Culinary Pornography: Our Culture’s Unhealthy Obesession with Food

I came across this post when I was doing research for my paper on the food motif in Scripture:

In Mere Christianity C. S. Lewis writes on the Christian view of sex and sexuality, and says that sex is an appetite, and like all appetites, it should be fed in healthy ways but not titillated, not indulged, not gorged. One sign that our sexual appetites are totally out of bounds is the growing phenomenon–Lewis was writing in the 1940s–of striptease shows. He wrote: “Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theater by simply bringing a covered plate onto the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see…that it contained a mutton chop or bit of bacon, would not you think that in that country something had gone wrong in the appetite of food?” I read those words in the mid-’80s, when one of the advertisements frequently on television featured an item of food–I don’t remember what–that was unveiled to an audience in exactly the manner Lewis described. Our preoccupation with food has entered the realm of the absurd. Look at any magazine–page after page of succulent, sauce-laden, sugar-sparkling, fat-glistening food. It’s a kind of culinary pornography. McDonald’s golden arches and Coca-Cola’s logo are more widely recognized symbols than the cross of Christ. Our world’s most prevalent iconography enshrines food.

[source: Buchanan, Mark. 2001. “Go fast and live: hunger as spiritual discipline.” Christian Century 118, no. 7: 16-20.]

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