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You Are What You Eat     
Mark Menjivar

You Are What You Eat
is a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the United States.

For three years I traveled around the country exploring food issues. The more time I spent speaking and listening to individual stories, the more I began to think about the foods we consume and the effects they have on us as individuals and communities. An intense curiosity and questions about stewardship led me to begin to make these unconventional portraits.

A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space. One person likened the question, "May I photograph the interior of your fridge?" to asking someone to pose nude for the camera. Each fridge is photographed "as is." Nothing added, nothing taken away.

These are portraits of the rich and the poor. Vegetarians, Republicans, members of the NRA, those left out, the under appreciated, former soldiers in Hitler’s SS, dreamers, and so much more. We never know the full story of one's life.

My hope is that we will think deeply about how we care. How we care for our bodies. How we care for others. And how we care for the land.

Audio track is from a collection of sound recordings I have been making over the past year of people eating their favorite foods.




Street Advertiser | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Lives on $432 fixed monthly income.

Owner of Defunct Amusement Park | Alpine, TX | 1-Person Household | Former WW II Prisoner of War.

Competitive Food Eaters/Yoga Instructor | New York, NY | 3-Person Household | Holds records for eating most burritos, cannolis, buffet food, green beans, sushi, pancakes, ramen noodles, tamales, tiramisu and sweet corn.

Botanist | Ft. Wayne, IN | 1-Person Household | Feels more comfortable among flora and fauna of his era than people.

Midwife/Middle School Science Teacher | San Antonio, TX  | 3-Person Household (including dog) | First week after deciding to eat all local produce.

Bar Tender | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Goes to sleep at 8AM and wakes up at 4PM daily.

Engineer | Lower Pottsgrove, PA | 17-Person Household | Italian-Puerto Rican Family Reunion.

Food Artist | New York, NY | 1-Person Household | Runs small vegan bakery from her apartment.

Delicatessen Attendant | Daphne, AL | 4-Person Household | Disowned by parents for marrying a black man.

Production Designer | New York, NY | 2-Person Household | Has done films for Cindy Sherman and Larry Clark.

Short Order Cook | Marathon, TX | 2-Person Household | She can bench press over 300lbs.

Custodian/Convenience Store Clerk | Ft. Wayne, IN | 2-Person Household | Ate nothing but donuts for over 3 years.

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