Food porn: inappropriate or oh-so-right?

I’ll admit it, I’m addicted to food porn.

Many an evening, the other half and I have settled onto the couch, and I’ve picked whatever internet enabled device is near me up, on the pretense of “just checking my mail”.

Five minutes later, I’m knee deep in gloriously drool-inducing shots of medium rare burgers, sticky marinaded steaks, glistening and creamy pasta, gooey chocolate cookies, golden crispy chicken, and oh so fresh veg.

Sighing, knowing that he’s now lost any hope of engaging my attention elsewhere, the boy will turn his attentions to other pursuits, tutting under his breath that I’ve once again let some hot and sexy noodles come between us.

Unfortunately, that’s not where my shameful behaviour ends.

Yes, there are times when I actually indulge my dirty little addiction outside of the home.

Furtively, sometimes boldly depending on how many drinks I’ve had, I’ll pull my camera out of my bag.

To the horror of my dining companions, I’ll snap away, knowing full well that the real glory of the dish will never translate as well on screen, but doing it anyway, because I know how much I’ll enjoy reminiscing about those tantalising flavours later on.

Oh, THE SHAME.

Not only are my dining companions forced to wait precious moments before being able to put food to mouth, but chefs and food photographers the world over are wringing their hands in despair at the deluge of food porn hitting screens.

It’s not the fact that people are capturing these moments for themselves. It’s the fact that there are so many ways in which people are sharing their photos in the public domain. Pinterest, instagram, tumblr…and it would seem that almost every blogger has crossed into being a lifestyle blogger of sorts, with food making appearances either as restaurant reviews or recipes.

And I love it. As someone who is thinking about what I’m going to have for lunch while I’m shovelling my first mouthful of breakfast in, having food inspiration at my fingertips is hugely exciting.

But for those in “the biz” I can also understand how frustrating it must be – to see your creation represented in such a way that you don’t feel captures its full glory; for your potential future customers to make decisions on whether to sample your fare or not, depending on some pictures they’ve seen; or seeing hundreds of people trying their hand at imitating your signature dish – and giving explicit instructions to others on how they think it can be best achieved.

On the flip side, the word-of-mouth / food-for-eyes phenomena can drive huge success – pop ups have gained cult status thanks to blogger promotion, and menu decisions have been inspired by popular food movements.

So is there an appropriate way to engage in and indulge in food porn? Is there a way you can achieve a balance between getting your kicks, and respecting those behind the scenes?

I don’t have any answers. But I do believe in the power of sharing, as long as credit is given where credit is due. If you were inspired by someone, acknowledge them. No one is going to think you’re unoriginal, because whatever you do will still appeal to a certain audience, and will always have your own spin on it. But giving a shout out to someone doesn’t cost you anything, and gives others the opportunity to continue discovering things they are interested in.

In any case, you’ll have to excuse me now; I think I hear the soft whispers of a goats cheese souffle calling my name. If you know of any hot food porn – call me, maybe?

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2 thoughts on “Food porn: inappropriate or oh-so-right?

  1. Pingback: The art of procrastination « Laugh Lots, Travel Often

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