This had to be shared with the BodyRock/Daily Hiit community. Who would have ever thought that what we have in our refrigerators would serve as such insight into our psyche and lives.
French gastronome Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are,' a philosophy photographer Mark Menjivar has explored to fascinating effect in his photo series 'You Are What You Eat.' He began taking photographs of the interiors of people's refrigerators, seeking to draw conclusions about people's lives from the contents of their fridges.
Menjivar photographed fridges belonging to 60 different people in 20 communities across the States. For three years, Menjivar had traveled around the United States exploring social issues as they relate to food for a film project. 'The more time I spent speaking and listening to individual stories, the more I began to think about the foods we consume and the effects they have on us as individuals and communities,' he says.
One day, he was struck by how the inside of his own fridge looked, and began taking pictures of other people's fridges as a kind of window to their souls. 'I approached it as a portrait project, so I invited people I was interested in for one reason or another to participate,' Menjivar told Slate. 'The majority are complete strangers to me. They're people I met on airplanes or in restaurants or saw walking down the street.' The images, taken as unconventional portraits, reveal hints about lifestyle, livelihood and life philosophy.
'These are portraits of the rich and the poor. Vegetarians, Republicans, members of the NRA, those left out, the under-appreciated, former POWs, dreamers, and so much more. We never know the full story of one’s life,' says Menjivar.
Menjivar photographed the fridges as they were, with no tidying up, no tossing out, no removal of that three-day-old take-out.
In some cases, Menjivar returned and photographed fridges four years after the initial shot, finding their contents much changed. Many of the images are thought-provoking, piquing curiosity about the lives of the people whose food they contain. Others, especially the more empty ones, are slightly sad, especially with the small amount of information Menjivar has provided about the number of people in a household and their jobs or income.
'A refrigerator can be a starting place to let our imagination roam and lead to reflection,' Menjivar told Slate. Looking into other peoples' fridges is oddly intimate, slightly voyeuristic and very intriguing, and for Menjivar, some fridges stand out more than others.
'The one of the botanist in Fort Wayne, Indiana, who was really living on the edge of society, experiencing pretty severe mental illness and experiencing food insecurity. There were very few things in his refrigerator: some hotdog buns, an old Pepsi container holding water, a jar of old chili,' was most intriguing for him.
Rise and shine: This is the fridge of a San Angelo, Texas family with a construction worker father and a housewife mother who wakes every morning at 4am to cook breakfast for her family
Cold reception: The somewhat neglected fridge of a Fort Wayne, Indiana botanist who lives alone and told Menjivar he feels more comfortable among flora and fauna than people
The fridge belonging to a bartender, which was full of take-out boxes, smelt so bad that Menjivar had to close it three times before he got his shot.
He recently revisited the bartender, who has now lost more than 100lbs. 'All of those takeout containers have been replaced with fresh foods, vegetables and breads. He has completely changed his eating habits,' Menjivar told The Splendid Table.
Fresh produce: This is the fridge of a 'food artist' from Brooklyn, Nwe York, who runs a small vegan bakery from her apartment
Health kick: The midwife and middle school science teacher who own this fridge were in their first week of eating all local produce when this picture was taken
Food on film: This fridge belongs to San Diego, California documentary filmmakers whose work has helped send millions of dollars to needy kids in Uganda
The fridge of this carpenter/photographer is full of frozen deer meat that was shot on family property in Texas
Well-sssssstocked: This is the fridge of a short order cook from Marathon, Texas who can bench press more than 300lb and who apparently has a dead snake in her freezer as well as pita bread and meat