Everyone has to eat!
The impact of online food communities
Online food communities are built by people who share a common interest – the love of food!
Every culture has its own cuisine, ways or styles of cooking, seasoning, and ingredients. Online food communities help us to share our cultures and to learn more about one another as our cooking tells a lot about who we are. They are also a way to educate, socialize, and to support one another. Members of the communities communicate virtually online and build strong ties based around their appreciation for cooking and eating.
Food sites offer information on the best places to buy food (raw materials for cooking), how to cook food (recipes and methods), and where to eat food (best restaurants and locations)! There are literally thousands of food sites, and among them, some of the most popular by category are:
Buy food: Foodzie, Foodoro, Amazon (gourmet food section), Local Harvest, and the Locavore iPhone app to name a few.
These sites aim to connect producers to consumers. They help consumers find locally grown food markets and function as an online marketplace for locally grown, handmade, and/or artisan foods, some even offer a way to receive the food by mail in an effort to reach more people!
Cook food: AllRecipes, Epicurious, Rouxbe, Foodista, Nibbledish, foodnetwork, and though not mentioned on the Mashable website, we cannot forget about Pinterest.
These sites are built to inspire, share and discuss recipes. They give recipes for healthy, soul food, quick cook, and other delicious foods.
Eat food: Yelp, Urban Spoon, Chow, The Ghetto Gormet, and Friends Eat.
On these sites, advice is given as to the best places to eat in your city of choice, according to popular vote and reviews. The sites are also used to unite friends and strangers together; here, places and times are arranged at various food locations where groups meet to eat. In this way, the sites are also being used to socialize and build stronger connections beyond the web with others who take great pleasure in partaking in prepared foods.
For online food communities, the internet, then, has broadened the reach of both its users, consumers, and producers like never before! It allows us all to connect, share, and acquire supplies, knowledge, and build relationships that were previously unattainable.
Not only do online food communities collaborate to make decisions on where and what to eat or how to find producers for fresh foods, they also offer other interesting things such as online cooking classes where they teach viewers how to cook or make recipes. The internet has changed the food industry from a niche market to an all-embraced demographic that has brought consumers closer to the industry, helping them to become more knowledgeable, and to create online families who appreciate and value the art of cooking and the food that is being served. (Black, 2013)
Black, B. (2013, January 27). Preview: Eating to Live Online: Virtual Food and Real Life. Retrieved from SXTX State: http://sxtxstate.com/2013/01/preview-eating-live-online-virtual-food-real-life/
Catone, J. (2009, July 30). Top 15 Social Media Resources for Foodies. Retrieved from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/07/30/social-media-foodies/