Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Research - Real Food Fake Food

In Real Food, Fake Food, food journalist Larry Olmsted has researched various food products, making us re-evalute both assumptions and mythology regarding the quality of our food.

According to Kirkus Reviews, it is “an enlightening but frequently disturbing culinary journey. While providing fascinating insights into where and how some of the most delicious food products are produced, the author also reveals how often these are imitated to detrimental effect…A provocative yet grounded look at the U.S. food industry.”

Research - Nadia Berenstein blog

A scholar of flavor technology, Nadia Berenstein, has amassed a wealth of information regarding all things flavorful, imitation and natural, on her thoughtful blog. Some history and ideas from numerous posts:
“…the role of the flavor chemist in a flavor company, [is] negotiating between the sensory possibilities of chemicals and the sensual desires of consumers…. The successful flavor also must reflect consumer tastes, expectations, and, especially, fashions.”
“…the flavorist is in a fashion business, and must constantly produce novel sensations, new variations for a public hungry for untasted fruits, unsampled pleasures, both low delights and high ones.”
“The real creative flavor maker appreciates the inevitable fact that the world eventually tires of perfection itself. There is no perfect. There is only the pluripotent new, perpetually refreshed by the stream of newly discovered synthetic organic chemicals. ...notes. It's all aroma, there's very little actual "taste" to it, but the aroma is masterfully constructed,….”
‘The real creative flavor maker appreciates the inevitable fact that the world eventually tires of perfection itself. There is no perfect. There is only the pluripotent new, perpetually refreshed by the stream of newly discovered synthetic organic chemicals. ...notes. It's all aroma, there's very little actual "taste" to it, but the aroma is masterfully constructed…”
Berenstein also  works as a freelance writer. Among her articles is one from Popular Science, reviewing  food writer Bee Wilson’s new book, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat.

“Eating is something we must learn how to do, but it is not something we learn once and for all. The mistake is to assume that our appetites are inborn and indisputable, and our habits are immutable. This is why the most important lesson of this book is this: pleasure matters. And what we find pleasurable can change, a process that she calls a "hedonic shift." We can't expect to eat better, if we don't like what we eat. “

Wilson is know for her first book, Consider the Fork, a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of everyday objects we often take for granted.

Research - Food Marketing Wall of Shame

The Food Marketing Workgroup is a network of more than 225 organizations and academic experts who are concerned about the proliferation of marketing of unhealthful foods and beverages that targets children and adolescents. This national network, convened by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG), is dedicated to eliminating harmful food marketing — particularly marketing aimed at those who are most vulnerable to obesity and other nutrition-related diseases — by actively identifying, investigating, and advocating changes to marketing practices that undermine health.
Food Marketing Workgroup WALL OF SHAME

The FMW fosters ideas and momentum around national, state, and local strategies. It serves as a forum for researchers and advocates to share information, support one another’s work, and identify priorities for research and action. The FMW shares what it learns with parents, the public, and policymakers. It also appeals directly to companies to improve their marketing practices.

Research - Flavor Technology - Ted Talks

TED Talks, a favorite clearinghouse of ideas, has compiled a few talks for their radio hour specificially addressing current food concerns, ideas, marketing, and the future of the planet:

The Food We Eat

Food is more than nourishment. It's a source of pleasure — and guilt — and an agent of change. TED speakers explore our deep connection to food, and where it's headed:
Mark Bittman: How Has The American Diet Changed Over Time?
Pam Warhurst: How Does Food Become A Tool For Connection?
Robert Lustig: How Worried Should We Be About Sugar?
Charles Spence: What Defines The Perfect Meal?
Marcel Dicke: Are Insects The Future Of Food?

