Posts filed under ‘Food and the Internet’

Virtual Foodie (or, Foodie 2.0)

Food is expanding out of the kitchen and taking over technology in what some people refer to as a Foodie 2.0 movement: an evolution of creating an interactive and complete online experience when it comes to the food industry. Other industries like business and entertainment have exploded on the Internet in a very obvious way: news sites devoted specifically to those topics, huge advertising endeavors and   I think the food industry has evolved in a different and more quiet way. While I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking as a hobby (something that’s been passed on from my grandmother), it hasn’t been until the past six months that I’ve really started turning to the Internet as a resource for all things chow. I’ve added a food blog category on my Google reader and started using Food Network’s video collection as a resource.

The newest technological development I’ve come across are food-centric iPhone applications. Mashable lists 21 food applications, including GrubOnTheGo, which let’s users enter what they’re craving and displays relevant eateries in the area, and CookBook, where you can type in what ingredients are in your pantry, and you’ll get a list of recipes that use those ingredients. If I owned an iPhone, I know I would definitely want these apps, which is why I like reading about what new technology pertains to food.

The Foodie 2.0 movement is very user-driven. Sharing recipes and restaurant reviews is at the heart of Web sites like RecipeZaar and Yelp. And with the popularity of TV shows like Top Chef and Ace of Cakes, I feel like there’s an increasing interest in researching restaurants and recreating dishes in your own kitchen. Just as journalism can no longer function without multimedia presentations and online forums, the food industry – from cookbooks to restaurants to magazines – can no longer function without reaching out to consumers over the Internet.

Makes everything from homemade meals to restaurant reviews much more accessible. You don’t have to travel to Rome to eat a straight-from-Italy dish. An online community is created for interactivity between chefs, food bloggers, amateur cooks, food photographers and gourmet enthusiasts. It also drives food trends at a quicker rate. If one restaurant becomes a hot spot in New York City, soon every kitchen across the U.S. can have access to their menu and recipes.

I think one of the most signifiant aspects of the massive online movement of food news and information is that it’s easier than ever to be encouraged to be an amateur cook. I know a lot of friends who made New Year’s resolutions to eat at home more in order to save money, and they’re starting to turn to cooking from scratch in favor of another night of EasyMac. My roommate has actually watched a lot of videos on YouTube to learn basic baking skills.

I  just find it interesting to see how different industries and companies adapt to the online world, and I find it especially fascinating with the food industry, since it’s really interactive.

In other kind-of-related-to-food news, the host of Top Chef actually saved someone’s life at party in D.C.

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January 20, 2009 at 4:41 am Leave a comment


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