Few years ago, I came up with this idea of photographing people that work in the food world (butchers, bartenders, chefs, cooks, busboys, farmers, brewers, people in offices working for food companies... so basically everyone) and their tattoos. I have 2 and planning to get more, so I came up with this idea of exploring the food world using tattoos as the idea. Also I needed to practice my photographing people (and not food) skills. This is also a continuation of my interest in getting to know the people behind the food and the food world. The end product may be a delicious plate of pasta but it took so many people to produce that one plate of pasta. I like to meet those people. Hit me up if you work in the food world and has tattoos. Let's talk!
I still need to give this project a name. If you got some ideas, leave them in the comment. Thanks
Thank you Anthony for kicking this project off.
Name: Anthony Reuter
What made you decide to work in the food world? Growing up in a family that valued farming, that had a long history of farming, that kept an impressive vegetable garden, and that put up those vegetables for the winter…this was just bound to happen. I was a kid who hated visiting the small Wisconsin dairy farm my dad grew up on and worked on. I thought it was smelly and just no fun. But during my last summer in college in Minnesota, I became a member of the Driftless Organic Farm CSA. I spent the summer learning how to cook seasonally from their newsletter, learning how to put up that harvest for the winter, and learning how my CSA farm made it all happen. In the fall, I traveled to the Growing Food and Justice For All Gathering organized, in part, by Growing Power, to connect this newfound love of sustainable food to a larger picture. At that point, I was hooked. After spending my high school and college years organizing in the queer and trans* youth movement, I realized food was my organizing tool. Food brings people together. And the industrial food system was severing our ties to something so vital to our survival. I felt compelled, but I also felt the most happy when I could talk about food and farming. I’m just a vegetable nerd.
How many tattoos do you have? Two! But I wish I had more. I have a black and white heart with roots and tree branches on my left arm, and a color tattoo of ramps on my right arm.
What made you decide to get your first tattoo? The heart with roots and tree branches was my first. I got it six months after moving to NYC, sort of as a way to commemorate such a momentous change in my life, moving to NYC and getting more involved in food justice and anti-hunger work. I had also just gotten out of a short but intense relationship and wanted to practice some self-love and remind myself of the importance of rooted, community-based love.
Any special tattoos or ones that are more memorable? Both of mine actually! The ramps tattoo was because I wanted a reminder of spring and the renewal and rebirth that occurs every spring. Ramps are generally the first spring item to show up at farmers markets in NYC, and as a farmer's market manager at the time, I had a strong love for ramps and their importance to spring. I know ramps are also extremely trendy and people go a bit crazy over them because they are foraged and have such a short growing season, but they really are a signal of renewal for me.
Favorite meal of 2014? I took all of Just Food's interns who worked so hard on our annual conference (a food movement conference) to a private dinner at Back Forty West to thank them for all their hard work and commitment to Just Food and the movement. I was so excited to sit around a table with such talented, committed individuals and share a meal created by the great chefs at Back Forty West.