Food Porn: Look, but don’t touch!

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“It is a matter of physics, a scientific fact that the human body reacts in very similar ways when anticipating food and sex. Capillaries swell, lips and membranes become engorged, saliva thickens and the pulse rises. It’s no accident that the two pleasures have become… confused.”

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Anthony Bourdain,  No Reservations

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What’s Your Food Porn Preference?

Fat or skinny. Exotic or plain. Enhanced or au naturel.

Food Porn and the x-rated variety make use of the same visual language and techniques, full of provocative camera angles, exaggerated features, and saturated colors. The subject matters differ, but they push our primal buttons in the same way.

Lust-inducing, visceral images of food porn are everywhere. It’s the lingering, loving shots of decadent burgers in fast food advertising. It’s the food-centric shows on television, which long gave up on practical instruction to focus on feats of performance and visual spectacle.

The fetishists are all represented: the raw foodists, the bacon-worshipers, the cupcake-lovers, the kink of butchery, the puritanical vegans, and plenty of plain vanilla.

Does Food Porn Make us Fat?

Jam-glazed pears glisten atop butter-brown pastry; golden rivulets of herb-flecked butter overflow the pillowy center of a steamy biscuit; deeply charred fat surrounds the just-grilled steak sliced to reveal its ruby interior. We understand that the imagery of food porn is a hyper-idealized version of what we go home to in the same way that we know that our romantic partners are not Penelope Cruz or Brad Pitt. And just like the bedroom variety, culinary porn is about voyeurism— the daring, exotic, and extreme may be watched by many but practiced by few.

Evidence suggests that tempting food imagery might actually serve as a deterrent to indulgence. New Scientist cited a study in which weight-conscious women were shown images of either food or flowers (under the guise of a memory test). When the women were offered a snack, those who had been shown a lushly-photographed chocolate cake were significantly more likely to opt for a healthy option than the flower group. As counterintuitive as it seems, researchers believe that tempting food images can actually heighten self-control in a dieter, strengthening their resolve to make healthy choices.

Food porn: you know it when you see it!

Go ahead and take a peek:

Flickr has a vast repository of more than 300,000 photos submitted by members of its food porn group.

The blogs Tastespotting, FoodGawker, and FoodPornDaily are curated collections of user-submitted food photography.

The Tumblr blog This Is Why You’re Fat celebrates the fatty, cheesy, greasy, meaty, and over-sized. Destined for glory, it dazzled the online food community by reaching 1.3 million page views on the day after its launch. The inevitable book deal took a few more weeks.

Midtown Lunch started by cataloging the inexpensive options available to midtown Manhattan’s rabid, ravenous office workers with no more than a lunch hour to spare. Snapshots of styrofoam and foil-wrapped bundles, takeout containers and diner dishes are artfully assembled to create a daily collage. Midtown has been joined by lower Manhattan and Philadelphia editions with more cities in the works.

 

 

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5 Responses to Food Porn: Look, but don’t touch!

  1. Pingback: Illustrated Food Blogs | Gigabiting

  2. Janice says:

    Food porn addict AND pork fetishist- you are in dire need!

  3. Brad says:

    I like it all, I look at food and recipes several hours per week and can’t get enough. Thanks for bringing this fetish out in the open, so I can finally “come out of the oven..” and admit I’m a food porn addict! Sooner or later their will be rehab for us addicts via Dr Drew so enjoy the addiction while you can.

  4. Janice says:

    You’re not alone in that. Food porn is one of those food phrases (like veggies and foodie) that should be outlawed.

  5. something about the words food and porn together just make me feel icky. wrote a blog post about food porn in movies which might interest you

    a bientot!
    the paris food blague

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