anthropology / cooking / culture / demographics / food / health / photography / Uncategorized

What’s On your Plate? I am asking you…

The project:

Daily Dinners 2- A portrait in Food

 This project seeks to explore the context and stories that surround food and food behaviors. This is a follow up on my project `Daily Dinners- a Portrait in Food`completed in 2011.

I am interested in ordinary daily dinners. This could be anything from homemade, microwaved, take out or fast food.  I am not seeking special occasion fair or carefully planned meals, just the unconscious daily staples.

For this project I am looking to gather photographs of your loaded dinner plate (or other food receptacle). The photographs will be displayed as collage, forming a collection documenting the range of meals that make up a community. A visual map.

In addition to the photographs, I am interested in any story, comments or descriptions that accompany your meal and brief demographics. Snap shots not only of average daily diners, but of the lives in which they are part.

All the information will be anonymous: no addresses, names or other personal information will be collected or disclosed.

Your participation in this project would be appreciated!

For more information contact me using the feedback form bellow or at


1. Photography Instructions:

How to:

DD2 Example image

  1. Place your plate/ bowl / food receptacle on a white background (a sheet of white paper works well)

 2. Photograph an overhead shot framing the dish or receptacle

 3. Please do not edit the photograph!

4. Email to as a jpeg

Link (word document with photography instructions) :

Daily Dinners 2-Photo Instructions

2. The survey

Please follow the link to the survey questions, and send completed form to


Daily Dinners 2 -Demographic questions

Example of a completed survey:

*Question responses are denotes in blue lettering


DD2 Example image

Please attach as a separate jpeg image.

See details photography instructions

For the purpose of this example, the image is embedded into word document:

Demographic survey:

Please only answer questions that you are comfortable with. Parts of the information may be displayed (as part of a larger visual representation) but it will not be identified with the individual, compiled or disclosed.

The purpose of the demographic survey is to expand on the visual component of the project by:

  1. Providing some background, or history about the participant’s relationship with food
  2.  As well as some personal aspects that informs their food choices.

Presenting photographs, but also considering the context you’re your life.

Demographic questionnaire:

-Please select the best multiple choice answer for the first section. 

This meal: Salmon, steamed Boc Choy, and potato

Date: September 12 2012

Number or people this meal is targeted towards: _______1__________________

Eater Gender Age Cultural Background Individual Characteristics/ Specifications that inform meal selection/ preparation
1 Female 23 First generation CanadianHeritage: English Allergies to dairy, supports local initiatives as much as possible. Broken foot, therefor meals are smaller than normal because of low activity and low appetite

Who prepared the meal?

Eater 1 (me)

How long did preparation of the meal take, start to finish?

35 minutes

Do you enjoy cooking / food preparation of this meal or in general?

No,  it was another task to do at the end of a long day

Are there any values/ beliefs/ stories / experiences that inform this meal?

When I feel slow, and down I always steam some greens. Asian greens are my favorite. They have a wonderful nutrition profile but are particularly good for iron content.

I have many childhood memories of close pins on my noes while my mother prepared the mandatory weekly fish meal. As much as I hated it growing up it has become ingrained into my weekly meal plans as well.

The vegetables are from my weekly CSA. I am very conscious of food politics and try to support local organic farmers.


  1. 1.      Shopping:

Who does the shopping in your household?


Where is the shopping done?

Safeway and farmers markets

How often do you shop?

3x a week

  1. 2.      Habit’s:

Do you have specific food/foods that recall important memories (food or otherwise?)

Fish recalls childhood weekly mandatory meals. That is perhaps the only significance of this specific meal.

I associate britches oatmeal/ muesli with morning time (combination of oats and fruit/ nuts soaked overnight). This was a staple in my house growing up and was a recipe passed down from my father’s German grandmother.

I have a favorite humus recipe that I requested every birthday for years and years. It was the first meal that I made in my first apartment, the first meal I made for my boyfriend and the snack that I bring along on all my hikes.

How many times a week do you eat out? 
 I eat lunch in the university cafeteria 3x a week, I tend to vary the place, I am easily influence by my friends and how I feel at the time.

Are your weekly meals planned? Or spontaneous?


Download the link (word document ) of a completed questionnaire:

Example questionnaire Daily Dinners 2


1. Planning:


Initial Sketchbook planning phase

2. Daily Dinners –  A portrait in Food

The Original Project:

Title: Daily Dinners- A Portrait in Food Dimensions: 1m x 1.5m 2011 Materials: photography and short text

Title: Daily Dinners- A Portrait in Food
Dimensions: 1m x 1.5m
Materials: photography and short text

*Please note the text (demographics and stories) are not included in this picture


This project was awarded the prize for Vision at the Edmonton Works Festival 2011


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