Why You Should Take Pictures of Your Food

Why You Should Take Pictures of Your Food
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Why You Should Take Pictures of Your Food

Do you take photos of your food? Learn why food photography is causing such great debate.

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According to the Daily Mail, the team behind the studies on how ritual affects food taste also believes that it can be used with patients in the hospital. Researcher Kathleen Vohs tells the publication, "We are thinking of getting patients to perform rituals before a surgery and then measuring their pain post-operatively and how fast they heal."

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While the studies on rituals and food taste demonstrate a positive take on snapping shots of food, research has offered some negative influences as well. In a CBC News article, Canadian mental health expert Dr. Valerie Taylor argues that posting photos online can have a harmful psychological effect and lead to weight problems.

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Some restaurants, like NYC's Empellón Cocina, encourage diners to photograph food as a way to promote their business. Restaurants like Antique Taco in Chicago, IL are even offering perks (think free food) to those with big Instagram followings.

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While some restaurants are giving food photos a big thumbs up, others are banning the use of cell phones for photos in their restaurants. According to CBS, restaurants like New York City's Bouley Restaurant and Brooklyn Fare have outlawed photo snapping. At Bouley, guests can still take pictures in the kitchen but not at their tables. Bouley is even offering guests photos of their food along with their check.

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What are some things you can do before eating a meal that might help it taste better? Read on to discover eight common pre-meal rituals.

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1. Sing "Happy Birthday"

Blow out the candles, and make a wish. This silly tradition might lead to second helpings!

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2. Set the table

A simple chore like setting the table can heighten anticipation for the meal.

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3. Bless the food.

For those of you that are spiritual, saying a prayer before eating a meal can help you savor it.

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4. Use a tablecloth.

Decorating the table beforehand might help your meals both look and taste better. Try putting out a centerpiece or lighting candles, too.

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5. Make a toast.

Salud! Santé! Cin cin! No matter how you say it, here's another reason to say "cheers".

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6. Wash your hands.

This simple (and sanitary) action can serve as a pre-eating ritual!

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7. Announce the meal.

Tell your guests, friends or family what is on the table. Explain the ingredients in the main dish, all the sides and the dessert.

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8. Light candles.

Lighting candles on the table not only improves the ambiance of a room but also can help improve the taste of your food.

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Do you see tons of pictures of your friends' dinners on social media? Interestingly, those that post food photos may actually have the right idea.

The Daily Mail reports that a new study shows performing rituals before eating or drinking, like making a toast or even taking photos of your food, can improve the taste of food.

Did taking a photo of this Niçoise salad improve its taste?

In a series of four experiments, a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota and Harvard University tested the effect of performing rituals before eating. Some participants in the study were asked to perform a ritual, opening a chocolate bar in a particular way, while other participants were instructed to relax and eat it in any way they'd like. Those who performed the ritual enjoyed the bar more and were willing to pay more for it. Through this and three similar experiments, researchers established that:

  1. Rituals allow people to savor food more.
  2. Only rituals, not "random movements" lead to increased enjoyment of food.
  3. A long pause between ritual and taking a bite only increased enjoyment.
  4. Rituals only have this effect if you are a participant. Watching others will not have the same effect.

Rituals enhance the taste of food because they heighten interest and awareness in the experience, which can heighten your senses.

Tiramisu in a jar - discover more of our favorite eats on Instagram!

Researchers are excited about how rituals can have an effect outside of the realm of food. Check out the slideshow above to find out where else scientists think rituals can help and why food photography may be unhealthy.

For more amazing food snapshots, follow Kitchen Daily on Instagram!

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