9.17.2013: Goat Cam / Chefs Who Tweet


How Effective Is the Chipotle Video?

Unless you’re living under a rock filled with heartlessness, you’ve probably seen, and likely been touched by, the Wonka-esque factory farming video, hauntingly soundtracked by Fiona Apple’s cover of “Pure Imagination.” Clearly, any excuse to hear Fiona Apple sing it is a good one. And the video itself is quite poignant, spreading an important message in tugging-on-the-heartstrings fashion. There’s even an accompanying iOS game to hammer that awareness home. But if you didn’t know that Chipotle sponsored the video, would you even think to make the connection? Yes, the depiction of the tacos at the end of the film seems quite realistic to actual Chipotle food, and yes, Chipotle has consistently used the “fresh ingredients” messaging in marketing and advertising for years. But… what’s the point?

The Atlantic reacted skeptically, questioning the chain’s reasoning and pointing out that it is, after all, a giant fast food chain with $800 million in revenue last year.  Still, nearly a week later, we’re talking about it, and “Chipotle” is still part of the message. Which begs the next quesion: does it matter where the content comes from when it has the power to spread a nationwide positive message? Or is this a “do as I say, not as I do” situation? For now, this seems net positive. A good thing.



Foodable’s Social Chef of the Year Nominees

While on the fence about Foodable (that’s a story for another day), its list of Social Chef of the Year nominees reads like a who’s-who of best Twitter practices. From the ultra-celebrity (Tyler Florence) to my personal favorites (Stephanie Izard) to a few I’ve not heard of, if you’re looking to start your own list of great chefs on Twitter, these 20 kitchen-dwellers are a great start.



Modern Farmer Has a Goat Cam

Recent favorite publication Modern Farmer celebrates “Goat Week” this week, and besides this awesome piece filled with gorgeous goat portraiture, they’ve also sponsored a “goat cam,” where we can watch happy Nigerian Dwarf Goats kicking it at home on a Minnesota farm. Awesome. Novelty factor aside, these sorts of web-broadcast feeds are driving important awareness toward these farm animals. Whether they’re raised for meat or for milk or just for keeping your grass pruned, understanding farm animals’ connection to your food (and life, really) is super positive. (Don’t worry. These little guys aren’t going on a dinner plate; Nigerian Dwarf Goats are usually kept for small-batch milk and soap production. You can also teach them how to walk on a leash. Really!)

illustration by April V. Walters


Help Wanted: Yelpers Edition

Once again: online reviews, great in theory, shoddy in practice. Beyond the fact that the average person is more likely to take to the Yelp boards when they’re dissatisfied, the ability for people to swing the reviews in any given direction is still a real possibility. Kudos to Yelp (and others) for creating filters and other methods to suss out bogus reviews, but someone’s always going to find a way to game the system.

More evidience: chef Michael Voltaggio tweeted a link to this Craigslist LA job posting, found on the Marketing/PR board. It reads, “If You have an active yelp account and interested in making some money while working from home please contact us today for more information and send a link of your Yelp Profile .” [sic] To be fair, who knows what’s going on here. But still, you guys.



“Why Are You Instagramming That?”

The social-media-is-just-what-you-have-for-lunch joke has been beaten into the ground. Repeatedly. Which is why this BuzzFeed video makes me giggle. “Why Are You Instagramming That?” has plenty of food inclusions, including a peach so glorious, it must be shared. But a serious point: if you care about food, ingredients, restaurants, what’s for lunch, whatever — share it. Photograph it, Instagram it, tweet about it, or just file those photos away. Digital and social media thrives when we use it passionately. Keep it going! (Just, you know, be cool in restaurants and other public places. It’s a fine line.)


  • In defense of airline food — and some interesting science behind why it’s so challenging (p2) — Slate 
  • NPR’s Sandwich Monday kills it, again. This time, the Steak McMuffin — NPR
  • A good list of current and interesting food-related Kickstarter projects — Epicurious
  • SF’s Taqueria Cancun on Lucky Peach’s Tumblr — lky.ph

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