In the mid-20th century, the Dutch biologist Nikolaas Tinbergen uncovered an odd quirk of animal behavior: Across species, the animals in his experiments seemed to prefer prettier, flashier, more attention-grabbing versions of their natural environments—“supernormal stimuli,” he called them—even when those stimuli were fake.
The photo-sharing website Flickr launched a “Food Porn” category in September 2004 (today, it has around three-quarters of a million photos).
our brain is your body’s most blood-thirsty organ, using around 25% of total blood flow (or energy) – despite the fact that it accounts for only 2% of body mass.
Given that our brains have evolved to find food, it should perhaps come as little surprise to discover that some of the largest increases in cerebral blood flow occur when a hungry brain is exposed to images of desirable foods.
That’s a lot, obviously, but it’s even more astounding when you consider this: the most-watched broadcast in television history, the 2015 Super Bowl, was seen by a comparatively paltry 114.5 million viewers.
Tasty, and its newer British sibling, Proper Tasty, are part of a larger phenomenon of food media, stretching back decades now.