Instagramming food might actually make it taste better

It’s time to get over the strange guilt that comes with being snap happy and embrace the #foodstagram.

I always end up apologizing at mealtimes. The words come out of my mouth unbidden, before I’ve even had a chance to check myself. It doesn’t matter what I’m eating – burger, burrito, a bowl of grains/veggies/acai (whatever that is) – the refrain is always the same.

“I’m so sorry, but I’m just going to take a quick picture of this before we eat … ”

I like taking pictures of my food. Even if I don’t put them on social media, I enjoy documenting what I ate that day. I like to show people what I’m talking about when I’m recommending places to try. And I like to scroll through my pictures and remind myself of the meals that I’ve loved: the steaming plate of fried eggs and bacon on a bleary-eyed Sunday morning, or the burger that was so good it was eaten without ever putting it down, sauce dripping all over my fingers. I’ve taken more pictures of pizza smorgasbords and artful plates of avocado on toast and bowls of chips and fruit salads and so many goddamn pomegranate seeds that I’ve lost count. I don’t care. The thought that pops into my head whenever I look at them is a simple, visceral “Yum.”

Now, a brief interlude for science. A study from the University of Southern California last year found that taking photos of your food heightens the experience, increasing engagement in the meal and making the whole thing more pleasurable. “Taking photos causes individuals to enjoy a mundane experience more than when they do not take photos,” the study found. To all the frowning haters, watching with disdain as a group of girls whip out their phones at Sunday brunch — that one is for you.

But taking photos of my food is also a way of recording a meal that meant something. The brunch with my best friend when she told me that she was having a baby. The takeaway iced coffees with my boss when we worked all week and all…

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