In this week’s eating behavior article, I interview The Perthshire Foodie about how social media affects her daily life and the impact it has on her food choices.
For Dave Reilly, known as The Perthshire Foodie, eating and drinking is more than just a basic physiological need.
When he’s not working, Dave spends his time trying new recipes, creating the perfect content for his Instagram feed, and promoting his hobbies including his artwork and photography.
But what does it mean to be a foodie influencer in the digitally dominated world we find ourselves in today?
And is it easy to become one? Can anyone do what influencers do? Or is there an art to inspiring, educating and motivating people to learn more about their local food scene?
I caught up with Dave to find out more…
So Dave, do you think social media influences the way people eat?
Yes, it is, especially for people visiting a new region or city.
I frequently get messages from people visiting the Perthshire area or Scotland in general asking me for recommendations on places to try.
You can use them as local tour guides and I do when I go to a new place. I’m using Instagram to see if there are any good food accounts in the area, and I’ll message them or take a look at their story highlights.
Does it affect what you would eat?
Yes, especially if it’s an area where I’ve never been.
If it’s a catchy food, I’m more likely to click on that post and check it out.
It affects what I order in the sense that I am looking at more styles of food than I would have had before.
I feel like it also makes me more adventurous.
How important is the appearance of food?
There are definitely restaurants that target food because it’s trending and looks good on social media. For example, beer buns because they look good when they’re all dressed up.
It’s definitely gained in impact over time and it’s more popular now, so it’s definitely very important, but it also has to taste good.
If it tastes bad, you might have a surge initially, but it will fall out of fashion again when people realize it doesn’t taste good.
Does every dish have to be perfect?
There is food that I will prepare and I will pay more attention to the presentation than I would have done before I had an Instagram account.
Make sure they are not all the same color or spend more time filling or finishing them.
But there are also times when I make fancy noodles and I know it’s not going to look good.
Does it create streFood Bess levels on you?
If I know it has the potential to look good, I’ll spend some time on it.
But sometimes, if I just want a simple meal, I’m not going to stress it too much.
This article is part of an ongoing series where topics around food and drink and behavior will be discussed.
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like to read, please provide your suggestions in the submission form below.
Mariam Okhai is a food and drink journalist who also studies eating behavior.
She holds an MSc in Behavioral Science for Management from the University of Stirling. His undergraduate degree was in psychology and business economics with marketing.
She is also a Certified Habit Coach.
You can read more about his research on her Behavioral Foodie website.
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[How does social media impact The Perthshire Foodie?]