Seeing, they say, is believing. We respectfully disagree. One needs to be extra cautious in today’s age of relentless advertising. Appearance is everything and that apparently holds true for food as well. The prettier, the better.

Have you ever wondered why that burger doesn’t look half as tempting in real life? Or why that cereal looks so different from the one they show in ads? Well, the answer is simple; it’s photography. And a bag full of dirty intelligent tricks. Like these ones right here. Check ’em out.

1. They add antacids to soft drinks to make them look fizzy.

So that’s what makes them go all bubbly! Beneath all those bubbles and tempting froth are actually antacids! Smart bwoy!

2. They heat up wet cotton balls to get that tempting steam.

Food looks even more tempting if it’s hot, isn’t it? However, there are other ways to get that tempting steam.

Like heating up some some wet cotton balls, and then smartly placing them behind the food tray and allowing the steam to slowly rise up.

The result is something like this…

3. They use hair spray and deodorant to make vegetables and fruits look fresh.

And you thought that ‘freshness’ was natural? Awww! Of course not! It’s hair spray (and occasionally deodorant) that makes the veggies and fruits look ‘fresh’.

4. See that ‘ice-cream’ on those ice-cream cones? That’s actually mashed potatoes.

Logic behind using mashed potatoes; real ice cream would melt in a second under the hot lights. Seems legit.

5. They use brown shoe polish to colour the hamburger buns.

Wow! No wonder a regular bun looks so pale in comparison!

6. Want the plate and food to stay in a particular position? Allow clay to help you out.

While photographing, angle is everything. However, some angles are hard to achieve. Because gravity.

Hence, photographers often use clay to hold the plate and food in the required position.

7. See that ‘milk’ in the cereal bowl? It’s actually glue.

Because milk would make the cereal all soggy. Glue, on the other hand, makes the cereal flakes look fresh. 

8. Think shampoo can give you that beautiful hair? Think again.

It’s actually hair extensions. And lots of air and blow dryer.

9. Ice cubes? More like plastic cubes.

Those ice cubes look eerily perfect, don’t they? And they never seem to melt. Well, that’s because they aren’t ice cubes in the first place.

They’re made up of 100% plastic that gives them their uniform size.

10. They stuff chicken with paper towels to make it look fatter and plumper.

And you cursed your culinary skills for not getting that perfect chicken roast. Turns out it’s often stuffed with paper towels and left undercooked in the photographs to make it look fatter and juicier.

11. Those pancakes look yummy. Lemme pour some motor oil on them.

Yup! And you thought it was maple syrup or honey? Pancakes would’ve soaked them all. Hence, motor oil it is.

12. Those sesame seeds look so perfect on buns. Well, that’s because they’ve been painstakingly arranged.

That’s right. Food advertisers often use tweezers to perfectly place those sesame seeds.

13. That grilled chicken looks so perfect! That’s because they’ve rubbed shoe polish on it.

You heard that right. That perfectly grilled chicken often has traces of shoe polish on it. Eat that!

14. Why doesn’t my burger look as juicy as the one they show in the ads? Well, that’s because it’s undercooked for the ad.

The meat/chicken patty is only cooked on one side to make it look fat and tender. The cheese is slightly melted. The bun is photographed from the best angle possible. The end.

15. They put lipstick on strawberries to make them look redder.

Not sure whether sweet or sour, but they definitely look super red. 

16. That glass of milk looks so fresh! Well, that’s because it contains soap water.

You read that right. Advertisers often put soap water and bubbles on milk to make it look freshly poured. So much for calcium.

17. That piece of cake looks so tempting. Maybe because it’s got cardboard inside.

To prevent the bread from ruining the icing, food advertisers often put pieces of cardboard in between breads and put toothpicks to hold them together.

So while the preparation looks something like this…

…The final result looks way more tempting.

18. Oh look! Such an amazing picture of a butterfly! Well, it’d probably been refrigerated.

It’s not the camera. It’s not the lens. It’s the refrigerator. Advertisers often refrigerate insects for a few hours before photographing them. Putting them in the cold makes them lazy, and hence, gives you that awesome pic.

So while you keep insects like butterfly and dragonfly in the fridge for 5 minutes, you keep ladybirds and spiders for a maximum of 3 minutes. 

19. Amazed by those weight loss ads? You can ‘lose weight’ in 10 minutes as well.

Just hold in your breath. Apply some fake tan on your tummy, smile, spread out your body and stand in an awesome posture. You’ll automatically look slimmer.

20. See that ‘natural’ frost on the soft drink glass? That’s deodorant spray.

Now you know what’s behind that refreshing look.

All images have been used for representational purposes only.

Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai folks.