Food porn : Just a hashtag or more?

Food porn : Just a hashtag or more?


Introduction:

Food porn hash tags have existed on social media since forever and nobody complained until a few celebrity chefs decided that it was a snap to their big pride that de-glorified the efforts with which they cooked the meal. Immediately everyone seemed to have taken the cue and jumped to either detesting food porn or glorifying it even further. The term food porn dates back to 1984 when a feminist critic Rosalind Coward in her book 'Female Desire' wrote: "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." So we know the concept is not new but the making up of the issue is.

Just a hastag:

1. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become our good friends on whom we have bestowed the responsibility of telling everyone everything we feel like sharing. We share snaps of our favourite pets, favourite holiday locations and meals that are just as delicious to the eyes as they are to our taste buds. Just like any other hashtag, food porn too is something the whole world wants to share on social media.

2. Food porn works as free advertisement of restaurants and food joints. The glorified images of delicious looking food are used just like any other item for sale in an alluring advertisement. For the purpose of attracting customers, restaurants and food joints like McDonald and KFC feature their most preferred dishes in billboards, on social media and magazines which gets them more customers.

3. Some french chefs criticized the concept of food porn and even went ahead to prohibit customers from taking pictures of the exquisite dishes served in their restaurants. Customers are going to find this insulting if the chefs tell them how they should behave with their food. The customers are paying a pretty good amount for fine dining and chefs are not supposed to feel the other way round by imposing such rules for customers.

4. You don't have to like everything that everyone coming to your restaurant do with their food. Period. If you are not happy with customers taking pictures of the dishes you served to them, you cannot simply stop them from doing so, lest you want to leave them annoyed and befuddled. Chances are that they wouldn't be considering your restaurant the next time they think of brunch or fine dining. And to top it up, instead of pictures of your dishes, customers will be sharing the annoying experience they had with you.

5. Being snobbish and high-handed doesn't help in the restaurant business where people go out to chill with friends and family. They want to enjoy the food and snap the memories of good time they spent together. In modern times when the visual appeal of the food is given more importance and celebrity chefs are more concerned about making the dish a treat to the eyes as well, such attitude to prevent people from taking picture of dishes will get the restaurants nowhere.

Serious issue:

1. The biggest and most unhealthy disadvantage of food pornography is that the increase the craving for unhealthy junk food. The extensively pictured dishes are usually high in calories and fat content. The close up view of these dishes, along with the tantalizing effect added simply make the viewers crave for unhealthy eating which is not the least bit good for customers.

2. In present times, we are at the verge of changing the definition of pure enjoyment. When we visit an astounding new location, the first thing to come to mind is the obvious beauty but it is not very long when we are tempted to see them captured in cameras. Once we start clicking, we forget to enjoy the view that stands right there. The same happens when people begin capturing images of food served before them. They are lost in moment snapping and the chef who took all the efforts to create the dish has to feel offended at this.

3. Those owning a restaurant has every right to stop you if they do not like the idea of diners coming with tripods to record their dining experience. Diners spending more time photographing the food rather than enjoying the meal, it's an insult to the chef. They have the right to impose bans and discourage customers from clicking pictures of meal in their restaurants.

4. In a restaurant there are others around who prefer to enjoy the meal in silence. Someone live streaming the dining experience is sure to disturb and make others conscious. Refraining from food porn at restaurants is a sensible decision which should be followed by everyone keeping in mind that meals are supposed to be enjoyed eating rather than taking pictures.

Conclusion:

Food porn is just another made up term for hash tags of food pictures that are tempting to eyes and makes us crave for all wrong kind of food - health wise. However, the issue being exaggerated to the extent that chefs are discouraging customers from clicking pictures of meals is not so good for their business. Clicking a picture or two is not a big deal but live streaming the entire time one is dining is definitely not acceptable at restaurants.
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    Discussion

  • RE: Food porn : Just a hashtag or more? -Deepa Kaushik (03/20/15)
  • Food porn as a hashtag is the limit within which the food photography can be accepted in the restaurants. Anything done in excess becomes a serious issue. So, is the food photography. Every activity done in the day-to-day life contains some values and meanings. We cannot record every bit of the past moments. Food is there to eat and maintain good health. The taste of the food is what is the gratitude of the chefs who have spent their energy in creating the dish. Presentation is a part of the hospitality industry, but that part should not be mixed up with the delicacy of the food.

    People do come to dine outside in the restaurants to spend quality time with friends and family. They might also like to capture the moments together. Restricting the photography within the restaurants would be offending for the customers and the hospitality industry, especially the restaurants might get a negative impact with such a move. Capturing the moments with few clicks is definitely permissible. But, the same should not be interfering the privacy of the others dining in the restaurant.

    When it comes to video screening, that part should definitely be avoided. Though the chefs are equally praised here for their presentation, yet the videography often ends up in disturbance for the others. When we talk of the chefs getting offended with the food porn, then they should try to get into the depth of the matter. The restaurants which comes within the hospitality industry, does not only restrict itself to the creation of the dish, but also the presentation of the same.

    People coming to the restaurants would be different in their likings and cravings. Some might have craving for food, few others for the art and arena, while others in the presentation. Those who like to capture the images of the food are somehow praising the talent of presentation of the dish by the chef, which is equally important for them. Hence, it would be better to consider the food porn as a hashtag until the same remains within the acceptable limits.

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