Instagram’s Effect on the Food Industry

Everyone loves looking at pictures. Whether they are photos of nature or wildlife, photos of family and friends, cooking experiences, or even pictures of fun events, people take pleasure in living vicariously through other individuals via these photographs. This has come to include the interest of seeing a delicious meal that another food enthusiast was able to sit down and enjoy. Over the previous few months, I have really begun to see the affect that Instagram has had on the food industry, whether it is home cooking, eating out or trying new restaurants, people’s photographs have proven to be a unique promotional tool for anything food related. Often times, I have had to make a mad dash towards the kitchen cupboards in order to satisfy my cravings after seeing one of these mouth-watering photographs. Chefs that are cooking from home or individuals that have visited a certain restaurant are able to snap quick photos from their phone and post them to social media resources like Instagram for the world to see. As a result, it can spark another’s interest in trying that recipe, visiting that food establishment or it may just simply activate that person’s hunger for any food.

I have been on Instagram for about one year now and during this period I have really enjoyed seeing the lives of friends and family through pictures and short videos. However, during this time frame, one trend that has really stood out to me was how proud these cuisine fanatics were about their food orders they put in or the meals that they had prepared. Eating is one hobby or activity that is going to be a part of everyone’s life and why not share your favorite recipes or cooking experiences with the social world? Any individual with access to the internet can snap photos of their appetizers, main dishes, desserts or even fancy beverages that they were able to consume, upload it to Instagram and within seconds, that tasty photo will be potentially visible to thousands of followers on some of the largest social media resources around the world. In addition to that, there are numerous different apps that will enhance these photos or even dozens of filters that will make the food and beverage item look even more mouth-watering. Even the most unappealing of food items can be made appealing through some of these fancy advancements in technology.

Another fun perk of using Instagram for meals is that this photo app also works with another app called Foursquare, which allows the user to share their location on a map with their followers. Individuals can “check-in” at certain food venues, buildings or other locations to let their friends know what they are up to. From this partnership, I see Instagram as being a unique marketing tool not only because restaurant goers and food consumption specialist are able to take appealing photos of their food and drinks, but they can also attach a location with that photo so if other interested parties want to experience that same menu item then they know right where to find it. Even if Instagram is not considered one of the most effective forms of media right now, I would recommend the free application to any chef, group or small business owner that is looking to promote any product or service.

Over the past year, this unique photo-related application has at times, proved to be sort of a motivator for me by seeing others accomplishments, it has helped me better engage in people’s lives that I do not see on a regular basis and it has even brought some awareness to me on certain things like local events or charity information. For example, I have found myself saying things like “well I didn’t know they served that food there”, or “wow that healthy meal plan has really paid off for that person” or maybe even “dang, I did not know that bar had that fun promotional there last weekend!” and by seeing photos of individual’s experiences in this situations, it has lead me to want to try new things, get more involved or not miss another similar event. Now is this going to be the feeling that everyone has who sees these photos? Not likely, but for being a free tool that anyone can use, why would groups and businesses not want to use Instagram as a marketing method? It definitely would not hurt the business or group at all!

Instagram can be a fun tool to utilize for any small business or non-profit that may not be looking to spend tons of money on marketing. For example, I began a kitchen related retail business recently with a blog, Twitter and Facebook page and as a fun marketing method I created a separate Instagram account from my personal account that was strictly for this ecommerce business. It allowed me to upload unique photos to all my other web sites as a way of interacting with my followers and visitors and my website has seen an increase in activity and engagement because of it. Now showing fancy photos of recipes that I prepared or menu items that indulged in will not necessarily sell products or make me a ton of money, but it can promote user engagement on all my pages and that is something that I want for my business.

The promotional photo options are endless and that is why I would really recommend including this resource in one’s marketing plan. Business owners like myself can snap and upload pictures of basically anything associated with their business, such as people having a great time using their products, the reactions of individuals tasting new foods, specials or discounts that are being offered for a period of time, or just photos of all the different menu items or product lines that managers and owners want to promote more. In my opinion, Instagram has not become as utilized of a free marketing tool as Facebook and Twitter, but I do think it could eventually reach that point, especially with the ease at which these users can integrate their Instagram with these other major social media sites. From all of this, restaurants and bars can promote their menu options through their visitors at no cost as long as those hungry patrons enjoyed their meal.

The Food Safety Modernization Act: How Food Traceability Requirements Protect Consumers

In an effort to make the food supply safer in the United States, President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act. Administered by the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, this act is a complete shift in how regulators monitor, trace, and protect high risk food supplies across the nation.

The Ace dramatically increases the federal jurisdiction of food for the protection of consumers. Under the Act, the FDA is empowered to quarantine the movement of food products within state lines with oversight by the judicial branch of the government.

Under the new law, both the Food and Drug Administration and Health and Human services will have the authority to increase the inspections of domestic food production operations. The improvement of the detection of food borne illnesses will reduce the danger of food poisoning outbreaks. This Act is a step away from the government’s typical reactionary response to threats to the food supply and a step toward the prevention of food borne illnesses. Through increase powers to recall tainted food and new regulations for record keeping by food producers, the FDA and HHS will have the power and information necessary to trace and recall food products throughout the food supply chain.

Still, much is yet unknown about what new record keeping regulations food producers must meet. One of the first steps will be for the USDA to run two pilot programs. Once these programs are complete, the newly acquired data will be combined with high-risk food data collected by the FDA over the past decade. This data will instruct the FDA in is creation of the new laws requiring food companies to put in place new safety rules to limit potential hazards.

