Does food have to look good?

8 days into a month of fasting. Just over a quarter of the way through. 22 left to go. Not that I’m counting or anything.

The past three days have been exhausting. The lack of a full night’s sleep due to waking up before sunrise to eat, the full on heatwave and a hectic workload have left me feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically. Getting on the sweaty tube every morning and evening make me miss the fresh air of riding my bike into work even more.

But it’s not all moan moan moan.  I’m realising more and more as the days go on. Giving up food and drink has made me think about just how dependent and all encompassing it has become to my life. In a usual week I would spend almost every week night out catching up with friends, which would 9 times out of 10 revolve around food and drink, but instead I’m spending it reflecting whilst I wait for the sun to set. When you come to think of it, so much of socialising and business is done around food. Meet up for coffee, drink, brunch, dinner, breakfast. You just can’t avoid it.

One thing I really started to think about this week was how food has become the centre of a sort of one-upmanship between people. A few conversations I’ve been in on have focussed around the latest restaurants – someone talking about somewhere new they’ve been and using it to trump others. I’m as guilty as anyone, but isn’t it weird that we use food in that way?

And then there’s #foodporn #foodphotos #food #foodenvy that engulfs my Instagram feed every time I load it up. What is with our obsession in taking photos of food?! I’m guilty of doing it, just two weeks ago I took a photo of a cake that had a face on it, but is taking photos of food stopping us from appreciating it for what it is? The Guardian seems to think so. I’d go on a limb to say that we are developing a certain level of food snobbery in making sure our food doesn’t only taste good, but it must look good too.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, after all, Britain has become a nation of foodies and it’s meant heightened tastes and better food options in both supermarkets and in restaurants alike. However, whilst forgoing it completely I’m coming to realise that I’m thankful just for having something to eat, rather than something beautiful-looking that I can hashtag and share.

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