Appropriately titled the One Third Project, Austrian photographer Klaus Pichler’s arresting imagery of decaying food is a response to a UN-commissioned study in 2011, which revealed that one third of the world’s food-industry products go to waste.
Beyond that staggering figure alone, the horrific irony of this statistic is that while some 1.3 tons of edible goods are discarded yearly, 925 million people in the world face the daily threat of starvation.
Pichler’s series of 50-plus photographs capture this irony, by featuring rotting food items set against stark black backgrounds that are exquisite in their strange and curiously-fossilized beauty, but entirely inedible. Accompanying each image are facts about its origin, methods of production or cultivation, its carbon footprint, transportation distance, and price, all of which underline the bitter truth that a piece of fruit can travel around the globe, only to be discarded in a supermarket on the other side of the world—while still in edible condition.
Check out the images below; the full series can be viewed on Pichler’s website.