Why we love food porn

Turns out, we like food porn for the same reason we like such things as the art of Tom of Finland and certain parts of Dolly Parton. There's a big connection between the way we're attracted to exaggerated sexual characteristics, and the way we're attracted to exaggerated food characteristics.

In a post at Smart Planet, Christopher Mims explains this phenomenon, called supernormal stimuli:

Pioneered in field studies by the ethologists Tinbergen and Lorenz, supernormal stimuli is any phenomenon in which the features of an object — be it a parent, mate, or food — are exaggerated to make an animal respond more strongly to them. In her 2010 book Supernormal stimuli: how primal urges overran their evolutionary purpose, Deirdre Barrett explored the ways in which movie makers, advertisers and fast food companies exaggerate the parts of things we already like in order to hijack our emotions and cravings.

Baby chicks presented with parents with exaggerated versions of the features they’re homing in on — the color of a parent’s beak, say — will respond more strongly to an exaggerated, but artificial, version of their parent than to the real thing. In the same way, humans home in on versions of reality in which the most enticing features are enhanced. In food, that’s texture, color, and anything else we associate with nutrient density, mouth feel and general deliciousness.

That video might not actually be safe for work, by the way.Video Link

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