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A new exhibition organized at The United Nations Headquarters focuses on food safety and raises awareness of the problems surrounding the provenance of food today. We are reminded of surprising facts such as half of the overall food and meat produced around the world ends up being largely wasted. In a moment of crucial importance for the long term viability of most of the things we do, and the climate change extending its even more worrifyng shadow on the horizon, Vik MunizEdward Burtynsky and Liu Bolin are the artists chosen to reflect on such a delicate issue.

The exhibition, which sheds light on this enormous waste and the consequences it poses not just in humanitarian terms but in climatic ones too, shows the deep and serious issues existing with regards to the production and later consumption of food nowadays. Trying to accept the fact that almost half of the food cultivated and produced in the world today ends up being either thrown away or wasted is no easy task at all.

The United Nations, through its Sustainable Development Goal 2 initiative, have commissioned artists Vik Muniz, Edward Burtynsky and Liu Bolin to choose one of their most representative artworks on this matter, to be featured specifically with this purpose. These artists –whose works continue to be revered and have reached stages of global recognition both in art and political and social terms– have previously raised questions on matters with sustained –when not amazing– levels of success. The exhibition aims to contribute to enhance the public opinion on this matter and sets up the foundations of sustainable agricultural practices and consumption systems by making the different parts involved in the process aware that there's still so much to achieve in order to subvert such pessimistic figures. The whole planet awaits for a change, and artists such as Vik Muniz, whose career is full of social references and based on reinterpretations of social and already-established art conventions through witty artworks, invite you to start making a difference because, clearly, we are what we eat.
We Are What We Eat will be on view at the United Nation Headquarters from the 28th of April to the 30th of June 2016.

Manuel Sánchez

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