Food Matters
A cornucopia about food: growing it, cooking it, consuming it and making sure there's enough for everyone.
Carolyn Steel: How Does Food Shape Cities?
Cary Fowler And Ann Cooper: Can We Protect Food's Future And Improve School Lunch?
Dan Barber: Does Good Flavor Equal Sustainability?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Exhibition - Trump travels to Vermont

We will be sending our Trump card to Vermont Center to Photography for their "Postage Required: A Mail Art Exhibition"

StrantMag - An Election Eve Message

Shaun H. Kelley shared this bilious and insightful admonition with his readers at

An Election Eve Message: Junk Food is Bad for Your Health
For this Election Day Eve Family, Faith, Food contributors Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman have produced this portrait of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for your consumption consideration. If you’ve ever eaten an entire canister of Pringles at one sitting, the last powdered doughnut after you ate the fourth, third, and second to last powdered doughnut — then perhaps this portrait resonates. Perhaps you know the bloated feeling, greasy fingers, and sugar breath. The guilt of indulgence. Red 40 Lake? Yellow 6 Lake? Blue 1 Lake? Make America great again? Fox News Health reported in 2013 that “there aren’t many compliments to pay processed food, but even we’ll admit: The stuff sure can be colorful.” The report went on to state that “the blue dyes can seep into the bloodstream when the skin’s barrier is impaired … or when the dyes are exposed to the mucous membrane of the tongue.” Perhaps that’s just it. Some of us have been impaired by ignorance–an orange film residue on your tongue. What you thought was justified cynicism is actually artificial coloring. Fortunately the report concludes with a solution: read the nutritional labels and educate yourself before you vote eat.

Exhibition - Forged Worlds

Exhibition - Forged Worlds   September 2016-17     Curated by Sam Barzillay

Adams Street, Plymouth Street, and Anchorage Place /Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, 

DUMBO Brooklyn, New York
September Through July 24, 2017
 Processed Views is part of a large-scale outdoor group exhibition presented by:
United Photo Industries (UPI), in partnership with the 
DUMBO Business Improvement District and the New ork City Department of Transportation.

Honored  to be showing with other landscape constructivists
Lori Nix (New York, NY) — The City
Bill Finger (Seattle, WA) — Ground Control
Julia Fullerton-Batten (London, UK) — Teenage Stories
Nadine Boughton (Gloucester, MA) — True Adventures in Better Homes
Justin Bettman (New York, NY) — Set in the Street
Jie Ling He (New York, NY) — Microland


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Exhibition - Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Processed Views  by Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman
Exhibition Dates: October 14 – November 26, 2016
Colorado Photographic Arts Center
3636 Chestnut Place, Denver 80216
Saturday, October 15  Opening Reception and Panel Discussion

While at Fotofest in Houston this spring, we ran into fellow photographer, Samantha Johnston, who was there reviewing in her capacity as Director of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver’s RiNo Arts District.  She invited us to show Processed Views in November. With a generous grant from the Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Export Fund, we were able to include our most recent work, Enhanced Varieties and Sugar Geology, as well as attend the opening.

We planned a full schedule to take advantage of sharing our work with a new audience:

Thursday  Dined with  former CPAC director, Nigel and Christina at the home of local painter and educator, Lanny DeVuono
Friday a.m.  We presented our work to 2 local high school art classes, discussing artwork, art-making and ideas. Students were guided through a “flavor excursion” comparing natural and manufactured flavors.
p.m.  CPAC trustees and friends reception on Friday 10/13 for in-depth and informal discussion of the work. 
Latest specimens from our project "Sugar Geology"
Saturday a.m. Excursion to visit exhibitions at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO. Extensive discussion with the Director Hamida Glasgow about Colorado photography activities. Hike at  Reservoir Ridge Natural Area/Lory State Park

p.m.  In conjunction with the CPAC opening reception, a panel with the artists and four members of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council discussed issues that the artists’ work evoked.  Speakers included Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Fellow, Eric Kornacki representing Re:Vision; Mya Bea, Director of Liberation Sequence Gardens; Asia Dorsey from Five Points Fermentation Co.; and Shannon Spurlock, Denver Urban Gardens. The conversation was part of CPAC’s ongoing Developing Dialogues series.

