Rated R for gluttony
“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch.” Orson Welles
Food is pleasurable. We love food. We love talking about it, photographing it, reading about it, watching it on TV and most important – consuming it. We have to have it. Not just for nutrition and survival but because we enjoy it. Food triggers a physical response in us – mouths water, eyes pop, the pulse rises, we skip a heartbeat or two, nostrils flare involuntarily, and our stomachs turn as digestive juices are released.
Food envelops us from without and attacks us from within. After the feast, we are tempted to chill…to lay back, not do anything and slowly sink into nothingness. A good meal begins with the thought – an inception of a desired conclusion, an expectation that needs to be met and a ritual that asks to be respected.
“Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.” M. M. K. Fisher
Food is social. Consumed alone, it has its rewards. But there is nothing like food with company you truly enjoy. Meals have surrounded themselves with a mystic that lingers to this day. We ask people out on a date, we conduct business over meals, we bond with friends, we get co-workers around meals, we meet strangers, and we gather family and communities.
Memories are made, friendships deepened and bonds restored, healed or strengthened. We mark celebrations with meals as we also mark the passing of a loved one with food being served. Cradle to the grave, food is with us as a constant companion.
“The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure not a slight pleasure.” Michel de Montaigne
Food is mysterious and magical. People all over the world have attributed powers to food. There are aphrodisiacs, comfort food, soul food, cleansing food and energy foods. There are also truly medicinal foods that heal the body. But there is nothing like the power food has to transport us in time and space.
The magical meal that floods our mind with images of childhood, of friends and family and of places visited. This is the genius of a meal or a morsel – it is Morpheus’ pill that takes you down the rabbit hole.
“Eating is really one of your indoor sports. You play three times a day, and it's well worth while to make the game as pleasant as possible.” Dorothy Draper
Wikipedia has a whole page on how the term came to be. Anthony Bourdain has special episodes of "No Reservations" called Food Porn. The term is now alive in its various forms and mutations.
Food Porn is a term used throughout the world to describe the visual feast that is food, the manner in which food is presented on TV, in magazine spreads and now on various websites and blogs online. Food Porn is designed to stimulate a desire to indulge in food, to discover your own inner foodie, while triggering a response to rush to the kitchen or the nearest food outlet. It is not about expensive meals. Nor is it a gastronomy review.
It is a celebration of food in all its forms – the home cooked meal, the simple snack and the indulgent feast. But most important, Food Porn is about heightening our senses about food. We have meals and sometimes take them for granted – both the meal and the hands that prepared it. We have meals and forget that behind each dish is a farmer, a fisherman, a butcher, a sales person…oh, the list is too long.
We have meals and forget a storied history around the dish, a peoples, a region, a country. Human civilization was shaped around food. Commerce, wars, laws and movements were moulded by food. Many have died to allow us to now know that some foods are poisonous while others are edible.
Technology (think refrigerator) was driven by the need to preserve food or cook it. Space scientists have had to grapple not with rocket boosters and oxygen alone, but with a need to feed astronauts. Armies have had to build strategy around feeding troops and maintaining supply lines. Food is also serious.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience” James Beard
We love food. We need food. We enjoy food. Henceforth, we celebrate food. For a meal is a social act that binds us together and Food Porn is a shared experience that manifests that contract. Together, we shall celebrate our differences in taste, cultures and experiences.
Together, we shall explore new things and revisit familiar tastes and meals. These are the ties that bind – friends, family, country and cultures. All wrapped in a tasty bundle called a meal. - Rappler.com
Robert Uy may be reached via email@example.com
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