Sustainable eats and photo-activism: Andrea Bakacs' eco-inspirational food pics

BlogHer Original Post

Can good photography change the way we eat? That's the idea behind photo activist Andrea Bakacs' work -- and it's gently shifting the way I think about food.

eggs by you.

A pretty photo of freshly-laid eggs makes me hungry for a farmers' market omelet -- while a too-plasticky photo of a grocery store aisle makes me want to grow all my own lettuce. Andrea, one of six Earthkeepers heroes selected by Timberland, took both those pictures -- and both tell pretty complex stories about today's environmental movement!

waitrose by you.

The eggs photo is one Andrea took at a sustainable Welsh farm with sheep that do the mowing, a compost pile that provides natural fertilizer, and a wind turbine that produces 80% of the energy the farm needs! Writes Andrea about this green energy source:

Currently, the family sells the energy back to the grid, as Britain has just again increased its buying rate. This means not only is the meter not adding any electrical costs, even though it’s not quite making 100% of what its electrical needs, but it’s actually spinning backwards! A few more yeas of this and the turbine will have not only paid itself back, but also provided a safe haven should uncertain times in the future require immediate access to alternative energy.

The windmill tells the story not just of the farm's eco-efforts, but about Britain's energy policies and how they can affect people's eco-choices and efforts.

The plasticky grocery aisle, too, tells a bigger story -- because that aisle's actually from an eco-friendly supermarket called Waitrose that's known for its commitment to local produce! Unfortunately, would be local-foodies had to take the plastic packaging with the yummy eats:

Every head of lettuce, vine of tomatoes, sprig of thyme, bunch of grapes, or anything else along these lines was packaged in none other than—you guessed it-- plastic.... It felt strange, knowing I was doing a good thing supporting not only the local economy and limiting my miles to table distance and therefore reducing the overall carbon footprint of my dinner, but also supporting the increased consumption of needless amounts of plastic, Satan’s resin if you will.

Andrea's photography's not just about food-- She tackles many environmental issues with the hope they'll "inspire and empower other urbanites towards building a sustainable future for their communities." If great visuals are what'll inspire your eco-activism, follow Andrea's work by reading her Earthkeepers-related photo-activist blog at Changents, her blog about the intersection of photography and environmentalism at Photography for a Greener Planet, or her fine arts website, andreabakacs.com.

Related links:
>> EarthPromise writes about Andrea's work: "Bakacs’ photos will not only captivate you with awe and (possibly) disgust, but with enough sensibility to be effective to spread awareness."

>> Blogher contributing editor Beth Terry photo-documents her plastic trash every week at Fake Plastic Fish, as a way to track her own eco-progress as well as to inspire others.

>> Erica Velasco of Vision Photographs offers Tips for Greener Photography at Professional Photographer.
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BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel's glad her local co-op's not as plasticky as Waitrose. She also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.

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