Clearly a safe food supply is wanted by consumers and producers alike. Complaints by smaller producers are already starting to arise. There is some talk that the new laws may not be applicable to producers selling less than $500,000 in product per year. As is often the case, the Food Safety Modernization Act will spark debate between consumer advocates and business interest for some time. Until the FDA publishes its new rules, the true cost of implementing the Act by businesses operating here in the United States will not be known.

The Food Safety Modernization Act is intended to protect both consumers and growers and producers alike. For the first time in its history the Food and Drug Administration has been give a specific mandate to prevent food borne illness. The ability to trace food product from field to table will make it possible for the Government to identify risk and completely remove it from the entire food supply chain.

As the USDA pilot programs continue, stakeholders will have the opportunity to respond and proved valuable input into the writing of the new record keeping rules. A safe food supply can be good business for growers and producers. Consumers will be able to eat from the food supply with increased confidence.

Surprising Facts About the Foods That Help Prevent Wrinkles

One of the best ways to stay away from premature aging is to eat foods that help prevent wrinkles. However, the term food does not just mean the food that you eat. It also means what you apply on your skin. A little confused? Let me explain.

A lot of people do not know about an amazing quality of the human skin. It can actually absorb or ingest whatever you apply on it. In other words, when you apply a skin care cream or something like that on your skin, you are literally consuming it. With this being the case, you really cannot draw a line between the foods that you eat and the ones that you apply on your skin as all of them get inside your system anyway. Now that we are clear about this, let us take a look at the kind of foods that help prevent wrinkles.

To stay away from wrinkles and to have a younger looking skin, you should eat right. A proper, healthy diet is absolutely necessary to keep your skin in good condition. Your diet can include lots fruits and vegetables and you should drink plenty of water to remove the toxins out of your system. This is something that most of you people know. The most important thing, however, is what you apply on your skin. As I already said, the skin care products that you apply on your face are actually nothing but foods that prevent wrinkles. So, you should be careful what you apply on your skin.

You must have heard a lot of people say that organic skin care products are better than artificial cosmetic ones. It could not be truer. If what you apply on your skin goes into your body, then why would you experiment with artificial chemicals which are harmful to your health? So, the best option, and the most sensible one, seems to be organic skin care products.

A lot of skin care products these days contain chemicals like toluene, phenol carbolic acid, alcohol, mineral oils, and artificial fragrance. All of them are very, very harmful to your health and if you use them regularly, you can get some serious health issues including cancer and paralysis. Now, think of it this way. These creams and lotions are supposed to be the foods that prevent wrinkles. Why in the world would you consume these things and risk your health? Sounds like a fair question, right?

Organic skin care products are very effective and there is absolutely no risk in using them. According to skin care experts, some of the best organic ingredients include wakame (an extract from Japanese sea kelp), olive oil, grape seed oil, fruit extracts, natural vitamin E, honey, and functional keratin. All these things can be consumed directly. In fact, you do consume most of these things, right? So, naturally, there is no risk of any health issue whatsoever with organic skin care products. In other words, these are the best foods that help prevent wrinkles. So, while looking for a skin care product, look out for these ingredients.

Now that you actually know how to improve the quality of your skin, you need to do one thing. If you’re using an artificial skincare product, throw it out and get an organic one. Or, if you’re looking to buy a good skin care product, get started the right way and go for an organic skin care product. In short, start consuming foods that help prevent wrinkles. Sounds simple enough, right?

Are The Foods You Eat Making You Sick?

Some foods may give you a feeling of sickness after consuming them. Common signs of food allergies are hives or even rashes. Other people experience itchy hands and fingers, there may even be a tingling sensation. Food allergies are not particularly rare as over ten million people in America alone suffer from these ailments. Most food allergies are mild afflictions, but some allergic reactions can be fatal. Hundreds of people die each year from severe allergic reactions to foods.

Children are at the most risk because they are not fully developed yet. Also parents do not know about what food allergies their child may or may not have until one has occurred. Often times your child will out grow his or her allergies to most foods. As they grow older their body will adapt to many different kinds of foods. Keep in mind however that not all children will grow out of their food allergies. Some children will even carry these childhood food allergies into adulthood. A child that retains their ailment as they become an adult will most likely keep it with them during their entire life.

Eating at a restaurant if you have allergic reactions to some foods can be dangerous. This is because there really is no telling what exactly was put into the foods being offered. If you know what kind of food affects you, then be sure to ask a waiter or a cook what ingredients the dish you plan to order has in it. Taking this precaution could very well avoid an unwanted trip to the hospital.

Packaged foods can also be a danger for those with allergens. The key to eating packaged foods is to learn to read the labels. It is not always as easy as it sounds as some words for ingredients on labels can be different from what you know them by. You could ask a clerk for help if you are new to reading nutritional information and need to know if a certain ingredient is included so that you can avoid it.

Statistics state that eight percent of all children are or will be affected by food allergies. Adults are affected at four percent because most children grow out of their allergies as stated earlier.

One of the most common food allergens is peanuts. Foods that contain peanuts almost always warn people with food allergies whether or not the product contains them. You can find the warning usually right on the nutritional information section of the label. Also foods that are made in the same factory as peanuts will have a warning that their product may contain parts of peanuts.

Taking the proper precautions is the best way to avoid allergic reactions to foods. Just watch what you eat and read labels to make sure you are avoiding foods that can cause your body harm.