Daily Food = Life

The main idea – in a nutshell – is that i realized that how little we appreciate and cherish the things & opportunities that are given to us. In my opinion it’s a skill which should be improved, educated,  ..mastered during the times, during the course of Life instead of being (often completely) neglected. So this is one way i try to remind myself of it often enough. ; )

I respect my daily food – thus my daily Life – at my best. Food equals Life, we can say, so it’s a strong metaphor for everything that can be derived from Life itself. Life is almost everything. The only exception is maybe death. But we can argue about that. Death is strongly connects to life, mostly, isn’t? ; )

Shoot then consume – rather collecting than hunting..

I take a digital photo about every food and drink i consume. Let it be an X-mas turkey, fast-food, slow-food, fresh-food, spoiled-food (i don’t remember when i ate that last time, though 😉 or just a quarter glass of tap water or a piece of rice or candy. No exception. Since 2006. Till the end of my Life. I do this for all the people on Earth, who cannot do the same because of the lack of camera, the lack of food or even the worst: ..the lack of gratitude.

iwan is taking a digital picture of a meal, he tend to eat up from a digital weight scale.
Iwan Wilaga (W.) is taking a photo of his food in 2008. (That time also measured the weight of every food he consumed for an entire year.)
W is taking photo of his food with his Nikon D750 at this very moment
W is documenting his food (in 2015.)

The spiritual aspect

Many people express their gratitude by praying. I don’t treat my behavior neither as a pure religious nor a pure food fetishist attitude. It’s actually kinda far from those and in the same time is a mix of all. I just feel the way that is good (for me) by (my) nature. I believe: If you do a form of thanksgiving on a daily basis, eventually you may happen to feel that there are more and more things around, which you should / can be thankful for. Then our life already becomes richer by this recognition..  Anyways..  i’m Happy and in FLOW in most of my days, so maybe it just works? : )

praying equals food-photo
Praying before eating is the same as photographing before eating – according to the philosophy of iwanwilaga


The scientific aspect

In the last ~12 years of my persistent daily food photo diary / documentation i collected about 60.000 digital food photos. (Exact amount is being calculated yet). I have already used such an arsenal of cameras during this period.  The fact that i keep visually tracking my food input (yes, only the input*.. ; ) resulted several fundamental changes in my personal gastro’ culture and -attitude. I found myself trying to arrange a more balanced diet after i created the big food-MONTH-pageant picture of a whole month of my diet. As you can see on the picture below i seldom had vegetables and fruits in my daily diet back in the winter of 2008 for instance. Since i published this picture in 2008, many friends and strangers noted that my diet has a long way to get mastered to the next quality level, and i definitely agreed with that..

I felt shameful and started to seek for a more balanced and harmonic ‘strategy’ for my diet and health-life.

*:however, back in time during my ‘progressive’ university research times i did experience around with developing documentation forms even for the output..;)

Iwan ate these - not more not less - in January, 2008
All the food and drinks that Iwan consumed in January of 2008. (sorted by categories)


Also it might be interesting for you the check my latest creation based on the 2006-2016 period of my food tracking. Here i made a hand-picked 16 day selection with interesting global data mixed with my personal feasts!

SF_QS_W_Global-Gobbler_rgb_2500px_16day_courtesy food photo diary


Facts & Statistics

The average person eats around 600-700 kg of food a Year.
On average, that can be thought of as

  • 68 kg (150 lbs) of meat
  • 131 L (290 lbs) of milk and cream
  • 16 kg (35 lbs) of eggs
  • 22 kg (48 lbs) of chicken
  • 31 kg (68 lbs) of bread
  • 57 kg (125 lbs) of potatoes
  • 36 kg (80 lbs) of fruit

Average American male is 190 lbs  1500 / 190 = 7.9 so the average American male easts 7.9 times his body weight each year.  (source: Yahoo! Answers)

Iwan took 4152 food photos in 2016. That is 11,3 food photos per day in average. All food photos in 2016 take up 7,4 Gigabyte in total. 😉 Here you can see W’s 2016. food intake statistics.

About checking how the annual amount of food intake differs between the various countries on Earth, lets check out this article about the spectacular What The World Eats photo documentary project.


Processing the photographed food

Well, we can say i double-digest the food, since in addition to the classical process – that everyone does – i need to digitally process the food as well. By taking photos of all my meals and drinks is only (not even..) half of the ‘job’. After then i need to set the proper format by a fair amount of Photoshop routines (no alteration) that contains manually cutting out the food from it’s original background (usually this is the most time-consuming part), then comes the re-adjusting of colors, darkness-brightness, saturation and shadow/lighting parameters of every meal item, piece by piece thus composing the Iwanwilaga’s Daily Food Square image.

The Daily Food Square is a set standard format that i use for the presentation of my daily food. It is a 3000 x 3000 pixels square sized white background image (‘canvas’) where i place the food piece by piece with Adobe Photoshop software.

Iwanwilaga Daily Food Square - standard format
Iwanwilaga Daily Food Square

More examples of the Daily Food Square

To compose and finalize a Daily Food Square takes approximately 40 min – 1 hour. Here is a video that gives a proper representation of this exhaustive, meticulous work. 😉 (May need to use VPN to watch it in specific countries..)

For more details and D-I-Y guide for making your own Daily Food Square please check “The Procedure” page ;).


Just (at least) to think about IT..

I gladly do this preparatory -as a reminder- with each and every meal of mine and i only forget* it once or twice a year. But i never forget about  how lucky i am since i have born to one of the spots on the Earth where daily life is not about struggling and fighting for some basic food and water.

click on the map to read the 2015 Hunger Report

*: If i happen to forget to take a photo about a meal (once or twice a year) i have to draw it or note it down on some other way.

Why i do this at all ?!

Taking it all round, digital food processing may take away about 1 hour from me every day!  BUT..  on the other way that food provides me energy for the remaining 23 hours. 1 for 23. It’s still quite a fair deal, isn’t it?  Have you ever thought about that by this way? Probably that’s why i do all this about. That’s why i’m afraid, i respect food..


Respect food = Respect Life

If we wouldn’t get food, we wouldn’t get any hours out of the 24 per day, anymore. So thus we can say, we are quite rich of valuable time and energy. We decide how we use it up. An average lifetime is long enough to use all our energy and time for really remarkable act and moments. We are costly “machines”, we eat about 30 TONS of food through a lifetime. Well, later maybe i will be able to show a notable, spectacular part of that. All the food i ate since 2006 (age 20) in one huge picture. Working on it every day…

 Please feel free to leave comments below to maintain a constructive discussion 

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