Instagram foodies have been popping up left and right, constantly blessing us with daily #foodporn. Each account caters to different palates, whether it focuses on creative vegan food or someone making art out of their food, there is something for everyone.

As I scroll and double-tap every picture of a smoothie bowl or grilled cheese, I’ve always wondered who was behind these glorious pictures, and what it takes to actually run a food account. Luckily, one of my good friends from high school jumped on the trend early, hosting the bomb food Instagram account @eat_up_usa. I eagerly sat down with the two co-founders to learn the ins and outs of foodgramming.

A photo posted by Eat Up USA (@eat_up_usa) on

Eat Up USA was born two years ago from the minds of two food lovers, Alex Heintze and Courtney Zhu, after meeting at a summer camp at Yale. Besides being two super intellectuals, they realized that they shared a love for food and spontaneously created the account.

Alex, originally from Charlotte, NC, is a sophomore at Georgetown University and Courtney, born in Changchun, China, but lived in Detroit, MI, is a sophomore at Northwestern University. Their diverse backgrounds add lots of flavor to their page and has made them appreciate food in a new way.

Courtney says, “Growing up in northeastern China is why [she’s] so passionate about food culture. [She’s] fascinated by world cultures, and thinks the role food plays in that context is incredibly meaningful.” 

A photo posted by Eat Up USA (@eat_up_usa) on

Alex claims that “starting a food Instagram is easy, but maintaining it is definitely difficult.” Courtney agrees, but she says that they try not to sweat about how often they're posting, because once it starts becoming stressful, it strays away from the main reason they made the account. She says, “Eat Up USA is really about having fun and posting pictures that make us happy."

Alex and Courtney have big plans for Eat Up USA. They’re constantly trying to attract more followers by using a lot of relevant hashtags, and most importantly, endlessly harassing their friends and family to follow, like, and share their pics.

They hope restaurants and chefs will reach out to them in the future to feature their top dishes. They also look to other foodies on Instagram to showcase their food discoveries. Eat Up USA is always taking submissions, so don’t be afraid to slide into their DMs with some #foodporn of your own.

A photo posted by Eat Up USA (@eat_up_usa) on

#SpoonTip: Eat Up USA is looking for pictures with great lighting and nice colors that make the food pop, much like this good-looking dog. 

Courtney also adds that although she would love for the account to keep growing, what she really cares about isn’t how famous it gets, but rather how it’s a fun outlet for her and Alex to stay in touch through their love for food (#friendshipgoals).

beer, coffee
Photo courtesy of Alex Heintze
As Eat Up USA continues to grow, it's made some pretty big accomplishments so far. Restaurants have already taken notice of the account and offered up discounted dishes and sometimes even free food in exchange for some advertising. Alex was even featured on one of the most successful Instagram foodie accounts out there: @foodintheair

So if you enjoy staring at dank food pictures with clever captions, like Glazed and Confused Teriyaki bowls, give Eat Up USA a follow—you won't regret it (unless you're hungry).