Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Food Porn and Reconstructing Our Meals August 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Royce @ 2:08 pm
Tags: ,

I used to look at vegan food porn and think that it was a waste of time. I didn’t understand how it could really accomplish anything except make me hungry.

But now I’m thinking about the ways that foods, and the meal, are socially constructed. We live in a very carnicentric world. And the construction of food, has been limited to a handful of grains, greens, fruits, and of course, animal flesh and excretions. And for some of us– the diets of our families and/or communities were very carnicentric. And of course many omnivore’s, at least in my family and communities, wonder what one eats if one doesn’t eat flesh or excretions.What does a vegan eat at a barbecue, or a picnic, or even a home cooked meal. If you’re used to your meal looking like this:

Carnicentric dish

Carnicentric dish

Then its pretty hard to imagine a meal without flesh.

Meanwhile food porn gives us a multitude of images that are (nicer to look at and) that reconstruct the meal to make flesh unnecessary.

So perhaps food porn has a purpose, besides making me hungry. Because at this point, I’ve reconstructed the meal for myself to the point where putting flesh into it seems silly. So perhaps I need to share food porn with more people in my family, so that they can get turned on to a new diet.

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16 Responses to “Food Porn and Reconstructing Our Meals”

  1. Noemi M Says:

    I understand the idea of food porn, I just oppose of the word usage of “porn”

  2. johanna Says:

    I think all the pretty vegan food blogs that have lots of photos can help show that we don’t just eat wilted lettuce or something… there is a lot of variety in what we eat. So who knows, maybe it can help? People out there still believe the old myths that no veg*n should want to eat fake meat or anything because wouldn’t they just prefer vegetables? And of course all vegan desserts are nasty & can’t possibly taste the same. Barf.

    So yeah… I think the food eye candy could maybe help. I try to cook for people so they can realize how tasty my stuff is too, heh.

  3. Royce Drake Says:

    I’m not a huge supporter of the term “food porn,” but I feel like it applies more to the second definition of the oed:

    2. fig. As the second element in compounds: denoting written or visual material that emphasizes the sensuous or sensational aspects of a non-sexual subject, appealing to its audience in a manner likened to the titillating effect of pornography.

  4. Noemi M Says:

    royce-true true. Honestly, when I first came online (and remember I’m coming from a really strict religious upbringing)
    I was afraid to click on food porn links, thinking it was porn -with food. Yep. :)

  5. Royce Drake Says:

    Noemi– Haha. The same thing happened to me, I was terrified to click links in front of my mother– There’s still a vegan pornography site btw.

  6. Kanika Says:

    Here’s some vegan food pr0n for ya :)

    (I confess, I have yet to cook any of these recipes) :P

  7. mel Says:

    Good find, Royce.

    For me, food and recipe-related websites and blogs, are just one car of the vegan (and radical politics in general) wagon. Politics-based education and discourse are crucial (especially with folks like PETA showing that assholes can be vegan, too!), and recipes and images demonstrate how a person can actually live vegan, while still enjoying food and not dying from cheese deficiencies. I think they help people realize that veganism can be a realistic option.

  8. Ico Says:

    I’m also not crazy about the term “food porn.” Given the ties between meat-eating, masculinity, and objectification of women as “meat,” it rubs me the wrong way.

  9. Royce Drake Says:

    Ico–

    I hear ya. I’ve tried to think of other words that capture what the images of food is, but I haven’t really thought of any.

  10. supernovadiva Says:

    i love cooking so i love looking at the vegan food blogs out there. seeing them while inspiring to become vegan, like you said, let me see it’s possible to live without cheese. it gave me the power to educate through food. in the south, even vegetable sides are ‘flavored’ with meat, so the veg sites- usually by vocs or veg southerners-gave me the tools to veganize old favs (red velvet cake, greens, sweet potato pie, etc.) so all power to the sites.

  11. Meep Says:

    But that’s just it – eating and sex are often used in parallel because they satiate us in some ways. Sometimes the desire is good, and other times it’s hurtful. I’m not saying that the phrase is appropriate, but we should use it to refocus ourselves.

  12. How about considering the terms “Vegan Food Sensuality” or “Vegan Food Erotica”?

    This conflict with using the word “porn” reminds me of Carol J Adam’s “Sexual Politics of Meat” and “The Pornography of Meat” books.

  13. [...] Coming around to food porn (no pun intended) on Vegans of Color. [...]

  14. kristen Says:

    I know that Serious Eats refers to it as “photo grazing”, which I think is adorable.

  15. [...] Food Porn and Reconstructing Our Meals I used to look at vegan food porn and think that it was a waste of time. I didn’t understand how it could really [...] [...]

  16. Royce Drake Says:

    Ok. I’m scrapping the term food porn, because yesterday I thought up the term gastrotica.


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