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How can you have the most impact on humanity's future? The answer is as simple as what you have for lunch. The way that Western society consumes meat leads us to a future of scarce resources, drought, and disease. We each have the power to choose our future with our choice of what to eat. This project explores the hidden costs of our food.
"A Nation of Meat Eaters", NPR Report
Beef, Global Issues blog
Forks Over Knives, documentary
Reports & Literature
Livestock in a Changing Landscape, UN Food & Agriculture Organization
Livestock's Long Shadow, UN Food & Agriculture Organization
Food Emissions Calculator, CleanMetrics
Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change, Environmental Working Group
A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products, Mekonnen and Hoekstra
The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products, Mekonnen and Hoekstra
The carbon footprint of dairy production systems through partial life cycle assessment, Rotz, Montes, and Chianese
The eat your future grocery tote gives you an easy way to check the environmental and health impact of your food choices while shopping. Tables printed inside the bag show the CO2 emissions, water usage, and nutrition score for common foods. The outside features a brightly screenprinted fruit or vegetable that celebrates a sustainable future.
The eat your future placemat puts the environmental and health impact of your food choices right under your meal. Tables printed on one side list the CO2 emissions, water usage, and nutrition score for common foods. The reverse features a grid of photographs that celebrate the beauty of food.
How To Eat Vegan for a Week And Love It, from Buzzfeed
Easy Vegan Meal Ideas, Vegan.org
Fast Food Options, Spoon University
Vegan Meals at Restaurants, Urbanspoon
9 Healthy Tips to Help you Start Eating A Vegan Diet, Eatingwell.com
For our thesis show, my challenge was to present this information in a sixteen-foot exhibit space, in a way true to the shock of the numbers as well as the familiarity and universality of food. I wanted to give the people who see it a sinking feeling as the information sits in, to rivet them to a changing data landscape that builds tension and challenges them to consider their eating habits in a new light. I created a simplified, looping video version of the meal calculator and projected it into a twelve-foot outline of a plate.
Thank you to all the faculty, staff, and support who make the Graphic Design MFA department at MICA the amazing place that it is. Thanks especially to Jennifer Cole Phillips, Ellen Lupton, and Jason Gottlieb for their creative and compassionate leadership, and to my classmates for their constant willingness to critique and create. I hope that you all think twice next time you're deciding whether to eat a hamburger!