Addendum as of 6.21.10: When I first saw this advertisement, I was blinded by the ginormous phallus; the text, “respect the food” seemed superfluous. (Before I forget to mention it, this is an advertisement for Subzero refrigerators in the latest Bon Appetit). Having had some time to think about it (and discuss with STA who smugly said, “You didn’t get the text and its relation to the image? I saw it right away!”), I am almost more disturbed and bothered by the text than I am the image. Okay, I am disturbed by what they seem to suggest in relation to each other. Is it merely an accident (ha!) that right above the command to “respect the food” is a big penis? Seriously, what is your reading of this image + text?
I originally posted this advertisement here because I thought that the food porn phenomenon (which I first read about here), has some troubling consequences for how we think about and consume our food. And, I thought that thinking about food as porn (and only as an object of lust–maybe porn isn’t the right word here?) might be one of the habits that should be broken if many of us (especially viewers of Food Network) were to cultivate better and more ethical relationships with/to food. Did that make sense? Anyway, now that I reflect more on the ad copy, I wonder what other habits (particularly ones that involve the primary signifier) need to be collectively (as opposed to individually) broken?