Food porn

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Glossy, coiffed picture of a stuffed pepper

Food porn is a glamourized spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media,[1] foods boasting a high fat and calorie content,[2] exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex.[3] Food porn often takes the form of food photography and styling that presents food provocatively, in a similar way to glamour photography or pornographic photography.

The term appears to have been coined by the feminist critic Rosalind Coward in her 1984 book Female Desire[4] in which she writes:

"Cooking food and presenting it beautifully is an act of servitude. It is a way of expressing affection through a gift... That we should aspire to produce perfectly finished and presented food is a symbol of a willing and enjoyable participation in servicing others. Food pornography exactly sustains these meanings relating to the preparation of food. The kinds of picture used always repress the process of production of a meal. They are always beautifully lit, often touched up." (p. 103)

In the United States, food porn is a term applied when "food manufacturers are capitalising on a backlash against low-calorie and diet foods by marketing treats that boast a high fat content and good artery-clogging potential".[2] The origin of the term was attributed to the Center for Science in the Public Interest[2] which began publishing a regular column called "Right Stuff vs. Food Porn" for its Nutrition Action Healthletter in January 1998.[5][6]

Another possible meaning is referring to the attractiveness and presentation style of some cooking show hosts, such as Nigella Lawson. Lawson has become renowned for her flirtatious manner of presentation, and the perceived overt sexuality of her presentation style has led to her being labelled by several commentators as the "queen of food porn".[7][8][9]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Probyn, Elspeth (1999). "Beyond Food/Sex: Eating and an Ethics of Existence". Theory, Culture & Society 16 (2): 215–228. doi:10.1177/02632769922050485. 
  2. ^ a b c Davis, Simon (2000-05-10). "Unhealthy eating is new fad in US". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2000-05-12. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  3. ^ Bourdain, Anthony (2001-11-04). "Food Porn: Lust for the gastronomic – from Zola to cookbooks – is nothing new, but maybe it's time to shelve it". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  4. ^ Coward, Rosalind (1984). Female Desire: Women's Sexuality Today. Paladin. ISBN 0-586-08447-9. 
  5. ^ "1998 Index". Center for Science in the Public Interest. 
  6. ^ "April '98 Right Stuff vs. Food Porn". Center for Science in the Public Interest. 
  7. ^ Sands, Sarah (2006-12-01). "I don't want to be some kitchen blow-up sex doll". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  8. ^ Duff, Oliver (2007-07-20). "Davis awaits 'chat' with researcher's lawyers". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  9. ^ Gaudron, Melissa (2007-11-20). "Nigella Feasts". The Age. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 

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