The Demise of Grandma’s Cookies?

This afternoon, I wanted to talk about whether online recipes are resulting in the the disappearance of traditional family recipes.  But first, I must mention the delicious breakfast that I had this morning. Overnight oats, of course :).  But, in an attempt to change up my breakfast (I’ve been eating Nutella Overnight Oats for breakfast for weeks – because it’s the best breakfast ever!), I experimented in making a new combination of overnight oats.  Meet my delicious strawberry banana overnight oats!

I made them using a prepackaged hot oatmeal (Bakery on Main Strawberry Shortcake), 1/2 cup of milk, 1/4 cup of vanilla Chobani, chia seeds, banana, and then I topped it off with fresh strawberries this morning.  It was delicious!  And it’s a fun, different way to use prepackaged oatmeals.  I have to admit though, Nutella Overnight Oats cannot be beat.

Earlier this week, I came across an interesting article about the impact of social media on food culture.  It talks about the overwhelming tendency of people to find recipes and learn about food through the internet these days, especially through blogs.  I know it’s certainly true for me!  I think I probably get 99% of my recipes and recipe inspirations from food blogs.

People are also becoming more visually driven, hence the trend of posting pictures of foods and recipes online.  Websites such as TasteSpotting have enormous amounts of traffic due to their visual appeal.

The impact of this new trend is yet to be completely understood, but a few things come to mind.  First, the article mentions that people are becoming more engaged in what they eat.  In my opinion, this is a GREAT thing.  I became more interested in what I ate through reading healthy living blogs, and as a result, the more I learned about what I was eating, the more I wanted to eat healthier and eat real, whole foods (as well as exercise more).  I hope to spur the continuation of this trend through my own blog.

A similar effect is that food companies are becoming more engaged in social media as well.  The article mentions that many companies are frustrated with these new trends because they no longer have the same authority over their products.  For example, people can blog about the health concerns of processed foods or the ethics of big food companies. Other companies, such as Chobani, are whole heartedly embracing this trend.  Chobani interacts with its consumers on a daily basis through Twitter, Facebook, and food blogs – and hosts daily giveaways to blogs. I think it’s a great way to advertise your product and spread your fan base.

Finally, there is a potential negative impact.  What does this new trend mean for Grandma’s recipes?  For the most part, family recipes are being replaced by online recipes.  I know that there are a few family recipes that remain at my house, but not many.  Even my own Mom gets most of her recipes online these days, despite her shelves and shelves of cookbooks!  Hopefully people will continue passing down family recipes through generations, even if through an online recipe book :).

Hope that was some interesting food for thought for everyone today!

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3 Responses to The Demise of Grandma’s Cookies?

  1. Donna says:

    Hmmm…could never get rid of the green bean casserole or raspberry jello at Thanksgiving… :0

  2. Great post, Caroline! It’s incredible how rapidly social media has transformed food culture over the past 10 years. I actually became interested in cooking during junior high school–well before the inception of blogs and websites like Pinterest, Food Gawker and Tastespotting–and I remember spending hours thumbing through cookbooks and my mom’s recipe box, marking pages with post-it notes so that I’d remember what I wanted to make. I also filled binders with recipes I’d clipped from magazines. Now I can’t imagine “wasting time” doing any of this; I can simply bookmark or pin a drool-worthy recipe in less than a second, and then move onto the next. As a result, I have 1000’s of recipes at my fingertips…And none of them come from my family. I think it’s actually sad that I “trust” a Pioneer Woman recipe for pie more than I do my grandmother’s!

    I agree with you that companies like Chobani are smartly investing in relationships with bloggers. I first became hooked on Cho by reading blogs, and now I’m devotee. The same goes with other products as well!
    Rather than “watch” bloggers analyze and criticize their practices, all companies would be smart to take a proactive approach and start reaching out via social media. 🙂

    Ahh, so much more to say, but this comment is becoming a novel! Thanks for sharing the article!

    Oh, and by the way, I *did* make a family recipe tonight that was passed down from my great grandmother (per my brother’s birthday request): graham cracker cake with lemon filling and butter cream frosting. And I must admit, it was nice knowing that it was going to turn out well, because it’s a tried and true recipe that has major sentimental value for every member of my family. 🙂

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