The Plastic Menu

Project date: January 2022

A series of conceptual food images created as an environmental statement about micro plastics entering the food chain and now being found in human blood samples.

Stylist Jun Chen and I set about putting together a menu of food “cooked” almost entirely out of plastic waste to represent a possible not-so-far-off future if we continue to waste food and litter our environment. In this imagined future, all we have to eat is food made of plastic. A sobering thought but not such fictional one when rates of food waste are still as high as they are in the first world, and the rate of plastic manufacturing prolific and very low rates of recycling.

Humans are currently ingesting up to five grams of plastic per week (equivalent to roughly the same amount as a credit card is made of) by way of our food supply. The most obvious of these is by drinking water bottled in plastic and also through eating processed food packaged in plastic (particularly wet foods such as prepared ready meals and sauces), but our plastic ingestion is not limited to just these sources.

Micro plastics have also been found in fish and other sea creatures such as prawns and scallops. To quote Reuters, “People are ingesting plastic from drinking water but also through foods like shellfish, which tends to be eaten whole so the plastic in their digestive systems is also consumed.”

Sushi anybody?

Photography and retouching by Tanya Zouev | Set creation and styling by Jun Chen.