The World of Food Porn

By Trilby Goouch
Blogs Editor

I am a self-diagnosed foodie (although let’s be honest, who isn’t these days). Cookbooks were once the place you’d look to for images of meals and desserts, however the Internet has caused them to become increasingly obsolete. Today, whether it’s on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook or Foodgawker, food porn abounds in social media. So what constitutes food porn?

The tongue-and-cheek reference came from the hugely popular foodporndaily.com, the original source of food-porn photography. Next came Foodgawker, a similar platform that presents food-porn worthy images that link you to external sites with accompanying recipes. Today, food-themed Pinterest boards are the number one source of Pinterest online traffic.

They say we eat with our eyes, which would explain why images of food make our stomachs rumble and our mouths salivate. I’m sure all of us have experienced the food-porn response; suddenly you’re craving melted cheese and tender steaks and it’s 10 a.m. on a weekday. It’s not that we’re being gluttonous; our body responds to images of appealing foods the same way it does when you smell freshly baked pizza. Food companies and restaurants leverage this to their advantage through their packaging and menu presentation. Do you find you tend to look for recipes that are accompanied by pictures? Now you know why.

It’s common knowledge that Western society has developed a love-hate relationship with food, resulting in a polarization of waistband sizes. It seems people take one of two routes when faced with an abundance of food choice; go big or go home. Food may not be enjoyed the same way by both groups, but food porn certainly is. In fact, those that are at the farthest end of the spectrum (anorexia and binge disorders), experience an increased response to images of appetizing foods. Both groups are hypersensitive to the taste, smell and look of food. With the gap getting wider and wider, it’s no surprise that food porn has become a source of entertainment for so many Internet-users.

Not everyone is a regular food-porn addict; I know of people who find the whole concept bizarre. Some argue that drooling over images of melted chocolate and gooey caramel will only make them hungry, thereby sabotaging their diet goals. In contrast, some would argue that simply ogling satisfies their boredom munchies. To each his own; for me, food-porn has served as a resource for some of my most prized baking and cooking accomplishments.

However I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not alone; QJBlogs’ summer Facebook posts of weekly food porn received over two times the amount of views of our other posts.

What’s your source of guilty pleasure?

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