O'BRIEN: Sharing your food has never been easier or more popular

Posted: Mar. 12, 2013 9:12 am Updated: Apr. 23, 2013 9:15 am

If you’re into social media and have a camera on your phone, you’ve probably taken a picture of food.

For some reason, we’re conditioned to want to share our food with others. No, we’re not going to let you eat our food, but we want to show off the delicious meal in front of us. Instagram appears to exist solely for people to share pictures of their food. If you’re on Facebook, you no doubt have friends who are into posting photos of their food.

I’ve posted photos of a $9 hot dog at a Rams game and my first meal at Five Guys two years ago in Owensboro, Ky. The first Shamrock Shake of the season always gets a post, too.

The practice of taking photos of your food, called “foodstagramming,” could be nixed in some bigger cities. The New York Times recently published an article that said some New York restaurants are banning their patrons from taking photos before they dig in.

“Some people are arrogant about it,” Moe Issa, owner of the 18-seat Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, told the Times. “They don’t understand why, but we explain that it’s one big table and we want the people around you to enjoy their meal. They pay a lot of money for this meal. It became even a distraction for the chef.”

A spokesman for several New York City restaurants said the practice has reached “epic proportions.”

“Everybody wants to get their shot,” Steven Hall told the Times. “They don’t care how it affects people around them.”

“Foodstagramming” is big in the Quincy area. Thankfully, no wars seem to be on the horizon.

“It take pictures of my food almost everywhere that I go,” Chintel Murphy wrote on the Herald-Whig’s Facebook page. “I enjoy a good meal out with my hubby, and I enjoy showing off the food that catches the eye.”

The ban by the New York restaurants bothered some who responded to a question the Whig posted on Facebook.

“I wouldn’t be happy if asked not to take pictures,” Betty Churchman Coonrod wrote.

“That’s wild,” Raquel Sparrow Piazza wrote. “Taking photos of good food and sharing them via social media is amazing (public relations).”

“It’s the best free publicity a restaurant could get,” Michael Steinkamp wrote. “Not only does my wife take pictures of the food we eat out and post it, but she also takes pictures of the wonderful dishes she prepares here at home and posts them.”

Those who snap away at Quincy restaurants don’t need to worry. It’s an accepted practice.

“I feel like it’s a compliment when people take pictures,” Tiramisu owner Roberto Stellino said.
Stellino has seen the trend grow over the last few months. He’s not worried that by people taking photos of his dishes that someone is going to acquire a trade secret on how to make what he offers.

“It’s not easy to cook what we sell,” he said. “You have to know what you’re doing. The more people that see the pictures, the better.”

With more and more people feeling comfortable with sharing their food, the “foodstagramming” craze doesn’t look like it’s going to stop any time soon.