Introducing the Food Porn Index

Come for the stats on food photos; stay for the absolutely insane animation.

Introducing the Food Porn Index

(Photo: Courtesy FoodPornIndex.com)

Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor. He has written for The Awl, The New Inquiry, and elsewhere.

The Internet is 27.9 percent healthy. That is, if the food photography people post online is anything to judge by. According to the just-launched Food Porn Index, 72.1 percent of shared food images are of burgers and bacon and butter rather than, say, avocado or berries. But the mega vegetable farm behind the index is hoping to change that balance—in the name of health, naturally.

“We created the Food Porn Index to collect food porn hashtags and track what kinds of food we’re all sharing,” the “WTF” (“What the Food”) section of the site reads. “Because we believe if we can change the way people think and post about fresh fruits and veggies, we’ll make the world a healthier place.”

The site comes courtesy of Bolthouse Farms, a subsidiary of Campbell Soup Company, which processes 6 million pounds of carrots per day in California’s Central Valley. This is industrial agriculture’s fruity (and vegetable-y) side. And judging by this website, that’s a very weird place.

Aside from tracking photos posted to a given hashtag—#carrot or #burger, for example—each of the 12 healthy foods and 12 junk foods have their own user-controlled animation. There’s a kale slot machine and brussels sprouts that dance to classical music. On the junk food side of things, the “burger snake” patterns the screen with an overwhelming repetition of hamburgers that track the movement of your mouse.

While the general theme here is inundating viewers with images of food, the veggie side—where you can also learn about “melon mediation” while cantaloupes (and an errant papaya?) kaleidoscope across the screen—is decidedly less gross than the junk food half. Even the endless scrolling layer cake starts looking more like a sugar crash than anything delicious after sliding past a few birthdays' worth of cake.

Comments ()