Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Code of Ethics

I'm not sure how much time everyone out there spends checking out food blogs, but I read quite a few of them in the name of research and entertainment. Although my running list of faves is long and ever increasing, I must say that I vet who gets added to my "favorites" list quite carefully. I think it's plainly obvious when someone is just taking pictures of their food and blabbing on about it with no real purpose or experience. There's a lot of crap (excuse the language) out there on the interweb, but I give foodies and home cooks in particular a lot of credit for not reading just anything and weeding out what's garbage.

Recently, fellow food writers and bloggers have been taking a stand against frivolous and untrustworthy food blogging. Plagiarism, copyright infringement and lack of attribution run rampant on many blogs, which has propagated the thought that bloggers in general are untrained, unreliable and highly opinionated individuals. While I agree that a great deal of people on the internet fit that profile to a tee, I have to point out that many of us are in fact trained individuals (I have a journalism degree and 8 years of clips to prove it!), and we hold ourselves to a much higher standard. We are accountable for our words and believe in having research and back-up for what we write. I would never share a recipe or cooking method that I had not tested myself until it was perfect, and would never take credit for a recipe or photo that wasn't mine.

I recently had the privilege of joining a great group that is helping to draw a line in the invisible internet sand. The eGullet Society for the Culinary Arts and Letters is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. They have drafted a code of ethics for food writers and bloggers to abide by and I have become one of the early signatories. Their efforts to help pave the way for better and more honest food blogging was noted recently in this post of Diner's Journal, the blog of record for the New York Times food section. They also mention the ladies behind the Food Blog Code of Ethics, another wonderful and comprehensive code created by two fellow food bloggers who also happen to be trained journalists. I'm happy to see that people are taking a stand against bloggers taking advantage of the internet's accessibility and anonymity.

I'm also extremely pleased to be a part of a movement that brings even a little bit more credibility and accountability to those of us that blog with honesty, integrity and purpose. I started this blog to encourage myself to grow as cook, learning from both my successes and my failures, but it's become something that now encourages others to grow as cooks, and I don't take that new responsibility lightly. I hope that anyone that ever reads this blog knows that I adhere to the same strict ethical code that I do when I'm writing something professionally (albeit with the occasional typo and misplaced apostrophe). I'll step off my soapbox now and leave you with the promise of great new spring recipes to come. I have my first CSA box pick-up tomorrow, so I'll let you know what great seasonal goodies I get and how I plan to use them up. Here's hoping I'll be seeing some green garlic and delicious spring lettuces!


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