Picturing Monoculture: The Separation Between Us and Food - Modern Farmer

Picturing Monoculture: The Separation Between Us and Food

A photo exploration of the separation between us and food.

Rows of young corn line a German research laboratory in below-freezing temperatures.

“In a world where you can find everything you want to see on Google Images, I think it is important to produce photographs that are disturbing,” says Spohler. “These photos are sort of grim and barren and that’s part of the story.”

Spohler says the separation between us and food – from sterile research laboratories in Germany to the plastic landscape of Andalusia’s greenhouses – has never been greater than it is now.

Discarded chemical canisters are reused as floats for an intake pipe in a water reservoir outside a greenhouse in the rolling hills of Andalusia, Spain.


Rows of lettuce bake on a September afternoon in the hot California sun.


At a German research laboratory, these cereals are robotically photographed to carefully observe everyday fluctuations in biomass. The blue material acts as a green screen to allow precise documentation.


Young cacti grow in the middle of the desert in Borrego Springs, California.


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