Your food will never look like that… phew!

I think by now we’ve all become privy to the notion that Photoshop, the magical photo editing tool, is used by magazines, advertisers, and the like to alter the appearance of people to make them look younger, thinner, blonder, shorter, taller… you get the idea.

It’s a bizarre thing to be surrounded by this “reality.” In Los Angeles, we get a double dose of it as it’s not only in magazines and on TV, but every corner you turn there’s a huge billboard staring back at you with  “perfect” looking people, always looking younger than you (even though they may be 30 years older than you), more fit, better skin, better clothes. Better life?

Can’t we just see people for how they are? What does it look like to grow older?

Time for a field trip through some google images – here we go. Two beloved stars before and after photoshop.

Screen shot 2012-12-17 at 10.12.07 PM

Screen shot 2012-12-17 at 10.11.31 PM

Sorry to break it to you, but you will never be able to look like the Madonna on the right because she does not exist! As for Mr. Clooney: ahh, so he DOES have wrinkles. Thank Latte; he is a human being. We all get wrinkles. Even people who plastic surgery their face away cannot hide the way their skin ages-their neck, arms, hands.

So, why do I bring this up? Because it’s the same thing when it comes to food. You will never, I repeat never, have the Arby’s sandwich on the left. (Click on the photo and you’ll see more great examples of before and afters. And, by the way, please don’t eat this stuff anyway.)

Screen shot 2012-12-18 at 9.23.28 AM

After all they do during the food styling of this sandwich, you wouldn’t want to eat that food you see on the TV. Why? Here are a few tools of the trade used by food stylists: glue, cardboard, spray deodorant, hairspray, motor oil, toothpicks, tweezers, glycerin, cotton balls. Sounds delicious, right?

Here’s another food photo that I just love:

Screen shot 2012-12-17 at 10.30.00 PM

Don’t get me wrong. I love Cuisinart, but really? Evenly spaced strawberries and not a single drop of juice anywhere? Wow. I wish I could prepare food like that.

It makes me happy to see people sharing so many food photos from their own kitchens. It’s important to know what the food really looks like. That’s why I didn’t hire a food stylist or photographer for my cookbook.

I wanted to do it myself so it looked real. I cooked it, I put it on a plate and I walked it over to my window to take a photo. No motor oil or hairspray used.

tunawhitebeansalad

No one wants to feel like they don’t match up to the “ideal” when in reality that ideal doesn’t exist.

You CAN make beautiful and delicious food without any fancy tricks.

So, when you see that perfectly glossy almost reflective roast turkey in the ad or the pancakes with the single pat of unmelted (or unmeltable) butter on top of a stack of golden pancakes, think twice. It’s probably not real.

So keep it real. And as far as the recipes in my cookbook are concerned, they’ll turn out like you see them on the page.

quinoabeforeafter

rawkalesaladkip

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2 thoughts on “Your food will never look like that… phew!

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