Food blogging thoughts

Bear with me, this is a bit of a twist from my usual.

I read a post awhile ago on Gluten Free Girl’s blog about her getting bored and tired of the whole blogging thing. Sure, she was inspiring people, sure she was good at it, but her passion wasn’t there anymore, and entry after entry, she felt it to be more of an obligation than a hobby. A quote that stuck out though was that her blog persona wasn’t really who she was. To explain, she would blog about baked goods and such but she really didn’t even enjoy or want to eat baked goods very often, if ever.

This struck a strong note because as of late, our generation has accepted blogging as the new form of journalism. Blogging is great for its interactive capabilities and the frequent and wide range of ideas it inspires, but maybe, just maybe, we should reconsider its function in our society.

I took a class in college that had a tremendous focus on whether or not there is an objective truth. Since then I haven’t been able to figure out the answer, but I think that part of being a journalist is working with the assumption that there is one. From there, and depending on whether or not you are a good journalist, you will find that you define the truth. Truth only exists in what we find when we’re looking for it, so reaching further and further should be every journalist’s goal.

But in this way, blogging can be detrimental. I’m worried that “blog personas” are accepted as representations of people when in fact that’s not what they are. Blogging can be a form of idealization and aspiration as to what we want to be, not what we actually are. Or worse, they can be a form of people pleasing, an obligation to give people what they want, not what actually is. So while I fear that sometimes passion does not truly exist, I fear further that what seems like passion, but isn’t, is accepted as the truth.

Another post that really got me thinking about this was The Amateur Gourmet’s ( one of my FAVORITE food blogs) “In Defense of Food Blogging.” Food blogging specifically has been blamed by some, Chef Mario Batali in particular, to have replaced food journalism. Instead of reading food critic’s restaurant reviews in the newspaper, techno-savvy foodies will read their fellow peers’ blogs instead. While I consider myself to be a part of this food blogging community and while I greatly consider and appreciate Adam’s post, I must agree with the distinction Batali would like people to recognize. Food journalism is objective; food blogging is subjective. Just like politics, the authority may not actually be the expert on the matter, but there is value in bestowing trust unto that authority. In this case, the authority was the food journalist, but now there is no distinguishable authority at all. The marketplace of ideas is a valuable thing, don’t get me wrong, but it needs to work in conjunction with a sort of authority, and Batali is worried that is no longer happening.

With all of this said, please don’t confuse my thoughts for any calls to action to stop food blogging. Simply put, I plan to continue food blogging, as well as reading my favorite other food blogs. I will just think more carefully about whom I bestow my trust.

Thanks for reading.

-Hillary, anxious to get rid of her horrid and annoying cough
Editor, Recipe4Living

  • Jennifer Hess

    Hillary, I can totally understand. I had participated in group food blogs and written short pieces for other websites, but I was really hesitant to hang out my own shingle because I was a little concerned that (a) I’d get bored with it or (b) I’d suffer performance anxiety. So far neither of those things have happened, and I think part of it was that I went in with the attitude that I’m really just writing about what we ate. The response that I have gotten so far has been unexpected and wonderful, and I love that through the blog I have discovered a bunch of other people blogging about cooking at home in much the same way we do.

    I tend not to pay much attention to many of the more restaurant-focused food blogs because that’s not really our lifestyle. When we dine out we tend to stick to the same few places which (surprise!) serve the very sorts of things we cook at home – but which also more often than not provide a great deal of inspiration to me.

    For the record, I’d never refer to the writing I do on my site as journalism. It’s just me talking about food.

    Feel better soon!

  • Hillary

    Thanks Jennifer.

    I appreciate your feedback and input, and you have given me a new perspective. By no means do I contend that all food bloggers try to act as journalists, but rather that some are interpreted as such by the readers. I am happy to hear that you haven’t gotten bored or anxious about what you have been writing. And of course, I love your blog!

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