Food Porn Promotes Lust for Health

Food PornFood porn, or delightfully tempting artistic photos featuring edible subjects, is widely used to tempt the palates of friends or brag about one’s own cooking skills, but is it possible it also promotes a lust for more health-conscious choices? Popular across all social media platforms and ubiquitous on Instagram, edibles in imagery is one of today’s hottest topics.

Apparently food is making everyone hotter. Current production methods, not including the part where consumers Instagram their lunch, are contributing more to greenhouse gas emissions than anything else in the U.S. More than SUVs, more than the airline industry, more than factories constantly churning out disposable products; the modern industrial food and farming model is by far the biggest cause of man-made global warming.

food porn instagramThis conclusion was not made lightly. Scientists weighed a number of factors, including fossil fuel consumption, emissions of the entire industrial food and farming cycle, chemical fertilizers, production and processing, distribution, heating and cooling, and waste. CAFOs, or Confined Animal Feeding Operations, contribute more greenhouse gas just in themselves than the entire global transportation industry, and these operations are a pillar of our current food stability.

Many argue that a vegan diet is the answer, dropping all the meat, dairy and eggs for a grain-based diet, and that humans should instead be eating all the grains currently grown in abundance to feed livestock, but is that really necessary? Billions of tons of greenhouse gasses can be sequestered in the soil through organic and sustainable farming practices. Consumers who choose organic, sustainably grown, and climate-friendly products are by default voting with their wallet for climate change, and there is good evidence to suggest that food porn promotes a lust for healthy flavors that could be influencing those votes.

food porn
Instagram image of a man instagramming his food.

Although Bolthouse Farms may think they are pointing out an imbalance, designating all photos that feature fruits and vegetables as “healthy” and the everything else as “unhealthy,” their statistics actually point out that more than one-fourth of all food porn is plant-based. Compared to the current percentages in the Standard American Diet, which is roughly three percent fruit and eight percent vegetables, there are far more people tagging their greens than eating them. The Food Porn Index shows that social media actually promotes a lust for health with two-and-a-half times more images of fruits and veggies than Americans are consuming. However, new statistics into the dietary habits of Americans would be necessary to determine the extent to which social media influences dietary choices.

By Mimi Mudd

Sources:
Food Porn Index
Huffington Post
Organik Records

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