Thought for Food: An Analysis of Evolving Food Media

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2023-05

Authors

Gasti, Rasika

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Abstract

Let’s say you watched a recipe of creamy seafood mac & cheese on Instagram reels. This tempted you go and buy a pack of macaroni and cheese on your next trip to H-E-B. Likewise, a lot of your decisions at the grocery store or in your kitchen might be heavily influenced by the food media you consume day in and day out. And these decisions are inherently affecting your health. Food media is not a new age phenomenon. Its traces can be found in the ancient Egyptian era through the painting and writings on the walls of historic temples, pyramids and burial chambers. Today’s food media looks completely different from what it was back then. It took years of evolution and technological advancement to take the form of today’s food content. Social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok have changed the entire paradigm by becoming a constant, on-the-go, never-ending, easy-to-access source of food content. Through my capstone thesis project, I am examining how food related content on social media is impacting our eating habits. Some of the subtopics I will be discussing through my research are how social media food trends impact our health and our culture, why is the food content on social media skewing unhealthier, what roles does food and fitness influencers play in our society and how do they adversely influence people with body image issues or eating disorders. Using the evidence from scientific studies and first-hand interviews of chefs, food influencers, vendors and consumers, I have created a few short vertical videos on Instagram (@thoughtforfood_23) where each video discusses a unique subtopic of my research. These videos are also available on https://rasikagasti.com/thought-for-food/. I chose to create vertical videos because it is the fastest and easiest way to reach a larger audience that is primarily affected by my research topic. Moreover, vertical video is deemed to be the future of mass communication due to its growing influence and versatility. This publishing format aids me greatly in achieving my purpose of bringing awareness to average consumers through this project. I am hoping for my Instagram campaign to be a reminder for people to step back and carefully consider before making any decisions at a grocery store or in their own kitchen.

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Keywords

Social media, food content, food trends, eating disorders, TikTok, Instagram, videos, influencers traditional recipes, Honors College

Citation

Gasti, R. (2023). Thought for food: An analysis of evolving food media. Honors College, Texas State University.

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