You may have noticed when Google added a its new recipe search function to its sidebar a few weeks back. It's a feature that allows you to get information about a recipe—cook times, serving size, ratings, calorie content and picture—right in the search window instead of having to first click through. It also lets you confine your search by any one of these parameters, as well as by ingredient.
Sounds great, right?
Not so fast. Over at Food 52, Amanda Hesser's makes some interesting, and I think rather intelligent observations about what Google's new recipe search could really mean for American cooks, her main gripes being that it first of all favors large companies over smaller blogs who may not have nutritional information on hand, and that it encourages recipe writers to fudge the numbers when it comes to both calories and cooking times in order to get their recipes to the top of the list.
What this means is that Google's search engine gives vast advantage to the largest recipe websites with the resources to input all this metadata, and particularly those who home in on "quick and easy" and low calorie dishes (which, by the way, doesn't mean the recipes are actually healthy). In so doing, Google unwittingly—but damagingly—promotes a cooking culture focused on speed and diets.
You can check out the whole article here.
Have you had a chance to use Google's new search function? What do you think?