NPR logo Voluptuous Veg: Can Food Porn Seed Lust For Healthy Eating?

Food For Thought

Voluptuous Veg: Can Food Porn Seed Lust For Healthy Eating?

A "ballet" of Brussels sprouts dazzles at the Food Porn Index, a site that tracks which foods are trending in social media part of an effort to heighten the appeal of healthy eating. via Bolthouse Farms hide caption

toggle caption
via Bolthouse Farms

A "ballet" of Brussels sprouts dazzles at the Food Porn Index, a site that tracks which foods are trending in social media part of an effort to heighten the appeal of healthy eating.

via Bolthouse Farms

Sorry to be so risqué, but beautiful photos of tempting foods can make our mouths water.

Think molten spoonfuls of chocolate, voluptuous layer cake or melted cheese oozing from a perfectly grilled croque monsieur.

We're awash in these types of food porn images. But, by comparison, do pictures of Brussels sprouts or beets get as much love online?

Nope. According to Bolthouse Farms, which markets baby carrots and fresh juices, of the more than 1.7 million food images posted daily, only about one-third are of fruits and vegetables.

As part of a broad campaign aimed at shifting this balance — and increasing the marketing and appeal of fruits and vegetables — Bolthouse Farms is encouraging people to post images of their healthy fare. The #urwhatupost and #foodporn hastags have turned up beautiful images of more nutritious meals.

Thick layers of frosting and splurge sandwiches still outnumber the crunchier, more responsible food photos. Still, this healthy #foodporn looks pretty tasty:

The idea is that — over time — the healthful images may shift the balance of the Food Porn Index (introduced by Bolthouse Farms one year ago). As we've reported, the index tracks which foods are trending in social media and presents the data in a swirl of food images.

The online campaign is one of several strategies food companies are using to heighten the appeal of healthy eating.

As we've reported, companies ranging from Birds Eye (purveyors of frozen vegetables) to Bolthouse Farms have been leveraging the techniques of the junk food industry to promote better-for-you products.

Birds Eye has turned to Disney. And Bolthouse has experimented with a Mountain Dew- style ad campaign to sell baby carrots.

And just last week, a new celebrity-studded marketing campaign for fruits and veggies was announced at the Partnership For A Healthier America conference.