Food P*rn

Happy New Year!

There is an interesting article in Salon today, where a former food writer relates how she got disenchanted with the food world (though she did not actually quit, she was replaced by someone cheaper.)

I think there are two telling things in the article: one, she was not writing for a food magazine, but for a general-interest one with a food section. Two, she admits that she is not that interested in food herself, but took it more as a writing gig that would get her out of the house. So she's a writer first, and food person just professionally. She describes her subject matter as being "food porn" though. This phrase is rather striking. (And yes I know it's been used before, and is even the name of a food blog aggregator.)

Presumably, people who maintain food blogs really love food. I certainly do. But why did we pick this particular topic to write about in a public forum? Are food bloggers the purveyors of food porn, in the negative sense? While all humans require food to live, it's a fact that many people in the so-called developed world have a love-hate relationship with food and eating. Everywhere you look there are stories about the dangers of this food and that. Obesity is a major problem in many countries. For women especially, food can be a very emotionally-charged issue.

When we are describing the latest dessert we've consumed in glowing terms, and posting what we hope are mouth-watering pictures of said dessert, are we simply indulging ourselves, bringing pleasure to our readers, or filling an emptiness within ourselves? Are we same as people who write slash fiction?

I really don't have the answers. I only know that I write here for my own selfish reasons. When I write here, it helps me to keep a record of what I have created and consumed, where and with whom. And, it does fulfil some need in me - the need to empty out the obsessive little rattlings in my head that I , about how food tastes, and feels, and looks. And it's strange, but writing down my thoughts about food in a public forum somehow help to somewhat curtail what I actually consume, because it makes me want to improve the quality of the food I take into my body, whether it's for health reasons or simply for taste. It hasn't lead to some magic Food Blogger Diet yet, but it may get there.

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