For the past seven years I have taken photos of food waste: scraps, compost, the mess left after a party, and sometimes even cow shit.
It started as a bit of fun. I found a dish of pumpkinseed oil dressing simply beautiful, almost like a Jackson Pollock painting. Effortless, not designed. Real food porn.
Many food blogs focus only on beauty, a romanticized version of life. There is nothing wrong with beautiful food blogs, but don't you ever roll your eyes when someone posts a photo of his perfect muffins again? Isn't it often just the photographer's thinly disguised grandstanding? He wants to remind us that his life is as perfect as his #nofilter images. But Photoshopped food is as boring as selfies. Food shouldn't be so serious.
My blog shows what is left over. It's like a bomb has struck my kitchen.
Over the years, I've noticed the symmetry of nature reflected in vegetable scraps, or a stalk of lettuce. It all starts with a seed, which needs warmth and water to begin to grow.
From the flower comes a fruit. The fruit is eaten, but the rest ends up in the compost. There, it becomes fertile ground again. It sounds esoteric, but it's the effortless cycle of nature. And the best part: Nature leaves only biodegradable shit.
That's the most serious aspect behind the photos. We produce too much, throwing away more than 1.3 billion tons of food each year. We pack everything in plastic, contaminating our produce. We pollute the Earth with innovations, and require more and more energy to keep it all in check.
For that reason, we should spend just as much time looking at the food we throw out as we do the food we eat.
This article originally appeared on Munchies DE.