Season 11 Episode 7

How Has the Digital Era Changed the Way We Consume Food?

We now consume food content online more than ever before. But as we click and swipe, are we losing the art of real cooking? In today’s episode, Mike Huttlestone, Ebbers Aurelius and Barristotle ponder the digital era and how it has changed our relationship with food, for better or for worse. We think about lockdown and a possible backlash to the world of convenience, and wonder how Sorted fit into all of this as a company that uses tech. How do you interact with food on social media? What’s the future of food and technology? Let us know in the comments!  


Best soundbite: “You don’t wanna talk to someone while you’re on the toilet do you? You wanna watch some great food content” – Mike Huttlestone

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Something to make you think...

We’ve discussed all kinds of controversial opinions, but Ebbers has kindly left us with something to really think about: do you agree that fast food chains should contribute a percentage of their profits to public health funding?

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  1. theanita1

    Ben started to sound like a grumpy old man when he went on about not needing to know how to spell or correct grammar, like he was wishing for the good old days.

    I think there has been a loss of skill to be able to open the cupboard and just make dinner from what’s there, rather than following a recipe and thereby needing specific ingredients. You need the knowledge of balance, salt and sweet what ingredients mix and match etc, as well as confidence and creativity.

  2. Kyla

    I’m in Melbourne, Aus, and we’re back in a slightly tighter lockdown at the moment, which has led to a few things being a little bit less available (especially meat, with pre-portioned chicken pretty tough to find). So I was listening to this while I was breaking down a whole raw chicken for the first time! I had just got up to the bit where I was doing to have to pop the bones out of their sockets and was taking a breather to psyche myself up (and thinking that my Grandma would know how to do this without being squeamish) when Mike mentioned that we don’t know how to portion chickens anymore… I felt like you guys were watching me cook!

    I’ve learnt a lot of new skills during lockdown, because I’ve had so much extra time and less capacity to travel around and get whatever I want. And technology has really helped with that! I’ve watched a lot of your videos, and other videos to get ideas, learn new skills, and get inspired. Instagram’s been great for that, too, and I’ve done a few online classes from cooks around the world. I learnt a lot of baking cooking skills from my Grandma when I was young, but without technology we can be pretty limited to ingredients and techniques that we know in our own cuisine, and tech can open up a whole variety of new dishes, techniques, and ingredients! I guess the way we use tech plays a big part in whether it’s a help or hindrance to our cooking ability!

    • Sorted

      Haha that’s creepy with the Chicken and Mike! 😂

      You’re right, it’s the way we use the tech ourselves which determines if it’s a help or hindrance on cooking ability.

  3. Niina

    I noticed a shift in the way I consume food porn and interact with food on social media after I moved from a big city to a rural village in the middle of nowhere a few years ago. The point that Barry raised about why bother learning skills when a lot of the delicious food we look at is only one click away, is something I’ve thought about a lot after the move. Now that I don’t have the option of simply ordering in or going to a restaurant to eat this beautiful thing I saw on Instagram, I have been forced to learn new skills. And I use the words “forced to” in a very positive way. I still love looking at photos of food that I’ll never make because I like looking at beautiful things. However, I have noticed that these days I think more about what I’m seeing, and try to find inspiration from the content I consume.

    The conversation also reminded me of something I haven’t thought about in years. I was 11 in 1997 when we got dial-up internet in our house and I remember looking up recipes online. Specifically, I looked up British recipes because I really wanted to find out what the foods were that I kept hearing about in the shows I was watching. So armed with my basic English skills and a massive English-Finnish dictionary off I went to explore a food culture that was so foreign to me. Oh, this make me feel so old. 😀

    • Sorted

      Thanks for sharing with us, so interesting that now this lush food isn’t on your doorstep you’ve taken action by learning the skills yourself. Oh dial up internet days! 😂

  4. Taheera

    Even though all this information is more accessible now, there have been similar pattern in the past of convenience (i.e. TV/frozen dinners) versus gaining practical skills. One could argue many of us who had access to libraries packed with cookbooks and magazines had, albeit a smaller scope, but still a scope of knowledge to gain from. Therefore the real problem isn’t social media, it is still us lazy humans having the information at our fingertips and having to make the choice between convenience over retaining knowledge/skills.

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