That cartoon cliché of a man standing transfixed before an open refrigerator? That’s Mark Menjivar—except he’s aiming a camera.
For a project Menjivar calls “Refrigerators,” the former social worker photographs the fridges of people from all walks of life. He captions them obliquely: The midwife, for example, recently vowed to eat only local produce. The street advertiser “lives on $432” a month. The bartender “goes to sleep at 8 a.m. and wakes up at 4 p.m.” (leaving little time to eat leftover takeout).
Touring exhibits of the actual-size photos, Menjivar says, spark discussion of “not only our personal relationship to food but the larger society’s relationship to food systems."
This refrigerator (above) in San Antonio, Texas, is filled by a midwife and her husband, a science teacher, to feed a family of four.
Find this month's story from the National Geographic Future of Food series at natgeofood.com.