Power Hungry: Poignant Photos Compare the Meals of the Rich and Poor Throughout History

Contemperary North Korea

Contemporary North Korea

Approximately 40% of food is thrown out in America each year. This amounts to roughly $165 billion (with a ‘b’) worth of food, which could feed half of the 50 million Americans who struggle to put food on the table.

It’s tough statistics like these that inspired photographer Henry Hargreaves and his friend and food stylist Caitlin Levin to create the series Power Hungry: a poignant set of photos that illustrates the inequality between the rich and the poor by comparing what each class’s meals have looked like throughout history.

What initially started out as an attempt to figure out what foods prominent dictators ate turned into the realization that, throughout history, authoritative figures and governments have used hunger and starvation as a way to oppress and neutralize the masses. After all, they say you shouldn’t bite the hand feeds… the saying doesn’t mention how much food you’re getting.

Contemporary Syria

Contemporary Syria

Once the project pivoted, the photographers began analyzing and researching the dietary trends of the masses alongside the trends of those in power. The contrast was… stark… to put it kindly.

And that is the point of the series. As Hargreaves tells BuzzFeed, “We want people to literally and figuratively sit down and look across a table to see the glaring disparities between the ‘haves and have nots.’”

On one side of the table, you have a feast; on the other, something akin to famine. And while the past few decades have done quite a bit to help eliminate hunger in parts of the world, the job is far from over. A particularly powerful message for those of us about to celebrate Thanksgiving.

France, before the Revolution of 1789

France, before the Revolution of 1789

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt

Contemporary America

Contemporary America

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

To see more from Henry Hargreaves or Caitlin Levin, visit their websites by following the corresponding links.

(via Visual News)


Image credits: Photographs by Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin) and used with permission

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