Where does your food come from? The rib steak, the chicken leg, the carrots and what about that innocent lettuce? Do you know how these foods end up on your plate? So many people in the West look no further than their supermarket aisles. And they often have no idea how the food is produced or where it comes from.

This exhibition, and the book it is based on, attempt to give a comprehensive answer to this question. Feed the Planet is the outcome of ten years’ work in the field, in 40 countries, across five oceans and on every continent on our planet. An unprecedented project meticulously undertaken by photojournalist George Steinmetz, known the world over for the quality of his aerial images and the precision of his shots; an extraordinary visual document illustrating the global food system relied on to feed the 8 billion people who live on our planet.

Beyond the demographics, there are many questions. Since the domestication of plants began around 11,000 years ago, humans have converted 40% of the Earth’s land mass into farmland – often to the detriment of biodiversity. In the oceans, more than half the fish biomass has disappeared since the 1950s. And we cannot overlook the fact that today’s agricultural systems account for 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

How do we accommodate these systems with the prospect of 2 billion more people on Earth by 2050? How can they be adapted to cope with rising protein consumption in emerging countries? If the world’s food supply needs to double in the next 30 years, how will this be achieved this without wiping out the few remaining wild spaces and creatures? Let’s never forget that, as consumers with the power to vote with our forks, it is our duty to ensure the fair utilisation of our resources. And that on a large scale, the decisions we all take can have a significant impact on market supply. And, ultimately, on the environment.


© George Steinmetz • Exhibition Feed the planet