Food. From sex, sleep to shelter, and possibly drinking bubbly, there's no greater sensory experience than a bite of food. Don't take my word for it, just ask the foodies, fashionistas and celebs from the A-to-Kathy's D-listed who trampled across New York City these past few days in search of culinary experiences.
The New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF) from October 11-14 left morsels from Hudson Terrance in Manhattan to One Hanson Place in Brooklyn, for NYCWFF attendees to sample. With ticket prices averaging more than $100 per event, I'd say quite a few were likely looking to feast. But whether you searched for #NYCWFF on Twitter or followed Lee Schrager's (festival director) handle, one thing is clear, food is to be shared on- and off-line.
North America's obsession with food porn dominates television programming. The Chew, Top Chef and other series attempt to satiate our appetite for it but one quick search on Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube provides around the clock (albeit delectable) private browsing. Earlier this year at SXSW in Austin, No Reservations' Anthony Bourdain and crew discussed the relationship between people and food. The connections that are built, the conversations that are had and while the desire for a group of people who are physically enjoying a meal together exists for them to share their thoughts, why do many take the next step and post about it online?
Me, me, me
There, I've said it. We're obsessed with ourselves and think others ought to be. Thanks, Facebook! Clearly Facebook has only provided one of many online platforms for us to talk about ourselves. We're all content providers, or as one esteemed colleague noted, "Everyone is media."
If that's the case, why do we post photos about food, which is of the moment? One meal from your favorite restaurant on one particular day will undoubtedly not be the same for you or another on any other day.
Are you jealous yet?
Yep. I'm here and you're not. Lets face it, who doesn't love a good tweet that can illicit comments like "Oh, I wish I was there," and "I'm sooo jealous!" It's human nature to be competitive and keeping up with the Jones' is America's pastime.
I can't help but think that our #firstworldproblems would be put into perspective with a tour of Haiti, Sudan or any number of Asian destinations. And hey, if you don't have a passport, take a drive to Hialeah in Miami or Appalachia. Hunger is everywhere. So what am I getting at? Get out there and channel some of that inertia you have for tweets and posts into volunteering or helping an organization carry out its mission of feeding those who cannot feed themselves.
Take a look at God's Love We Deliver, Food Bank, or the Red Cross as a starting place. I'm just as guilty about over sharing my tastes in food, but there's little else that brings a smile to my face, warmth to my soul and peace of mind as knowing that I've been able to provide my time to helping others fulfill a basic need.
There's a wonderful organization called Thought For Food which seeks to crowdsource innovative solutions to solving world hunger. It's associated with Jamie Oliver and has a strong online presence with tons of interesting content for you to consider. So the next time you draft a tweet, post or prep a photo to share online, remember how fortunate you are.
Follow Pedro L. Rodriguez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/plrodriguez