You may or may not be fed up with tired of the endless carousel of Instagram food posts (because really, y’all, how many pictures of just-so lattes and bowls of berries can one civilization consume?) — but the fact remains that photos are great tools for documenting what goes into our bodies. And in the hands of the right artist, photos are especially useful for exploring how what we eat relates to bigger concepts of health, culture, and sustainability.
For example: we’ve featured Henry Hargreaves’ mashup of electronics consumer culture and fast food, and James Ostrer’s primal sugar-fiend fetishes. And for insight into how we relate to our immediate environment, we’ve seen Paula Zuccotti’s oddly satisfying catalogues of every personal item people touch in a day.
Here, with his Daily Bread series, Gregg Segal takes a similarly bean-county approach to Zuccotti’s: everything kids eat in a week, at a glance.
I began to look more deeply at food – what we’re eating and throwing away. The conversation about what we should and shouldn’t be eating is growing louder, but how much – if at all – are our diets changing? To find out, I’m asking kids to keep a journal of everything they eat in a week. Once the week is up, I replicate the meals (with a small army of stylists) and make a portrait of the child with the food laid out on a table.
— Gregg Segal
But Segal’s work – the early stages of a book project — isn’t about clinical documentation: he’s got a point of view. “For those who say it’s not my problem, it is; we’re all picking up the health care tab, so we ought to focus on the root of the problem by taking a closer look at what we’re feeding our kids… The deeper goal,” he writes, “is to be a catalyst for change…learning from one another and moving the needle on diet.”
Chew on that a minute.