disagree with this study’s findings. Senior Rachel Hoffman said that seeing pictures of food definitely makes her hungry. “I can’t follow any food accounts on Instagram or Twitter because they make me unnecessarily hungry,” she said. “The food always looks so good and then I just get sad that I can’t eat it when the food is from places that are so far away.” Fellow senior Kelly Smith noted that, for her, looking at pictures of food causes her to overeat when she wasn’t even hungry to begin with. “Even though it has bad effects, I still love looking at the pictures,”
Smith said.
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