The Food Porn Index tracks hashtags to encourage a love for good-for-you treats.
Thanks to smartphone photography, everyone and their mother thinks they’re an amateur photographer. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through your feed without encountering images of your friends’ mouth-watering dinners, paleo diets, and freshly baked pastries. Unfortunately, #foodporn is normally associated with ‘naughty’ foods like juicy hamburgers and sizzling strips of bacon. Bolthouse Farms wants to change the dynamic, and turn the conversation towards a healthier obsession: fruits and vegetables.
To do so, the company has created The Food Porn Index, an algorithm that tracks mentions of food on Twitter and Instagram, shining a light on the imbalance between unhealthy food hashtags (70.6%) and healthy hashtags (29.4%). Developed by creative agency Tiny Rebellion, the interactive website allows visitors to click on an ingredient – healthy or unhealthy – encouraging tweets about the healthier fare. Clicking on pizza takes you to the pizza bot, and should you try to tweet about it, the site gives a gentle reminder – ‘you are what you tweet.’ If you click on beets, you can make up your own beat before being encouraged to ‘tweet about your vegetables.’
Todd Putman, Bolthouse’s chief officer for marketing and innovation, told NPR’s The Salt:
What better way than to have a little bit of a laugh around something that’s quite serious, which is the way the people eat in this country. We all know [our eating habits are] out of whack, out of balance, and you can clearly see that mathematically.
The algorithm calculates food mentions every 15 minutes. Currently, #condiment and #candy sit on top with over 27 million and 22 million mentions respectively. Even the picturesque avocado only has 3.9 million mentions at the time of writing.
“The FoodPorn Index is the collision of so many cool things at the same time. Data, technology, creativity, invention, social media, food, trends, humor, and purpose,” Lucas Donat, Founding CEO of Tiny Rebellion, tells PSFK. “The topper is that its an index, so it lives on monitoring 24/7 what we celebrate as food in a way that makes you smile. In the end, we want to help make fresh fruits and veggies win the food fight.”
The intention is that the conversation will turn away from gluttonous mounds of fried food and sweets towards more considered, healthier options – redressing the notion of what food porn is and should be.