Life Eat & Drink The obscene eating movement taking over
Updated:

The obscene eating movement taking over

Instagram
Share
Tweet Share Reddit Pin EmailComment

When a little Canberra café blew up social media with its giant, diet-defying milkshakes earlier this year, you had to wonder if the days of Instagram-bragging about green smoothies were over.

Internet reacts to sad bacon news
Aussie chocolate favourite to return
Tasty soft drink substitutes

Frighteningly large, Pâtissez’s FreakShakes (now trademarked) include combinations such as “Freakin’ Nutz”: a nutella milkshake in a jar, with a nutella-coated rim, rolled in crushed hazelnuts, topped with nutella mousse and finished (of course) with a nutella-dipped nougatine cone.

The result? Pâtissez now has a 41,000-strong Instagram following and constantly deals with lines of customers – iPhones at the ready – stretching around the block.

Pâtissez's new "Freakin' Nutz" FreakShake. Photo: Instagram
Pâtissez’s new “Freakin’ Nutz” FreakShake. Photo: Instagram

The name given to the phenomenon of sharing these outrageous meals on social media is “food porn”, and it’s the antithesis of the clean-eating, quinoa-loving movement of recent years.

Insta-worthy eats

Ben Chudoschnik, owner of The Piping Hot Chicken Shop in Ocean Grove, Victoria, says his social media presence went through the roof after he introduced a food porn-worthy addition to his burger menu.

Dubbed the “What’s your real name” by famed burger blogger Jimmy’s Burgers, the monster features a double patty, double cheese, bacon, pulled pork and two chicken strips.

“If you post a normal burger you won’t get so many likes, but if you do something outrageous it multiplies exponentially,” Mr Chudoschnik tells The New Daily.

“People like the idea of something naughty and funny.”

The monster burger dubbed "What's your real name" at the Piping Hot Chicken Shop. Photo: Facebook
The monster burger dubbed “What’s your real name” at the Piping Hot Chicken Shop. Photo: Facebook

Shayne McCallum, co-owner of 8Bit in Footscray, Melbourne says his menu was designed to look good for Instagrammers.

“Every time I go into the shop I see people taking photos of their burgers,” Mr McCallum says.

“You can see the people who aren’t that into it waiting patiently as their friends take snaps.”

Competitive cooking

While he admits to angling for some of the “food porn” crowd, McCallum says he doesn’t like what he views as burger shops trying to “outdo” each other.

“There’s a big trend of having 20 patties and it just looks like a big cheese mess,” he explains.

“I said to my partner, I don’t want to be that place that sells the biggest burger. It just looks gross.”

Despite the sheer size of their burgers, both McCallum and Chudoschnik say customers who order their biggest burgers usually finish them.

An unhealthy spiral?

What, then, are the nutritional implications of the trend?

Leonie Heilbronn, associate professor and nutrition expert at the University of Adelaide, says splurging can be necessary, but people need to be aware of how quickly they can damage their bodies.

8bit's packaging is designed to take a good photo. Photo: Instagram
8bit’s packaging is designed to take a good photo. Photo: Instagram

“It only takes three days of unhealthy eating for the amount of fat in your liver to go up, as well as your glucose and insulin,” Ms Heilbronn explains.

Ms Heilbronn says researchers have not yet figured out why some people are able to eat unhealthily for short periods of time without damaging their body in the long run, while others will store the fat in their liver permanently.

“Quite simply, some people can do it and some people can’t. That’s why limiting your restaurant meals and unhealthy food is important for everyone.”

Despite hailing the “clean eating” trend as much healthier than “food porn”, Ms Heilbronn says it is better to “splurge very rarely than eat semi-unhealthily all the time”.

Splurging granted, one question still remains: if someone orders a giant burger and doesn’t take a photo, did it really happen?

SUNDAY-BEST-HOME

Comments
View Comments