Sunday, June 6, 2010

Food for thought

If there is a case to be made, it can be had in the food industry: where it comes from, how it was grown - and sometimes processed - and the subsequent changes to our eating habbits. The majority of the population shops at giant supermarkets where the food we consume is often better traveled than the consumer. More calories (energy and fossil fuels) go into creating 'cheap' food than we nutritionally get out of it. Fiscally, it makes sense to spend your dollars at Safeway or Kroger than it does to shop at the local market, but the draw backs of supporting this system are just now being realized. By consuming food out of season, such as asparagus in the winter, we must import the food, contributing to air pollution. Also, the nitrogen and phosphorus used by factory farms run off and deposit into the gulf of Mexico, now a dead zone. The organisms that spend their life in a factory farm are unhappy, unnatural, and often pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. These growth hormones are attributed to children entering puberty at a young and unnatural age. The use of antibiotics can also lead to resistant bacteria, meaning that our main line of defense to infection could be rendered useless. Fine artists are also making their case, journalist Michael Pollen outlines the facts in The Omnivores Dilemma and Food Inc is a film worth watching. Clearly, this is not a problem to ignore.

"The latest body of work by Parisian photographer Denis Darzacq is called Hyper, in reference to the "hypermarché" or supermarkets and global retail chains that have ousted small groceries. Street dancers from Paris and Rouen perform in the aisles of these stores as a contrast between being and having. Darzacq's work hinges around the idea of the individual and the environment, and these bodies that are suspended through art reflect an alternative to mindless consumerism." -sabin7,

Artist James Reynold created an "Alternative packaging for supermarket produce, highlighting the distances that some foods travel from and the resultant carbon dioxide released during the journey. The receipt features a boarding card style tear-off strip."

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