Photographs of Decaying Food Highlight the Global Problem of Waste

According to the UN, one third of the world’s food goes to waste — mostly in industrialized nations — while 925 million people around the world are threatened by starvation. To draw attention to this startling fact, Vienna-based photographer Klaus Pichler has been working for the past nine months on a project titled One Third, which consists of photos of rotting food. The food ranges from simple vegetables to cultural dishes from around the world, and everything is allowed to rot naturally by being stored in large plastic containers in Pichler’s bathroom.

Pichler plans to release the photos as a book and hold exhibitions, and is on a personal quest to change “the current consumerist behaviour in the industrial nations of the global north”.

One Third by Klaus Pichler (via Feature Shoot)

Image credits: Photographs by Klaus Pichler and used with permission

  • Casey Myers

    That is one stinking cool project!

  • Aidanmetzger

    If this is really a social statement, the artist should add some images of food waste in its natural setting. For example, leftovers thrown out from restaurants. Just look inside the green waste or compost bins in any downtown city in America. It’s not full of yard trimmings, they are full of FOOD!

  • Hamwasp

    Wow this is cool…but how do you expect to protest wasting food…by wasting food?

  • Klaus Pichler

    To Aidan: Absolutely! But you will find pictures like the ones you described in every newspaper article on food waste – and with mass scenes like these  – imho -no private consumer will really feel addressed because nobody stores food in this amounts in a private household. My aim was to create a provocative statement in an elaborate way, a visual ‘look what you do!’. And also, to present food as luxury items, staged in style of advertising pictures. This wouldn’t have been possible with the content of compost bins. 
    To Hamwasp: Yes! This whole series is meant as a provocative act.

  • Chuasam

    This is nothing new. Food has always been wastes by the rich.

  • Marén

    I love this project! Hopefully it will have some effect on consumers – as Klaus said: showing masses and masses of food thrown away by supermarkets etc. doesn’t help. I heard a lot of people complaining about food waste, believing they have nothing to do with it. I told some people how much perfectly good food every one of us is throwing in the bin (around 80 kilogram per year): “No, not me, no way. I am not wasting much.”

  • Robin McWilliams

    The other nations are starving for political reasons, not because there isn’t enough food in the world to feed them. Didn’t Live Aid teach us anything about the political nature of the problems of starving countries?

  • Jyztym4unme

    JOHN 6:11
     Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down; likewise also of the fishes as much as they would.  
    JOHN 6:12 And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples, Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, that nothing be lost.