Business Culture Photography Social Media

Taste at first sight 👁👀👁


“The first taste is always with your eyes.”

Everything is contrived, from the glowing burger buns, fresh lettuce and tomatoes, to the juicy fresh meat. Video takes food advertising even further, making it come alive from its static state.

Table top advertising or food marketing is no different than any other product marketing: the illusion never matches with the reality of creating it. In reality, the food has been dressed up and augmented to look fresh and mouth watering like those lobsters in Red Lobster commercials.

Fashion advertising is similar. The model is always more enticing wearing makeup and sporting a six pack. When models make commercials, they never smile. Bad assery sells.

Not surprisingly, food porn and selfies are huge on Instagram too, the people’s marketing platform. A little bit of shoot preparation and filters make both food and faces look better than they actually are.

Today, anyone can use technology to create a Hollywood look. Everyone’s deceiving and buying lies at the same time. We all desire better versions of ourselves, including what appears on our plates.

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Culture History

Why there are three types of chopsticks

People have been eating with chopsticks since the 4th century BC. In the below video, historian Edward Wang explains why the chopsticks in China, Japan, and Korea are all unique:

To summarize:

  • The Chinese developed longer chopsticks in the 10th century to share food. Sitting around tables, they needed an extended utensil to reach dishes further away.
  • The Japanese used smaller chopsticks because they believed in maintaining a spiritual cleanliness. Japan’s chopsticks are also pointier because they eat more fish which allows for easier removal of bones.
  • Koreans have been using metal utensils since the 7th century; historically, to avoid arsenic poisoning from perceived enemies. The chopsticks are also flatter and more durable, which saves material and makes them tougher for Korean BBQ.
Arts Psychology

‘This is not an apple’

You can go ahead and try to eat this apple. But the representation of the apple is pure fiction; you can’t eat it. It is a mere rendering of something you could consume. Like a map, it displays territory that exists only in mind.

Nonetheless, the picture provokes all the emotions that go in eating a real apple: the unpeeled texture, the juiciness, and sugary smell.

The first taste is always with your eyes. The imagination recasts the image into a vicarious eating experience that triggers your hunger.

Pictures inherently lie just as the lines fabricate the authenticity of lines of territory on a map. What it is is the robust interpretation of the present in the fairytale of the movie-making mind. The dimension is here and now, neurologically tangible, but you still can’t touch it.

The marketing is only as good as what you tell yourself.


59 ways to cook your eggs

Boring but efficient, I usually cook my eggs scrambled or olive oil fried. But given the time, I may need to explore one of the other 59 ways to cook eggs.

Arts Creativity

Why hibachi is a unique dining experience 

hibachi food, japanese, hot table

The Japanese are known for making portable objects for individuals and small groups. They created the world’s first on-the-go vinyl player. After World War II, Americans adopted the Japanese hibachi grill to cook steak outdoors.

The hibachi table is the center of attention

Today, North Americans eat out at hibachi restaurants, sitting around a large square grill while watching their food cooked live in front of them. What people like about hibachi is the dining experience. Unlike the typical restaurant table that pits diners face to face, the cook and the grill are the center of attention at the hibachi. Although you may sit with some strangers, the setup, and the subsequent entertainment remove the friction of anonymity.

Perhaps one of the hallmarks of eating hibachi is the food toss. It’s impossible not to root for the person who’s trying to catch a piece of an egg thrown into their mouth. Mouths open wide, neck stretched, it’s the one moment where people act like a begging dog.

The first taste is always with your eyes

In addition to feeling part of a small friendly community, people also like the transparency of hibachi. The food cooks right before your eyes, whetting the appetite; after all, the first taste is always with your eyes. Seeing all the vegetables, meat, and fish steam and chopped on the grill makes you appreciate the cooking process. The food doesn’t cook itself!

The closest you’ll get to a hibachi experience at an Italian restaurant is the pizza oven. Rarely do you get to see how the pasta sauce and noodles get made. A little transparency further validates good tasting food.

Hibachi dining is like participating in a live experiment–the cook is the lead scientist while the rest of us watch and take mental notes. But the best of all? We get to eat the subject at hand, in this case, freshly cooked food.


When Yogurt Affects the Brain

“Your state of mind might be dependent on your state of gut.”

You are what you eat, literally.


Hitting the spot…

occurs when top quality meets the perfect moment of demand. For instance, you may desire pizza for dinner. But if you eat Dominos instead of ordering from your preferred pizza joint, you’ll just be semi-satisfied in the outcome. “It was ok/good enough.”

Fulfillment is a means to an end, to curb the hunger. But ‘hitting the spot’ is an experience that one remembers. It does more than provide satisfaction; it creates happiness and enjoyment.

Still, nothing ‘hits the spot’ like an awesome surprise. Having little or no expectation sets the stage for lasting memories. It turns out that the place you always thought was a whole in the hall made a hell of a slice. The second time will still hit the spot, but not as much as the first.

Life & Philosophy Psychology

Free and cheap makes you fat

Everyone loves free stuff. But free stuff makes you fat. When I was a kid growing up in Texas, every restaurant offered free refills. Naturally, my friends and I always had two sodas.

When I moved up to the Northeast, refills didn’t exist. There was always an additional cost. But this cost-constrained choice. I wasn’t going to make my parents pay for more sugar water.

Just yesterday I got my free birthday coffee at Starbucks. The barista thought I was nuts for just ordering a grande Americano. But that’s all I wanted; I didn’t want the caramel macchiato that she was trying to convince me to order.

Enough is enough. Excess, especially at low-quality, can be more harmful than healthy. This goes for food as well as information. Absorbing too many Tweets, emails, and RSS feeds can leave a mind too bloated to reason.

Money is just one barrier in influencing healthier choices. If you have to pay for it, you may reconsider how you consume. Overall, free typically does more harm than good.

“The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Everything in balance, they say.


Additives Are Subtractive

People often get surprised when you ask for less but sometimes we really only need what we asked for.

There’s a fine line between overdoing it and failing to do enough. Other times we just want it plain and raw.

What’s sufficient is already efficient.


No Farms No Food

You can strip away everything:  Internet, TV, trains, and heat.  It’s food and water that are most essential to human life.  

All nation-states preserve their natural resources and trade only because they can profit off surfeit crops.  But when war strikes, countries hold on to their own agrigulture and exports drop.

When shit hits the fan, what core resources can you depend on to sustain life?  When you can trade, what makes your core product(s) desirable?  Making things is the only way to survive internally and profit, externally.  

People always want what they don’t have so why do what everyone else is doing?  The only way to stand out and become completely desirable is to have a comparative advantage.