This piece was painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo and the subject is Rudolph II, the Holy Roman Emperor, portrayed as Vertumnus, the Roman god of seasons, bounties of food, and change.
The American food system has become so large, reaching the four corners of the world, that seasons don't really matter anymore. Large chain grocery stores will almost always carry the same products year around. The only thing that changes is the price and where in the world the item came from. Because of this fact, most people don't consider changing how they cook to adapt to the seasons, and often just use the same ingredients year in and year out. This routine allows for people to eat the same dishes and to never explore the wonderful bounty that local farmers and food producers offer.
Here are some questions to chew over:
If we didn't have access to certain foods year-round, how would that change the way we eat?
If we were to illustrate ourselves with the foods we consume, what would the portrait look like?
If foods reflect who we are, what does our modern food system say about us?
Tags: Food for Thought, Vertumnus, Arcimboldo, food system