Article / Writing

Why non-plated food epitomises everything that is wrong with the world.

Non-plated food is lacking in imagination and a symptom of societal stupidity.

Dklu6hOW4AAPPIU

In rich countries and the wealthier areas of poor countries it has become trendy for restaurants to serve food on cutting boards and slates, as well as “deconstructed” meals in cups, juice in watering cans, sausages in skulls and hanging from branches (seriously), desserts on shovels and beds of pebbles, and so on. Check out some pics here.

Every time photos of this sort of thing pop up in my social media feeds I get really angry. And its not because of how impractical and wanky it all is (though it definitely is), but rather because society some how has the resources to come up with this stuff, but doesn’t seem to have the time or money to solve some basic social injustices.

If a restaurant has solved the question of food and perfected all its dishes and got taste down to an art and you’re not sure how else to innovate other than making people squeeze their own orange juice, then mayyybe its time to just stop. Maybe rich people have reached, and excessively surpassed the point of being okay, and these restaurants could put that money and time towards people who like, don’t have enough food to eat.

But I get why they don’t. Capitalism keeps restaurants and companies constantly competing, to the point where the only way they can differentiate themselves is with utter stupidity. For those who argue that capitalism encourages innovation, just look at non-plated food. While capitalism is churning out that waste of space, real innovation would be finding a way to feed everyone, or coming up with tasty healthy food that people can get easily, and that isn’t derived from destructive farming and factory practices. Real innovation would make pap smears less unpleasant or come up with birth control pills without side effects.

Lets be clear – while there are actual chefs producing amazing food (many of them on the streets of Mexico, India or Thailand), non-plated food is not creative. It is a marketing gimmick. It’s a dubious way of getting people to pay about 10 times the reasonable price for a slice of bread and some avocado, because they are laid out on an old pair of jeans and you can Instagram it. Brighten up your boring life with some ice-cream served in a shoe.

“Nowadays, dishes are created especially for Instagram,” said blogger Angie Silver. “Bright colours, unusual and unique dishes work well hence the rise of rainbow bagels, freak shakes and unicorn ice-cream.”

Basically, it looks like the rich have a gluttony of time and are so damn bored with life that they are getting ridiculous. The super rich have always been disgusting and hedonistic, but now the upper-classes and the rich-country middle classes are joining them.