From time to time, there emerge in the public domain some of those truly ludicrous inventions that make one seriously question the levels of laziness and materialism that we have reached in today’s society. Take the “Avocado Saver”, for example; a unique plastic device invented to prevent avocado halves from going brown in the fridge (Pack of two available from Lakelands at £5.98). Or the battery-powered, self-revolving fork for eating Spaghetti. Or a health blog devoted to “Top Tips” on how to exercise and lose weight whilst watching TV (switching the damned thing off and getting out of the house strangely wasn’t included).
Just occasionally, one of these phenomenon jumps out and slaps you so violently with its complete and utter uselessness that it makes you want to sit and weep in a corner over the waste of space, time and energy that we devote nowadays to pointless endeavors. Last week there appeared an article in a much loved newspaper of mine, which produced from the very depths of my soul a moan of exasperation. The title was “Food Photography”, and it offered tips on how to get the most mouth-watering snaps of your comestible adventures, using only a simple camera phone.
Now I’m not trying to be arrogant here, I should probably follow the article’s advice. The gift of executing effortless gastronomic photography is one that I was sadly born without, and I don’t profess to know the slightest thing about modelling food on a plate or making sure its in the right type of light. To me its just food on a plate. And I do the only thing I have been taught to do with food on a plate, I eat it.
What I seriously denounce is the fact that someone felt compelled to compile and publish such a list. Its a sad fact that we’ve progressed to such an extent of luxury that we are no longer grateful for the food in front of us, unless its received sufficient love on our Instagram feed. And don’t try and deny it. Why else would we take photos of the bloody stuff? How could some budding writer have thought that wasting pages of a newspaper on amateur food photography was a worthy employment of time and energy, when we live in a world where 795 million of us don’t even have enough to eat?
I’m not saying that holding back on taking Foodie photos is going to solve world hunger, but I just ask that the next time we whip out a phone at the table, we take a moment to sit and be thankful that there is food in front of us, rather than agonising over how to capture a pouting lettuce leaf at its best angle.
Published in Exeposé, Issue 649, page 16. February 2016.