These are our visions of the future of food. In 2016, we produced a photo essay about how our food will be affected in the future altered by climate change, and we're looking for funding to help us produce our second series of photos.
We are four women in the food media world, working to shed light on our world's most pressing environmental issues, particularly as they will impact what is on our plates. We wanted to tell a story of coastal flooding and sea level rise, through the format of an intimate dinner. We created a series of 13 photographs, along with recipes, to share our vision for how our food system may need to change.
We are working on a second photo essay based on areas affected by climate change-induced drought.
So we're asking for help! We need funding for a studio space, food and ingredients, props and backgrounds, lighting equipment, and printing. If you can help support us, we want to share photographs and recipes with you!
For the frist half of this project, Flooded, we looked at just one aspect of climate change—how warmer weather will cause the oceans to rise, resulting in increased coastal flooding. Along with this, we took into account climate change's role in ocean acidification, the depletion of marine biodiversity, and, of course, the future of industrial agriculture (one that we hope is minimized). We chose ingredients, techniques, and dishes that tell a story of what we could be eating, or considering differently, in a changing climate.
Some of the recipes from the first photo essay:
Seaweed and Sea Kale Caesar Salad, Burdock and Dandelion Root Hummus with Sunchoke Chips, Carob Agar Pudding, Fried Potatoes with Chipotle Mayo and Bonito Flakes, Clam Consommé, Mollusk and Broth with Mustard Greens, Whole Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushroom
One ingredient we chose was oysters. Bivalves, generally, are important to the climate change and food debate for several reasons—they can actually decontaminate polluted waters, acting as tiny filtration systems, and they reproduce quickly. However, bivalves like scallops are threatened by rising ocean acidification.
Another ingredient central to the future of eating is seaweed. Visionary Bren Smith has started building the future of farming the oceans, helping to start kelp farms. As animal protein becomes less and less realistic in sustaining growing human populations, we can conceive of a large enough network of seaweed farms to provide incredibly nutritious and protein-dense food. These farms will also actually improve the effects of climate change: Sea grasses like kelp are able to absorb five times more carbon dioxide than land-based plants, and they don’t require fresh water, fertilizer or land.
The project has been a huge success, and we are debuting the images at an exhibition with Honolulu Biennial right now.
But we aren't done. Climate change doesn't just mean increased flooding and changes to our oceans—we will also have to deal with desertification and hotter, drier climates elsewhere. This series was originally envisioned as having two parts—one focused on flooding, and one focused on drought.
We need support in creating the second half of this photo essay, Drought.
We have been empowered to use our voices, not only as food media professionals, but as women working in this industry, to continue this project.
We have a whole new list of climate change ingredients to feature, including breadfruit, cactus, insects, and cocktails, as well as exciting plans for all the props and lighting, based off of locations around the world experiencing climate change-induced drought. We want to share the images with you, and keep the project going.
Meet the collaborators behind the photo essay:
Heami Lee (Flooded photographer) was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved with her family to Queens, New York when she was five. Now Brooklyn-based, the photographer’s images focus on portraits, food, travel, interiors, and still-lifes. When she’s not photographing she can be found sipping cappuccinos and people watching.
Allie Wist (Flooded creative director + research lead) was born north of Steel Town (aka Pittsburgh), PA. She is an artist, art director, and independent researcher whose work is anchored in food culture, food systems, and climate change. She received her MA from NYU in Food Studies and was most recently an art director at Saveur Magazine. She currently teaches food and performance art at NYU, and loves to drink wine in airports.
CC Buckley (Flooded food stylist + recipe developer) is an herbalist and food stylist who envisions plants as crucial partners and allies in a healthful future. She is currently working on a book about medicinal plants for Roost and is the in-house food stylist for AT Media. When she's not nerding out on herbs, she can be found around the city on her bike.
Rebecca Bartoshesky (Flooded prop stylist) is a New York based prop and interior stylist. Born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Rebecca moved to New York City to attend FIT. After graduating with a BFA in Interior Design, she turned the tide and began her career in prop styling. Arranging objects and creating environments that tell a story bring her joy. When she’s not on set she can be found climbing over fences.
Risks and challenges
We have done extensive research for the second half of our work on climate change food photography, as well as great ideas for props, lighting, and ingredients. We're ready to shoot as soon as we are funded, ideally in late 2018.
We want to get location photography of an actual area affected by drought, and are looking into the American Southwest and parts of Bolivia. It will be a challenge to incorporate a location photoshoot before the studio shoot, but in the event that it is impossible, we will utilize past location photography of deserts and arid areas.
In the event that the photoshoot is delayed, we will keep all of our supporters up-to-date on when they can anticipate prints or a link to the new photo essay!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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