In the Netherlands one third of the food is wasted. Reasons for wasting foods are because of cosmetic imperfections, experiment dates which are too strict or simply because of a surplus in supply. Some causes are from the consumers side but supermarkets are involved as well.
There is a variety of initiatives who try to solve this waste problem. For example artist Klaus Pichler. He showcases rotting food in still life series. The project, titled ‘On Third’, takes its name from the 1.3 billion tons of food (roughly a third of the total world supply) that regularly goes to waste according to a 2011 study by the United Nations. At the same time, 925 million people worldwide live with the threat of starvation. The images are composed beautifully but often stomach turning.
Another still life is from artists Diane Gatterdam and Laurie Frankel. They want to help people reconsider what happens to everything they throw out every day, like the 60 million water bottles that end up in landfills. “That bottle sits in your hands for maybe 10 minutes, and then it’s out of your life forever and you forget about it,” Gatterdam says. “We wanted to take these ordinary things that we discard and not only make them beautiful but make them live on in these photographs. The images in the Recycled beauty series ended up looking a little like dutch still life paintings from the 17th century, with water bottles instead.
Last example isn’t art related but a booklet that provides information about food waste. The design and illustrations that accompany all the information about what we throw away, are minimal, well laid out and so irresistibly designed that it’s hard not to steal the show.