Global #Foodtography Obsession

I’ve been a steady Instagram user since last summer when I traveled to Spain. It was the first time I had ever purchased an international data plan for my cell phone, so whenever I took a really cool photo, I wanted friends at home to be able to see right away.

I took photos of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and El Palacio Royale in Madrid. My gorgeous photos, while acknowledged, were met with relative quiet on the Instagram “likes” scene.

Yesterday I posted my most popular photo ever on Instagram. Was it a wide-angle panorama of the Grand Canyon? Or a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower? The suspense is killing you, so here it is:


In one day, this photo of a smoothie berry bowl has collected more Instagram “likes” than any of my photos from Spain’s reknowned landmarks have accumulated in seven months.

Yesterday I tried out Bare Bowls on Emerson Street in Palo Alto. If you can see the little bit of purple in the bowl, they start with an acai berry smoothie blend. The delicious paste has the consistency of frozen yogurt, but it’s dairy free and gluten free. They’ve mixed in almond butter and chia seeds and topped with gluten free granola, plump blueberries, and encircled the whole thing with bananas. It’s ridiculous at $12, and it tastes like heaven. It’s so to-die-for that if I could get my hands on one of these every day, all cravings for sweets or desserts would just poof up into thin air … forever. Next time I will opt for the $8 option which is half the size. This will suffice, since the ingredients are so filling.

The 14-year-old Palo Alto Silicon Valley girls at the trendy picnic style communal table next to me were Instagramming their berry bowls, so I followed suit. After all, friends know me as a serial #foodtography offender. Once donning my photo with some of the most popular hashtags, my phone started blowing up. Every few seconds the picture received a new “like,” and I could barely focus on eating my lunch. Apparently people are obsessed with #acai, #delicious, #foodlove, and even #masonjar. My hashtag of #nomnom was also surprisingly effective, as it contains a gallery of 4 million images. Caveat: using the hastag #nomnomnom is overkill, as its gallery boasts less photos at 3 million.

I’ll spend the rest of the day pondering why Instagrammers freak out over a little acai blend and are less amused by humanity’s greatest cultural and architectural achievements on the Iberian peninsula. I’ll spend even more time pondering the implications surrounding my knowledge of how many images are involved with certain hashtags. Sadly, some of my readers won’t even understand the hashtag conversation in this post, but since I’m tight with my audience, I can take some good old face-to-face time to explain it to them in person. After all, I’m not a digital native either.

Ultimately I don’t think it’s bad that Instagrammers are obsessed with fresh fruits arranged painstakingly on a plate. The Instragram accounts that “liked” my photo all feature healthy foods and images from healthy lifestyles like exercising or hiking. Food is one of those universal languages that bind us across borders. Everyone has to eat!

The good news is that you, too, can join the healthy smoothie bowl movement for a lot less than $12 a pop! I whip up my personal favorite in my Ninja blender from Target. You need frozen mixed beries (Safeway), chia seeds (Trader Joe’s), fresh raw spinach or kale, almond milk, coconut milk, peanut or almond butter, and top with gluten free granola. Bob’s Red Mill has been a great brand for me every since I hopped on the gluten free California lifestyle bandwagon. They make mixes for gluten free pizza dough, cornbread, and even pancakes, which I’m about to go eat in a few minutes #nomnom.


I’d love to see your smoothie bowl recommendations. After all, I’m addicted to #foodtography!





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4 Comments on “Global #Foodtography Obsession”

  1. Martha LaValette February 8, 2015 at 10:09 #

    Everything looks and sounds delicious! #nomnom

  2. Bulldog Travels February 8, 2015 at 10:44 #

    Funny post thanks. I have a lot of my travel photos making their rounds on my work PC screen saver. Out of hundreds of lovely and interesting photos the one most co-workers comment on is a lorely photo of sic donuts I bought in Maui! It cracks me up but they do look delicious. 🙂


  1. Cooking with Jorge and Beto at Casa Jacaranda | SavvyCitiZen - May 5, 2015

    […] Here are some of my obligatory food close-ups. Those readers who know me are aware of my foodtography obsession. […]

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