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Not to be confused with food and sexuality.
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]

In the United Kingdom, the term became popular in the 1990s due to the TV cookery programme Two Fat Ladies after the shows producer described the "pornographic joy" the pair of them took in using vast quantities of butter and cream.[7]

See also[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. ^ "Ben Viveur: Pornographic Joy". Ben Viveur. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_porn — Please support Wikipedia.
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