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I am a Food Porn Offender

I just happened to stumble on to this article this morning and realized immediately…I am a food porn offender. In fact, so is my husband. For those of you who live in Ontario, you know that if you visit an LCBO (our liquor commission) that every quarter they release a magazine called “Food & Drink”. It is a fantastic little publication that pairs the liquor they have with fantastic recipes. Ones that make you drool uncontrollably and your eyes roll back into your head. We sat on our bed last night and leafed through the latest edition. I have to say, I love their fall pubs, they make me feel all cozy inside! However, after reading this article, I’m not sure that I should look at these magazines ever again…ever. It talks about the ghrelin production that occurs just from looking at these pictures. They are made to stimulate that part of our brain that used to keep us alive as humans thousands of years ago. All that shiny, fatty, dessert goodness. That gorgeous glaze for meats. We are wired to think, “YUM!”

Brussel Sprouts

Try as I might, these are the sexiest sprouts I could find.

I’ve heard people joke about porn being the major use for the Internet, but I never thought it would include food porn! They have some suggestions about how to control the problem, including cooking at home. That way you can control what you are putting into your food and the portion size. That’s great, but I’m sure my Food & Drink isn’t the best thing to be selecting recipes from. I don’t often pick up my heart healthy cook book and have to wipe down the pages from all the drool falling onto them. Maybe they need to take sexier food photos…hm. All these cues, driving your dopamine levels up. You start imagining the taste in your mouth, that savory sensation. My mouth is watering just writing about it. The article suggests that really great pictures taken of healthy foods may be able to do the same thing but I’m not convinced. See the brussel sprout shot? Not super sexy.

I sort of have issue with the idea that I should take my inspiration from food porn and cook at home in order to avoid added calories and over-consumption. Have they ever actually observed someone cooking tasty desserts? I, personally,  end up snacking on ingredients while I do so. Licking the spoon is a baking tradition! This is why I’ve avoided baking altogether recently. I mean, why put my will power under even greater strain. Maybe after I’m done cooking and to the serving part I eat more mindfully, but the during is so hard to resist.

How about you, are you a food porn offender? What techniques do you feel would work best for you?

“The Food Porn Problem”

By Theresa O’Rourke

“It’s your classic money shot, the camera tight to reveal every detail of steamy cinnamon buns drizzled just so. Jam-glazed pork falling off the bone. A slice of buttery-crusted apple pie letting it all hang out. Sweet or savory, slow baked or flash fried, it’s food porn–and experts say it’s whetting our appetites in ways we never imagined. “Like the sexual kind, food porn allows us to lust after taboo things,” says psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of Eating Mindfully. “And now it’s on our terms: We can search for exactly what turns us on, enlarge the images, and linger for as long as we want.”

Just a few short years ago, food sites were predominantly recipe-driven. Now, a growing number shamelessly flaunt the fact that few people visit for the articles. FoodPornDaily.com (tagline: Click, drool, repeat.) stripped away recipes altogether in favour of luscious panned-in shots. Food images are also the fastest-growing category on the hugely popular inspiration-board site Pinterest, where they generate 50 percent more re-pins than fashion and style photos. If you don’t find anything that turns you on there, you can log on to Flickr’s Food Porn Group. Boasting nearly 600,000 images, it’s one of the most active categories on the photo-sharing site. (Search: Food photography)

Problem is, that Flickr group isn’t the only thing that’s growing. Photos seem harmless, but they provoke a real emotional and physical hunger response that can be tough to control, says neuroscientist Laura Martin, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center who studies how we respond to food. And straight out of the insult-meet-injury department: Those who are overweight appear to be more sensitive to the effect of viewing irresistible food. Does that mean you can never ogle your cake without eating it too? Not necessarily. There are savvy ways to curb your appetite–online and in real life.

Eating with Our Eyes
The best food porn plays on the fact that the more indulgent a photo appears, the more likely it will trigger our instinct to eat. “Food porn relies on a phenomenon called supernormal stimuli, which exaggerates qualities we’re already hardwired to love,” says Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program and author of Waistland: The Revolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis. Usually, that translates to visual cues that a food is high in calories–things like pooling oils and the sheen of sugar–which were coveted assets back in hunter-gatherer days, when calories (particularly the gooey, fatty ones) were harder to come by, says Barrett. That might explain why, according to a recent study from 360i, a marketing firm that studies online trends, pictures of desserts are the most likely to be shared online. Cheesy, oozy comfort foods also get favourited more frequently on sites like Food Gawker.”

To continue reading this article, go to the original posting at http://fitbie.ca.msn.com/eat-right/food-porn-problem

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About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on September 21, 2012, in Experiences, Information, reblog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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