Here’s the number one problem with processed food: it’s so processed that we can’t really identify its origins. Especially when we’re talking about processed meat, which is pretty darn gnarly. Photographer Peter Augustus just changed all that.
Texas-born and now Hong Kong based, Augustus took photographs showing the unappetizing origins of processed meat including chicken nuggets, hot dogs and ham.
Only, in Augustus’ photos, he illuminates the unprocessed ingredients such as chicken feet, pig snouts and intestines that are commonly found in these items.
He said: “Arriving in Hong Kong for the first time, a city overloaded with visual stimulation, one of the most impactful scenes for me was the meat shops found in my neighbourhood,” reports the Daily Mail. “As a foreigner from a major city in the West, most of us seldom see anything that even closely represents what kind of animal we are eating when we purchase it – it is always pre-packaged, nice and neat, showcased in an air-conditioned supermarket.”
Augustus hits the problem with your processed ham sandwich right on the pig snout; we simply don’t know what’s in our processed foods, particularly here in the U.S. We don’t even know that there are ten billion animals processed into food products in the country every year. Where are these animals? They’re being hidden away in dark factories across the country before being extruded and packaged into your frozen dinners and fast food meals.
According to Augustus, his work “highlights a number of important debates” he says, especially over the quality of animal-based food products and “the use of unnatural fillers and hormones in the animal products we eat daily.”
While not a vegetarian, Augustus says the project did change his eating habits, “I now make an effort to know where and how the animal I am eating was raised – and the results do dictate if I end up eating it.
“Not to sound preachy, but I think if more meat eaters did that, I think there would be less animosity from overly passionate vegans.”
Images via the Daily Mail
4 thoughts on “This is What Processed Meat Would Look Like Unprocessed”
I’m so glad you wrote about this! I saw it the other day and thought it was so intriguing…
I can’t tell what the motivation here actually is. Like, the photog/”artist” is a native Texan, but claims to be in Hong King, where snouts, pig’s feet, and chicken feet are often delicacies- if not staples! The same is true in many parts of the world.
I guess I’m just wondering if these images are only disturbing to white suburbanites, is what I’m saying.
So upsetting! I think these speak volumes about the disconnect between things we consider food and the animals we harm to fill our plates.
Nice photos! Contrary to other commenters, the only thing even mildly upsetting about this piece to me was the photographer’s cognitive dissonance around what is “humane” and “overly passionate” ~ hopefully Augustus will enlighten up soon