Don't feel bad if that exquisitely plated eggs Benedict garnered more likes on Instagram than your recent selfie; it’s not you, it’s the hollandaise. Though it’s easy to wonder how a side of potatoes is more socially acceptable than your own coach potato state, there is a clear trend that is steering the lens towards taking pictures of food.

True, pulling out your phone before you eat is not standard table etiquette, and it can put off neighboring diners who are wondering why you’re standing up with your phone dangling over your steaming hot shakshuka. With all the confusion and criticisms that might come with photographing your meals before you eat, there are justifiable reasons to continue snapping pictures of your French toast unashamedly. 

1. Mindfulness

nut, cashew, cereal, peanut
Kristine Mahan

It might have felt like years since you’ve had your last burger, but, in reality, the receipt from your last In-N-Out visit is still in your pocket. Being able to track what you eat keeps you aware of what your overall diet looks like. Taking pictures of your meals will provide an insight into the types of food you’re lacking and the types you’re getting too much of.

2. Seeing the bigger picture 

vegetable, turnips, farmer's market, shop local, local vegatables, Farm Fresh, local farm
Sam Jesner

When you scarf down the pasta dish you’ve been served, there’s a missed opportunity to get to know it first. Taking a moment to ask, “Where are you from?” or “How did you get here?” is just as rewarding and enlightening to ponder as it is when you meet a new person. Acknowledging the long journey your food traveled will allow you to appreciate everything from the farmer who harvested the vegetables, to the carefully trained chef who artistically pieced together each element of your dish.

3. Higher satisfaction

ramen, vegetable, soup, noodle, pho
Madeline Craddock

There’s a psychology behind why certain experiences are “worth the wait.” Taking a moment to pause before pouncing on your steaming hot ramen will build up more anticipation for your food, making the first slurp of noodles even more satisfying. Delayed gratification has been studied for its long-term benefits, and it is known to build up a stronger sense of self-control and patience. Especially for shoppers who walk into Trader Joe's for bananas and exit with a cart full of snacks, a little self-control can go a long way.

#SpoonTip: Take your pictures before you dig in so you can capture the neat, organized plating before demolishing your dish.

4. Cheap souvenir

chocolate, candy, sweet, cake, cream, goody, gelato, icecream, dessert
Amelia Hitchens

Don’t have a knack for knick knacks? Neither does your bank account. Taking pictures not only saves space and money, it also saves a more vivid memory that can be carried on your phone wherever you go. You may not be able to wear your souvenir Mickey ears all the time once you return home, but you can easily access the shot of your Dole Whip, which is less likely to give you weird stares out in public.

5. Sharing the love

Street food, Pita, falafel, Mediterranean
Caroline Ingalls

No need to panic, sharing your actual food isn’t required. If there’s a way to find reliably good food, it’s to ask other people. Even more helpful is knowing what the dish looks like before you order because sometimes the “Chef’s Special” is really just the weekend leftovers. Regardless of whether you’re even able to have the physical dish with you, taking part in each other's dining experiences capitalizes on the social aspect of sitting down for a meal.

What’s beautiful about food is that we can all agree on it. Maybe it’s because food is a human necessity, or maybe it’s because we all instinctively gravitate towards the graceful stretch of a cheese pull as you lift a piece of pizza. Any way you slice it, food finds a way to flirt with all five of your senses, and sight is becoming an increasingly popular way of savoring the moment. If you've ever felt like that ice cream cone disappeared way too fast from your hand, then next time you should take a picture; it will last longer!