This post is in response to a WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge where the aim is to express the future tense. The photograph links back to a paper that I once wrote concerning the ways that food moulds (molds) or decays and at the same time shapes our daily life experiences. The fruit bowl representes a particular class consciousness that incorporates display of class ability and the inherent content of the still life, which is rooted in notions of controlling/disciplining/civilising nature.
While the fruit bowl does this work it is also, and at the same time, anticipatory. The hope is, of course, that by placing the bowl prominently in the kitchen or on a dining table family members will eat the fruit, rather than other foods that are less healthy, and thereby get the 5 or however many servings a day that help determine a healthy diet. This display is hopeful.
Often, however, the fruit decays as the best intentions of the provider are not necessarily put into practice by those for whom the provision is directed. Fruit, like nature and children, is never fully disciplined. Fruit rots and decays. Bananas turn brown and apples get bruis-y bits that render them inedible to some. Thus the fruit must always be moved on. This dwelling in the bowl is a temporary arrangement.
The failure of the fruit to entice is evidenced in the huge volumes of fruit waste that find themselves in our landfills. In 2009, a study commissioned by WRAP in the UK found that 13% of all food and drink was was fruit waste. Most of which was avoidable. According to a study reported in Forbes, in 2012 European waste estimates indicates that half of all fruit and vegetables purchased become waste. The US is no better. According to a Business Week article published recently, Americans waste $14.8 billion a year throwing away fruit and fruit derived products.
This creates a tension with regard to our future. On the one hand parents desire a healthy diet for their children, on the other hand this waste translates into greenhouse gas emissions that influence climate change.
For more on WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge click here
For a study on Australian food waste see this report by Emily Morgan.
For further academic work on families, class position and social practices see:
- Lawler, S. (2005), Disgusted subjects: the making of middle-class identities. The Sociological Review, 53: 429–446. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2005.00560.x
- Finch, J. (2007), Displaying Families. Sociology, 41(1):65-81.
How to reference this post in non-web publications. If you would like to cite this post I suggest the following format:
Blake, M (2013) Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense. Geofoodie.org https://geofoodie.org/2013/03/24/786/ 24 March 2013 (Accessed: XX/XX/20XX)