For the love of food…
As I write the first draft of this post it’s 2am and I’m wide awake with frustration over a blogpost that has been bubbling inside me for months. You may have seen hints of it brewing in other posts or in the odd tweet but here one dark cold night I need to finally write it down and I apologise, actually no I don’t, if this isn’t like my other blog posts.
Blogging is a fickle place and I’ve been blogging in various forms since 2001. Yes blogs were around back then, but more private affairs and certainly no PR/advertising. I’ve seen huge changes good and bad, some of which make me frankly ashamed to call myself a food blogger. Sometimes I feel food blogging has become an elitist sport with people vying to be the top food snob and in turn abusing other bloggers to get there.
Blogging should be inclusive. It shouldn’t matter where you live, your background, wealth, shop you use or what you eat. Everyone is different, that’s what makes this world great. Being able to choose where you get your food from is a privilege. For some people it’s not a choice between if they should buy milk from the organic micro-dairy down the road or milk from free-range cows fed lavender (ok slight exaggeration) it is if they can afford to buy their family this basic, essential dairy source at all. I very much believe most people buy the best quality food they can afford and if that means having to make compromises so be it. The aim is to get good food on the table.
I know of bloggers who have stopped writing their fabulous blogs recently because they don’t feel they fit the food blogger face. Do you know what? I don’t care what you blog about. It could be about ready meals or you penchant for fast food, all I ask for is passion and originality. Bloggers shouldn’t be ostracised because they don’t have the budget or tastes of others. I’ve received comments/emails in the past from people (usually anonymous, the scaredy cats) bemoaning me for writing a recipe when an ingredient was not in season or using a recipe that wasn’t 100% authentic. I’m all for making cookery accessible for everyone and if that means altering a recipe so it uses easily obtainable ingredients, so be it. If people didn’t tweak recipes now and again food wouldn’t evolve and most countries wouldn’t have the rich diversity of dishes that they have now. How do you think Chicken Tikka Masala is now considered to be one of the UK’s top dishes?
In the world of social media it’s too quick & easy to judge. “OMG look at that ingredient he’s using”, “isn’t this dumbed down showing us how to make [insert dish]” this often comes from people who have the luxury of food education. Some people are not lucky enough to have cooked with their parents when they were younger because maybe their parents couldn’t or didn’t enjoy cooking. If a tv programme shows these people how to make a basic dish, that may seem dumbed down to some, and that dish encourages someone to head to the kitchen surely that’s a good thing?
In amongst all this there are gems of the food blogging world. Bloggers who show integrity, are non judgemental, don’t believe the food blogging world revolves around them while at the same time writing fabulous blogs. Blogging is about having passion, originality, tolerance and being you. Not being snobby and elitist. Oh and what ever you do, never ever rip off another food blogger or writer. You’re just asking for trouble.