Monday, April 18, 2011

VegNews, Controversy and Solution

Lemons from my tree, sitting on my kitchen counter.

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I am such a visual creature. All summer, I had been relishing the bright, fresh, incredible plant based food I had been enjoying. I felt continually compelled to photograph this food and share it with people. And I am likewise inspired by other food photographers. Every time my new issue of Bon App├ętit arrives, I melt into a puddle of desire over whatever is on the cover.  So you can imagine my disappointment over the recent VegNews stock photo controversy. For those of you not immersed in the vegan culture, a brief summary. Readers recently discovered that photographs of the food in the magazine had been pulled from istockphoto.com. I was disheartened to learn that the photographs next to a given recipe are not actually of the dish itself. For example, a recipe for Banana Cream Pie appeared alongside a stock photo of Coconut Cream Pie. But, many magazines use stock photos. They are cheap and convenient, especially for online content. So, why did these photos cause such an uproar? It turns out  that many of the stock photos employed by VegNews, a wholly vegan magazine, are actually of meat and dairy products. It seems counterintuitive to devote a magazine to the joys of compassionate, plant-based eating, and then undermine that message with pictures of chicken and pork. It also sends the implicit message that plant based food isn’t delicious or appealing enough; you need the “real” thing.

Unfortunately, this controversy has cast doubt on every food outlet. I am now eyeing all my magazines suspiciously; what is that fleshy looking thing in Vegetarian Times’ Cabbage Rolls? So, just to alleviate any doubts, every picture on my blog is taken by me, in my own kitchen of entirely plant based food. More so, every photograph in my blog is of food that I have just scooped out of the pan and am about to eat in a moment. This is a snapshot of my food life. And I have a solution for you, VegNews. Put your readers to work for you. Send me some of your recipes, and I will gladly prepare them and photograph them for you. Just mention me in the magazine. And I’m willing to bet there are dozens of other readers, bloggers, and people willing to do the same. Think about it.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a GREAT idea...you know I am all over that, sign me up! I am truly shocked that a magazine would do such a thing.

    Those lemons are gorgeous by the way. I would die to have a lemon tree.

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