In some ways, 2016 was a good year for food journalism: an AP article on slavery in the shrimp industry won the Pulitzer Prize, while the Tampa Bay Times’ investigation of fake “local” menu claims in restaurants riled the social internet.
But there’s no question that the majority of food writing focuses heavily on consumption, objectifying the final outcome—the meal on the plate. Given that readers are already inundated by mouth-watering images on their Instagram feeds, what makes it difficult to capture their critical attention? And why are journalists still tentative about extending their coverage beyond the hedonistic? A dialogue on bringing food media into the 21st century.