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Fantastic foodscapes

By Elizabeth Bridge, CBC Digital Archives writer

Food styling was a calling I was only vaguely aware of before I met someone who makes a living at it. Until then I had no idea one could combine lard and icing sugar to make something that passes for ice cream but won't melt under a photographer's hot lights.

Then there's the work of London photographer Carl Warner, in which food is styled almost beyond recognition. Dubbed "Foodscapes," his painstakingly assembled scenes recast crusty loaves as craggy hillsides, tropical fruits as hot-air balloons and silvery fish as the waves they swim under.

The UK newspaper The Telegraph has a captivating slideshow with 14 of Warner's images, including not just landscapes but cobblestoned villages, seascapes and pastoral scenes. It's fun to see how many elements you can identify - hey, those cliffs are blocks of Parmagiano!

Accompanying text explains Warner's process, from initial sketches through food assembly, photography and digital retouching.

On another level (which is mentioned in brief), it's troubling to see all that food become mere decoration in this era of food insecurity. Warner says he tries to salvage as much as possible to share with his crew, but some still gets thrown away.

What do you think? Are Warner's Foodscapes an inspiring reminder of the possibilities of food, or a frivolous waste of precious nutrition?

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Comments

Myrto Ashe

Unethical waste of precious nutrition, and especially in the case of fish, of just as precious natural resources. I'm also appalled by games with eggs. Face it, 14% of the world's people are starving, according to the UN. If that were your child, could you look at such "art" with anything other than rage?

Posted December 10, 2008 09:41 AM

Cherryeyes

Well, I can’t get quite so indignant; all art uses some resources. For example, I could imagine going to a lute recital, but the building of that lute would have caused a tree to fall. The food and the camera are the tools of one artist’s trade, just like oils on canvas or bronze for sculpting are another’s. All take from the planet. All are “wasted” by this measure. The only difference with this particular artist’s work is that the depletion to our natural resources is made explicit. So unless we are willing to do away with all art (and all of our pleasures, really), we may as well enjoy the food art along with the lutes.

Posted December 10, 2008 01:51 PM

KC

Truly a waste of food but the ingenuity and creativity cannot be denied!!

Posted December 11, 2008 07:18 AM

Schnee

Ontario

I spent my first five years on rationing, in Britain, and when we came here, my parents continued to ration; all my life there were two things that were drummed into me: 1) Think about tomorrow before you eat that, or throw something away; 2) there are starving people in India, Africa etc, who would love to be able to eat those vegetables (only one time did I talk back, and got my father's hand for the trouble)
I have come to realize that those starving people are starving, not because of the meals on my table, but because of politicians and CEOs who put greed above caring for the world. We CAN feed the world, and do it handsmomely, without making kids feel guilty for wasting food or fearing for tomorrow's meals, we only need the will.
There is nothing obscene in what this artist has done, only in the self righteous attitudes of people who claim he is wasting food. If he is saving 50 to 60% of the food, how much have YOU wasted over years.
As one other artist said, as he drew on the ground, "LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, CAST THE FIRST STONE!!"

Posted December 14, 2008 06:49 AM

Random Nobody

Yes this really is a waste of valuable resources that our planet provides for us to be able to live our daily lives, however I feel that the creativity expressed in these works of art is so amazing! All of the people who say that this artist shouldn't be doing this should think about the things they do to our planet that they really dont need to do. There will probably never be a day when nothing in our planet is wasted but how you choose to help with this matter is up to you and nobody else.

Posted February 11, 2009 09:21 AM

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About the blog

From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.

About the writers

Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

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