Horrific food photos: Why you should pick up a book that’s anti-food pornhttps://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/food-wine/horrific-food-photos-why-you-should-pick-up-a-book-thats-anti-food-porn/

Horrific food photos: Why you should pick up a book that’s anti-food porn

Cambridge-based Tom Kennedy’s Tumblr account — photos from which will be out in a book — is a graveyard of bad food shots with hilarious side notes.

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Have you heard of anti-food porn? A selection of ugly food photos from Cambridge-based Tom Kennedy’s popular Tumblr blog ‘Dimly Lit Meals For One’ will be included in his upcoming book.

Charred pizza, sausages that look like they belong in the bog, cannelloni that is rightly likened to ‘raw sewage’ by Tom Kennedy — the man responsible for documenting what are possibly the most tragic-looking meals you’ve ever seen — are for all to see on his Tumblr account ‘Dimly Lit Meals For One’. The US edition of a selection of the best — or worst, depending on how you look at it — shots will be out in a book next month. See a picture gallery of Dimly Lit Meals For One here.

What makes the book stand out is Cambridge resident Kennedy’s twisted humour that mocks the sad life of the fictional character who has dished up these sad meals. Entries for his book and Tumblr account came in from as far as South America, and even India. He says, “I underestimated the universality of depressing meals. Even in countries with noble culinary traditions worthy of respect — India, France, Italy — there are still people eating as sadly and badly as the typical English office drone.” Kennedy found some images on Flickr and Photobucket accounts. As of today, he tells us that he has 2,581 pictures in his ‘Dimly Lit folder’, including photos of “bizarre savoury jellies and mutated meatloaf all cooked up in the heartland of disgusting food — the American Midwest.”

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“This picture perfectly illustrates a certain type of student lifestyle in England. Study anthropology, get a few facial piercings, get so stoned you end up burning your pizza and using it as an ashtray.”

When John Blake Books first approached Kennedy about publishing photos from his 2-year-old Tumblr account, he began stockpiling them. He adds, “The pictures that made the cut weren’t necessarily the saddest — or silliest — looking, but the ones that sparked a story off in my head after staring at them for hours, trying to think of something vaguely funny to write.”

Kennedy admits that he’s not much of a cook himself. He says, “I am an inherently lazy cook, so anything that requires one pot like a pot roast or chili [I cook]. I have to do all the washing up because there’s no space in my tiny flat for a dishwasher. Anything that requires a lot of mixing bowls and chopping boards is going to be too much effort.”

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It all began when a school friend of Kennedy’s began uploading “horrific” food photos to Facebook. Says the author, “This guy would put up these horrific pictures of unpeeled, whole, boiled malformed carrots and these grey and pink undercooked stumps of chicken alongside these bland, cheery captions like “Dinner tonight!” or “Learning how to cook!”. He had no idea that he was traumatising his Facebook friends and quite possibly triggering eating disorders across the globe.”

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“It looks like it was pulled from the small intestine of an elephant, but this is actually a cake — a real cake baked by a human being.”

These photos in turn inspired Kennedy to launch his Tumblr account in 2014, and the way the Internet looks at food has completely changed since.

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