Moveable Feast: Digital Food Culture

by John Birge, Minnesota Public Radio
November 8, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For our new weekly feature, "Moveable Feast," Rachel Hutton of Minnesota Monthly joins John Birge to talk about food-related topics Classical MPR listeners may find interesting.

Thirty years ago this week, Microsoft first presented Windows. How have computers/web/social media affected food culture since then? And what websites and other online resources are the foodie's best friend? John and Rachel explore those questions.

Digital innovations and foodie and locavore culture seem to go hand in hand, as there are now local food blogs from all the major print media, plus regionally focussed blogs like the Heavy Table and other individual food bloggers.

National publications such as Zagat, Yelp and Urban Spoon are good for quick ratings and reviews. Although these can be useful as a litmus test for a broad brush, take everything with a grain of salt. Chefs have a love-hate relationship with these sites; the chefs the attention, but hate it when it's unfair.

The critics are still independent; they do reporting and fact-checking, and they add contex and history while delivering that information in a delightful story.

Beyond food reviews, online tools such as Open Table help people make restaurant reservations. Users seem to like Open Table because reservations can be made at any time, but it's expensive for restaurants to use the service.

Listen to the audio to hear all of John and Rachel's discussion.

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