Eating locally and in season is good for the planet, your local economy, and your body. “Locavore” chefs in the best restaurants around the world are adapting their menus to appeal to this sustainable and in-style way of eating (as foods taste better when they are appropriately ripe), influencing the consumption patterns of thousands and therefore the future of our food systems. All around, consuming foods produced within a one hundred mile radius from where you eat is a responsible way to interact with your environment.
Now it’s easy on the eyes as well. Artists Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin have done it again: the duo that brought us Food Maps, a series of photographs depicting the crops produced region by region around the world, has produced a new series of stunning images entitled Food Scans.
This new series uses the simple yet intricate beauty of produce itself, sliced and placed on a scanner, to create kaleidoscopic symmetrical images. The subjects of each photograph – one for each month of the year – were personally collected by the artists from farmers markets across New York City and Long Island. The viewer is confronted with stunning up-close and personal views of fruits and vegetables, showing off every crack, crevice, and imperfection.
If you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing way to remember what’s in season when, this series is your new guide. We see carrots for May, figs in July, radicchio in January, et cetera. As Hargreaves explains, “Produce has seasons and not everything is available year-round. We also wanted to present items people are familiar with in a unique and memorable way.” Viewed individually, these images show a wide range of colors, textures, and shapes within each month. Considered as a whole, the series reminds us how diverse and exciting a year of eating can be.
Food Scans reminds us how beautiful these everyday objects can be, and how wonderful that they all come from right around us. The kaleidoscopic quality of the images evoke spiritual notions of the ways we interact with our food, and therefore the planet. Be sure to examine the series here, and remember to incorporate in-season produce in your next round of grocery purchases.
Kelly Mertz earned her undergraduate degree in International Studies and French Language from American University, where she focused on International Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is fascinated by public nutritional health campaigns and the politics of food aid.
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