Few subjects generate as much discussion as that of food. And such discussion is increasingly marked by suspicion and pessimism about how our food is produced. In 2013, Henk Wildschut (NL, 1967) was invited to make an in-depth study on the subject of Food for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Full of preconceptions about the food industry, Wildschut viewed it as dishonest, unhealthy and unethical. More than that, it was contributing to the decline of our planet, unlike in the good old days. He was hopeful that the magic word ‘organic’ was going to solve everything. So when he embarked on this project, his first impulsive reaction was to bring to light all the misunderstandings about food, once and for all.
After two years of research and photography, Wildschut realised that the discourse on food production can be infinitely refined which often puts supposed advantages and disadvantages in a new light. For example, scaling-up can actually enhance animal welfare, and organic production is not always better for the environment. Often, an excessively one-sided approach to the subject of food is a barrier to real solutions. Food is simply too wide-ranging and complex a subject for one-liners or to be described in terms of black and white.