A farewell kiss to mother earth

by Kitty Drake in May 2021
Food & drinkWeird

Food & Gravity is set in 2031: the world has been destroyed and is now just “a small speck of dust flitting about space”; gravity has gone haywire, and food is no longer really a thing. The issue bills itself as a “doomsday catalogue of memories & musings on food”. A “farewell kiss to mother earth”.

Food & Gravity is the sixth in a series called ‘Food &’, a magazine that approaches food through extremely unconventional themes. A welcome counterpoint to the mainstream food supplement, some of the best of the magazine’s previous issues have been ‘Food & Nuclear War’ and ‘Food & Love’. Every time, the fun of the conceit is that it invites you to look again at something as fundamental and habitual as feeding yourself, and see it entirely anew.  Many pages of Food & Gravity, for example, are devoted to pictures of aliens trying to get to grips with the concept of eating.

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Food & Gravity includes poetry and prose, but the best pieces in here play with form. One highlight is a ‘Workbook of Modern Metaphysics of Eggs’. The book is comprised of surreal tasks (“Task 15: How does the force of gravitation change when mass equals red?”) accompanied by fabulous, richly coloured photographs. 

A topic that crops up in this edition is the apple, and its centrality not just to Newton’s discovery of gravity but to the biblical fall from paradise. In one piece, by the artist Devis Bergantin, we see a still life of apples for end times: the fruit is horribly pixellated, and pictured lying on a bed of kitchen roll.

Many of my favourite images are darkly funny. In one collage, by Sam Salley, we see an upturned fruit salad superimposed above a grieving woman’s head. In another, we see crisps suspended in mid-air in a vending machine, unable to fall out of the flap. Food & Gravity invites you into a culinary world where you don’t know what’s up and what’s down. It’s a delight. 

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