Our work was covered in two articles in Westword the  local newspaper with more than 1.6 million monthly active viewers
10/14/16  Processed Views Meshing Junk Food and American Landscape
10/15/16   Artists Make Donald Trump from Junk Food  
and in High Country News

10/31/16 Famous Western Landscapes, recreated with processed food

Sunday   Denver Botanical Gardens - Denver Art Museum exhibitions viewed - On Desert Time: Timothy O’Sullivan & William Bell, The Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance, Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design l980s- 90s and collection highlights with a finale at Acorn Restaurant
Monday   Excursion South to Garden of the Gods, Denver Botanical Museum, Manitou Springs Cliff Dwelling. Hilarious dinner with three photography colleagues from Colorado College and UC-CS in Colorado Springs: Heather Oelklaus, Carol Dass and Emma Powell
Tuesday  A quick swing to the Trump Rally in Colorado Springs before we left golden Colorado

As seen in The New Yorker, BBC, CNN, and at the FotoFest 2016 Biennial, Processed Views presents iconic American landscapes recreated with manufactured food. Created by longtime collaborators Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, the project explores the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. (Pictured above: Fruit Loops Landscape, courtesy of the artists.)
Both artists will be present to discuss their work at an opening reception on Saturday, October 15 from 6-9 pm at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Guests from the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council will also join the conversation as part of CPAC’s ongoing Developing Dialogues series. FREE.

In the Artists’ Words  “As Midwesterners, we saw the landscape transformed as the family farm gave way to agricultural industry. This was not exclusive to the heartland, as Big Ag and food processing facilities eventually spread across the country. In earlier work, we photographed the American West, observing how human interventions altered the land in accord with ideas of progress and new trends in consumption. In Processed Views: Surveying the Industrial Landscape, we revisit the landscape, this time at the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and food technology.

We came to Processed Views from a previous project about the nurturing aspect of food. In those photographs, we traced the emotional and physical energy that flows through the intimate act of preparing and sharing food. The flip side of mealtime in America, however, is the complex, impersonal system of industrial agriculture, food processing, and marketing. As our country moves further away from traditional sources of food, we enter uncharted territory with its myriad unintended consequences for the environment and for our health.
Throughout our collaboration, we have turned to history as a source of inspiration. We reference here the work of Carleton Watkins (1829-1916), whose iconic photographs honored nature and documented development on the frontier. His images were made at a critical time in the ongoing oppositional relationship between American industrial development and conservation. We are at another such historical moment today.
Processed Views presents a provocative encounter with the average American diet. We ask ourselves and our viewers to reevaluate this supposed utopia. Have we oversold our technological ability to bend the forces of nature, whether to fulfill fantasies of a fun food diet or to meet heroic expectations of feeding the world? We hope this work serves as a cautionary tale, where we can extract lessons from the past and pause to consider the consequences of our choices.”

Barbara Ciurej is a Chicago-based photographer and graphic designer. She has a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications from the Institute of Design+Illinois Institute of Technology. Ever looking to the art historical past to invoke order and harmony, her search for narratives to explain the plight of how we got here has fueled 30+ years of making pictures.

Lindsay Lochman is a Milwaukee-based photographer and lecturer at the University of Wisconsin / Milwaukee. She received her Master of Science in Visual Communications at the Institute of Design + Illinois Institute of Technology. In her quest to organize the natural world, she is inspired by the intersection of science, history, and the unconscious.

Research - GMOs - Doubts about the Promised Bounty

After 20 years, studies show some unsubstantiated results for feeding the world. This  New York Times article by environmental reporter, Danny Hakim compares the facts with the promises of technological intervention in food production.
"The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides. .....Since genetically modified crops were introduced in the United States two decades ago for crops like corn, cotton and soybeans, the use of toxins that kill insects and fungi has fallen by a third, but the spraying of herbicides, which are used in much higher volumes, has risen by 21 percent."
 A quick view of two decades of performance

Not to worry Monsanto-Bayer monolith, the creation of new markets is a established technique-- "feeding the world" with high tech is so righteous.
“G.M.O. acceptance is exceptionally low in Europe,” said Liam Condon, the head of Bayer’s crop science division, in an interview the day the Monsanto deal was announced. He added: “But there are many geographies around the world where the need is much higher and where G.M.O. is accepted. We will go where the market and the customers demand our technology.”