Say the words “I’m a food blogger” in some circles and you may find eyes twinkle in appreciation. Say those same words in other circles (in a restaurant for example) and you may find yourself being asked to kindly leave.
As a food writer, restaurant professional and blogger, I travel within many different circles of people. Unfortunately within the restaurant community, food blogger is a derogatory term used to describe everyone from the angry Yelper to the thoughtful on-line food memoirist. Lately, I’ve found it more and more difficult to discuss my blog without giving some kind of footnoted explanation of What-Kind-of-Food-Blogger I am.
There’s room for all of us in the food blogging world. Thre’s room for the food gossips, recipe developers, food photographers and stylists, cultural commentators, gourmet media sites, culinary storytellers, recipe memoirists, chef groupies, restaurant reviewers, food obsessives and everything in between. But for better or for worse, in the new world of food blogging, anything goes.
A lot has changed since the handful of groundbreaking blogs (Orangette, Amateur Gourmet, Waiter Rant) first hit the Internet. Now there are hundreds of websites dedicated to offering opinionated food lovers a place to share their judgments on food related topics. There are even more sites dedicated to food porn, recipe swapping, restaurant reviews and restaurant gossip. The blog world is expanding exponentially, and with all this exciting growth, has come a wave of differing styles, talent and professionalism.
I take my blog writing very seriously. Too seriously sometimes. Recently, as I approached the opening day of the new restaurant I’m working at I started to think about all the food bloggers that would be descending on the fledgling restaurant. How would these food bloggers write about the restaurant? Would they be fair? Would they offer a first impression or would they write a post and call it a full review after only one visit?
These questions got me thinking…Why shouldn’t bloggers hold themselves to the same kind of guidelines as restaurant reviewers? Why aren’t more bloggers concerned about full disclosure, accountability, good research and standing behind their words?
The Food Blog Code of Ethics
In order to define myself as a food blogger, my friend and writing partner Leah Greenstein of Spicy Salty Sweet decided to create a food blogger manifesto. We call it the The Food Blog Code of Ethics.
We felt it was important to us to define what our ethical standards are and hold ourselves to that higher code because there are many food bloggers that offer judgment without full disclosure and due diligence. The Code is not meant to be a mandatory thing for everyone in the blogosphere. This is our way to define what our standards are.
Please take a moment to swing by our website. Read through our pages. Tells us what you think. And if you feel like you hold yourself up to these kinds of standards in food blogging, join us!