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Poll: Are Your Friends Bombarding You With 'Food Porn'?

Is the "culinary paparazzi" out of control? That's the message of a parody video by musical comedians The Key of Awesome.

The video may be a touch juvenile, but it gets at a relatively recent phenomenon you've probably noticed if you spend any time on Facebook, Twitter or other social media venues: People are sharing a whole lot of photos of what they're eating. And increasingly, it seems, the friends of these oversharers are getting fed up.

Some photos flaunt the cultivated tastes of their takers, while others demonstrate prowess in the kitchen. Most of the time, they seem to be a badge of foodie honor and adventurism — hard evidence of "ate there, cooked that."

Of course, the multitude of food blogs — and even what we'd call hardcore "food porn" sites, like the now-defunct This is Why You're Fat — contribute just as much to the deluge of food images that might come at you on the Internet every day. And they reinforce the worthiness of the subject matter for creating artfully tinted shots. The standards for amateur food photography have risen sharply in recent years, such that the photography is now just as important as the recipes on many food blogs.

The sharing habits of young foodies on social media seem particularly irksome to some members of the old guard. Consider Michael Idov's piece in New York magazine last month, which pilloried one 27-year-old Brooklyn food maven. Photos, he thinks, exacerbate the problem, because "eating, like sex, is among the most easily chronicled of pursuits."

Some restaurateurs also seem to find the practice loathsome, according to New York's Grub Street: Momofuku Ko and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare in New York, among others, have said, "No more photographing the food!"

But maybe all this chronicling is just a healthy and natural part of people getting excited about food. Or maybe it's an Internet folk art form that should be celebrated.

What do you think? Take our poll and weigh in. The poll closes on Wednesday, April 25 at 6 p.m. EST. We'll publish the results and some of your comments (please share them below) later this week.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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