Food Porn: A nation is crisis

Mar 26, 2018 | Food and Culture

We have all seen it. Well lit pictures, of food that looks too good to be true. Oozing egg yolks, and slowly cascading parmesan cheese. Pushing the boundaries between art and indecency; food porn has become a serious problem in our society. It has taken over the Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest feeds of people everywhere. But what can be done? What, if anything should be done? How can something so beautiful be so bad? And who should we turn to for guidance?

Food porn unto itself is not evil.

Food porn unto itself is not evil. The problems arise because we cannot separate fact from fiction. Those egg yolks aren’t real. No real person would ever be able to decorate a cake like that. Slow motion doesn’t happen in real life. Food porn causes people to try to live up to the images they see in their social media feeds. They set impossible standards for themselves and then end up never actually cooking at all.

…it’s an addiction.

I’m sure we all know someone who spends hours on Pinterest looking at food porn, saving recipes that they will never make. Why? Because it’s an addiction. It is much easier to imagine yourself as a great cook than it is to actually become one. That time could be spent cooking. Building skills. Creating something beautiful and real in your own kitchen. But no! The allure of the undulating images imprinted on our imaginations is fearfully forceful. It feeds on the insecurities that brew below the surface. It builds a false self image and allows us to live a food fantasy.

…wrapping anything in bacon makes it better.

We have looked outside our own kitchens for too long. We have looked for answers and comfort in other people’s abilities. And we have completely forgotten to develop our own. Our relationships with food have become unhealthy and unnatural. We believe that wrapping anything in bacon makes it better. A brief google search will return images of monstrosities made out of food, but not quite food themselves. Burgers stacked a foot high with every imaginable topping. Pizzas layered with tacos, layered with fried chicken, layered with ice cream. Not food. A mutated and grotesque facsimile of food, but again, not food.

We have to improve our relationships with food.

Where does it all lead? Nowhere good. The more disconnected we get from our kitchens, and the more we think that the food we see on tv and the internet is real, the worse off we are. We have to improve our relationships with food. We have to develop a respect for the food we eat, the animals it comes from, and for ourselves. It’s time to stop imagining ourselves as great cooks based on the recipes we have pinned, and actually work towards becoming a great cook.

Where can we turn?

There is real information out there. There are recipes that you could easily cook and that would live up to your expectations. You just have to find them. You have to put in a bit work, but it will pay off. Cooking your own food, rather than imagining it, will leave you feeling fulfilled. It will help you develop actual skills, and it will improve your relationship with food.

Food porn unto itself is not a bad thing. It is the fact that it is used as an escape. Problems arise when people mistake the images they see for reality. It changes the way we view and interact with food, and it changes the way we eat.

If I can leave you with one thought it would be to just go and cook. There is clearly a desire to do it. If there wasn’t, the food network, all the food shows, and food on the internet would not be as popular as they are. You have an inherent need to cook, whether you know it or not. Try it and see for yourself.

3 Comments

  1. S. Laureen MacDonald Farnam

    Oh my God. I love this post.

    So good.

    I promise I do not just read your blog for the pictures, Ben. 😉

    This is fab. Sharing!

  2. Brenda

    So true!

    I didn’t realize it,but I think I have been guilty of this! My savings grace is I do love to cook and do try some of the recipes.

    The photos sure do grab my attention.

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  1. Food Porn: A nation is crisis 2 – How To Not Burn Sh!t - […] This post is updated and added to from a post I did last year. You can find the original…

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