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Social Media and Food: Their Relationship and Influence on You

It’s fair to say that we all can’t keep our hands off two things – social media and food. While we may have our own personal relationship with the two, are social media and food having a rendezvous of their own?  As there is an opportunity for you, food, and social media to all have a sound relationship, you must understand their chemistry or else the structures of all these relationships will combust. With a little research, a few articles help us to understand what conversations the two are having on a consistent basis as they range in scope. Let’s take a deeper look into this relationship.

#1 Breaking Bread Online

Bouvier, E. (2018). Breaking Bread Online: Social Media, Photography, and the Virtual Experience of Food. At The Interface / Probing The Boundaries, 97157-172.

Social media and food have created a new community online that has been creating an effect on how we engage with sharing our meals together. In this article, Bouvier
unpacks the ideas and notions about sharing food images, and how it is creating a conversation that is larger than your table at your favorite coffee shop. While this experience can not fully replace what it is like to enjoy food first hand, it worth knowing how the relationship between food and social media can connect you with others around the world.

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#2 Food Safety and Unconfirmed Messages

Social Media and Food Safety Crises: The Potential Risks of Unconfirmed Messages. (2012). Conference Papers -- International Communication Association, 1-34.

Sometimes food and social media don't always agree, but we definitely don't want our stomachs to pay the price. In this article, public relation practitioners are given the opportunities and capabilities to communicate proper food safety messages through effective strategies. We all know word travels quickly, but stomach bugs move even faster. This article helps get to the root of food and communication issues before it gets any further.

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#3 Persuasion to Eat Healthy

Zhang, X., Baker, K., Pember, S., & Bissell, K. (2017). Persuading Me to Eat Healthy: A Content Analysis of YouTube Public Service Announcements Grounded in the Health Belief Model. Southern Communication Journal, 82(1), 38-51. doi:10.1080/1041794X.2016.1278259

It's known that social media collects information on what you search through cookies, but what if social media was also trying to tell you that you need to avoid the cookies you buy from time to time? With mouthwatering images, who can resist wanting to indulge with what you see online. In Zhang et al.'s (2017) article, these scholars explore the effects of public service announcements (PSA) on Youtube and its effects on users as researchers aim to create social media campaigns designed to entice healthy eating.

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#4 Social Media May Make You Dislike Food In An Unhealthy Way

Goodman, J. R. (2005). Mapping the Sea of Eating Disorders: A Structural Equation Model of How Peers, Family, and Media Influence Body Image and Eating Disorders. Visual Communication Quarterly, 12(3/4), 194-213. doi:10.1080/15551393.2005.9687457

Sometimes the relationship between social media and food can work against us, especially in ways that can cause harmful mental and health risks. In Goodman's (2005) article, the author explores the how society and those closest to you can influence body image and eating disorders. The results of the study reveal a great deal about the effects of media pressures, conversations and more.

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#5 Social Media and Food Serving Up More for Mankind

Pınar Özdemir, B. (2012). Social Media as a Tool for Online Advocacy Campaigns: Greenpeace Mediterranean's Anti Genetically Engineered Food Campaign in Turkey. Global Media Journal: Canadian Edition, 5(2), 23-39.

Social media and food have the power to bring us together in numerous ways beyond the dinner table and their relationship together has shown that. Through advocacy about global hunger and food campaigns, the world is able to connect and build a community to help those in need. Pinar's (2012) study discusses how social media can be utilized in online advocacy through Greenpeace Mediterranean's study of Yemezler! (We do not buy it!) as a way to understand how public relation practitioners can begin to create and understand the need for online communication about food advocacy.

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#6 Food – A New Language and Ideology

Calefato, P., La Fortuna, L., & Scelzi, R. (2016). Food-ography: Food and new media. Semiotica, 2016(211), 371-388. doi:10.1515/sem-2016-0087

As the appreciation for food has grown on social media, so has the idea that it can be appreciated beyond sensory movements from seeing and consuming it. In Calefato et al's (2016) article food is analyzed: in practice of food-photography with the creation of various nomenclatures, ideas, and the way in which it is photographed. Emphasized is the viral use of food photography across social networks to discuss quite the mouthwatering conversation.

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#7 Social and Food Will Make You Eat Your Words…Literally

Vats, A. (2015). Cooking Up Hashtag Activism: #PaulasBestDishes and Counternarratives of Southern Food. Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies, 12(2), 209-213. doi:10.1080/14791420.2015.1014184

Social media and food can lead us to try new cuisines, delicacies, and words? Yes sometimes you'll be lead to eat your words and they may leave a poor taste in your mouth like the words of celebrity chef Paula Deen and her brother Earl "Bubba" Hiers. Vats's (2015) article explores how the two celebrity chefs were scrutinized on social media for racial discriminatory words and actions against employees causing in the loss of endorsements and partnerships. As cooking up a big pot can cause you to get burned, it is important to know all the facts about what you consume on your plate and social media.

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