The law requires that the actual product be photographed for advertising use, and a Home Economist and a Food Stylist must be on the set. The former makes sure that the food is prepared in strict compliance with the recipe and Federal nutrition guidelines (no additives, preservatives, artificial coloring, shaping, etc.), and the latter stages and styles the product to make it look it's mouthwatering best via garnishes, props, and composition only.
In fact, for most liquor shoots, an attorney or paralegal must be on the set to ensure that there is literally no more than 2 oz. of the booze used in any given setup — and the only artifice allowed for beverage shots are lucite ice cubes and extra moisture on the outside of the glass or container.
If fast food chains had HEs and stylists on staff — or professional gourmet chefs — to prep every burger they sling, you'd have to place your order a day or two in advance and pay $300 to have your meal rendered photogenically.
Want presentation? Eat at the Four Seasons. Want a burger and fries for $5, suck up the ugly.
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