Liz West

Is food for the body somehow different?
I have always loved food, perhaps even more than flowers. My whole family enjoyed food. In fact, on my grandmother’s deathbed, her last conversation with my father was to ensure that he knew all the ingredients to all the family recipes. (Sometimes my grandmother would withhold the identify of one ingredient so that no one else could make a dish exactly as she did.)

My mother’s family was Polish and Russian, and my father’s family was Spanish and Mongolian, so I had a pretty broad exposure to food as a kid. In addition, we owned a large farm, which produced all sorts of fresh produce. One of my happier memories as a child was sitting down to special summer meals, which consisted of one fresh crop of food: strawberries, for example, or corn. We would gorge ourselves on the fresh produce to celebrate its arrival.

However, as much as I love food, I didn’t really think about photographing it, except to document certain recipes. Occasionally, I might take a snapshot of something that I bought, but such pictures were usually spur of the moment activities that took place only because my camera was near where I unloaded the groceries.

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