Author Topic: Food writing and food Porn, in Columbia Journalism Review  (Read 1945 times)

lagatta

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Food writing and food Porn, in Columbia Journalism Review
« on: June 11, 2006, 02:24:37 PM »
Molly O'Neill, well-known food writer, deconstructs "food writing" and its ties to industry: http://www.cjr.org/issues/2003/5/foodporn-oneill.asp
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

John_D

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Food writing and food Porn, in Columbia Journalism Review
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2006, 02:30:25 PM »
I think the olive oil example is an interesting one... yes, there's a big marketing effort behind it, but I don't think food writers should feel guilty about promoting a product if it's a good product, even if there is a concerted effort to win them over to it. I think one should trust their own judgment - and it certainly seems that writers have been willing to disparage a crappy product even if there's a lot of money behind it.

Something similar is happening with dark chocolate right now, and I acknowledge that there's probably a huge marketing effort behind its current surge in popularity. But what's really sustaining the fad towards dark chocolate is quality and taste, just like what's sustained the popularity of olive oil.

skdadl

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Food writing and food Porn, in Columbia Journalism Review
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006, 06:48:07 PM »
Very interesting article, isn't it.

It takes me back, too, to some of the waves and fashions we've lived through. Like John D., I don't think that all those enthusiasms were simply marketing creations, although consumer envy and pretension are often a worry and a turn-off, even when it is good things we are feeling driven to acquire.

In the 1980s, in the early days of her career as a restaurant critic for the Grope and Flail (now limited to a restaurant review on Saturdays), Joanne Kates used to have a serious food column on Wednesdays as well, wherein she would talk about the science and art and economics of food and food production. Like many food writers of the old school, she is a trained chef; she was also a leftie; so that column taught me a lot, was usually much more interesting to read than descriptions of wherever the yuppies and the Mafia are eating out this season.

Gourmet magazine also hit its high point, I believe, in the 1980s. Yes, the recipes were long and detailed and sometimes difficult, but I thought they were worth the effort. The design and food-porn photography was even more extreme/splendid than it is now, and one was bothered even then by the way that worked on the consciousness, and yet it could be really inspiring -- gave us something to live up to, y'know? There has been an obvious effort to simplify the magazine since then, some might even say to dumb it down. I really value some of the classic recipes I saved from the eighties incarnation.

And now I think I'll go to open a tin of something.   :wink:

 

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