The keyword ‘consume’ led me to think about the physical action of consuming food, as humans, along with the effects and problems which come alongside it.
As a country and world we never truly look into how we consume and waste our food that’s being grown, produced and sold to us. The food produced for our consumption is grown locally on farms and gardens but also on huge mass production scales which are shipped and transported to our doorsteps. This massive market gives us an opportunity to gain a varied diet in which we may not have without this business but we fail to realise we are wasting much more of this than we should be.
Many people and things are involved in this never ending chain of events; from the farmers growing our crops and only a fraction being consumed by the public, the thousands of animals being slaughtered just to be wasted and our materialistic minds having no realisation on how our waste is affecting the world around us and what good our waste could do to someone else.
In this project, I want to focus on the food waste in which we fail to consume, the food made for us but we reject and the overall review of what needs to be done about this overbearing, dominating problem we are all responsible for.
I began my research with a basic search engine which led me to websites and articles on where we gain our produce from, which countries and what food is being transported. As a country, we receive our food produce from all over the world including countries like Spain, Italy, China, India, Caribbean, USA, New Zealand and much more.
I found these stats to explain the massive reliance we have on the world to feed us: 27 countries accounted for 90% of supply of all food, 24 accounted for 90% of fruit and vegetable supply, 4 accounted for 90% of meat and meat preparation supply, 4 accounted for 90% of dairy product and bird’s egg supply and 11 accounted for 90% of supply of cereals and cereal preparations (including rice).
This means there is a 50% chance that what you’re eating isn’t grown in the UK; 165 countries make up a significant portion of our food imports and the fact we are wasting a huge section of this produce makes it so much worse.
We are all at blame for the extensive amount of waste that’s generated every year; whether that’s the supermarkets and their strict cosmetic standards or the public in their household. It’s estimated that we throw away over 50% of our food in our household- that’s 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year. We have gotten so used to having everything put on a plate for us and anything that we need there for us that we have failed to realise that throwing away the food that’s simply ‘in the way’ is not economically viable.
My future work, for this project, will lead me in the direction of refelcting this problem in my art and experimenting with different styles to convey it in the best possible way.