September 8, 2016
We have all been left salivating at the recent wave of recipe videos colonising our Facebook timelines. Grilled citrus salmon, chocolate pretzel pie and cookie dough ice cream bites are just some of the mouth-watering recipes featured that leave us hungry and optimistic about getting in the kitchen.
However, Feeding America and the Ad Council have innovatively used the format of these step-by-step videos to create a 30-second clip highlighting the prevalence of hunger in the US. Throughout the video, we expect to see food being prepared, cooked and presented just like we have witnessed countless times in the viral videos. This video portrays a twist- the food is replaced by ‘invisible’ ingredients and we see hands preparing a meal made out of nothing. Where we would usually see hands sprinkling salt onto a chicken breast sizzling in the frying pan we actually see hands sprinkling nothing but air onto a frying pan with no food in it. At the end of the video we are introduced to what 15 million children in America have on their dinner plate- nothing.
This public service announcement ends by stating that 1 in 7 Americans come from food-deprived areas where they often struggle to come up with something eat. Considering eating is a human need, necessary to survive, the video is striking as is signals just how unjust poverty is. Feeding America’s idea of creating a viral video is released in September for #HungerActionMonth. It is clever as by displaying their message in video format it allows people to share it and spread awareness with the click of a button. And it’s poignant: this video provokes genuine realisation at what we take for granted.