Tainted soup and green pineapple

It’s rare that I eat something and wish that I had thrown it away instead.

But it happens.

In fact, I spent much of last week wishing I had thrown away a particular bowl of soup – specifically the one that I ate in Sentral Station in Kuala Lumpur, and which led to a fever, chills, a few nights’ worth of lost sleep, and general gastrointestinal grief. Needless to say, my desire to write about food suffered.

But the experience did remind of a striking photo series by Klaus Pichler that I ran across several months ago. The project was inspired by the same UN study that inspired 222 million tons; it is called One Third (one third being the estimated ratio of all food products wasted worldwide), and was done as a way to draw attention to the issue of food waste.

The food in the photos shares one thing with my tainted soup: it’s well past it’s due date –yet it’s beautifully photographed. If you’re curious, you can click on the moldy pineapple below to see the full series.

Moldy green pineapple

Place of production: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Cultivation method: Outdoor plantation
Time of harvest: All- season
Transporting distance: 10.666 km (linear distance)
Means of transportation: Aircraft, truck
Carbon footprint (total) per kg: 11,94 kg
Water requirement (total) per kg: 360 l
Price: 2,10 € / kg


3 thoughts on “Tainted soup and green pineapple

  1. I clicked LIke, not because I liked that you got sick, but that I read and liked your post. The first time I went to Malaysia, a local told me, “Don’t eat the la-la’s.” I had no idea what he meant until my husband at them (they’re a sea mollusk, I think) and got sick. EXPLOSIVE sick. Apparently, if you’re not local the bacteria can make you ill (duh), only he left that part out. Kind of like drinking the water in Mexico if you’re a tourist.

    Anyway, sorry to read about the bad food. In over two years living there, I never once got sick from food, and I ate some pretty questionable stuff at kedai makan roadside. Perhaps the bus station is not a good spot for “fresh” like it used to be. I’m really missing laksa mee from the PD bus station (matsallehs would not go, but I did. YUM!).

    • I’ll have to remember to avoid the la la’s next trip, and to follow my cardinal rule of dining in SE Asia: eat where the locals eat (which has kept me food poison free for manny years). Local restaurants and food stalls can’t afford to poison their clients, as they count on repeat business – not so for restaurants that cater to more transient crowds or to tourists. No more train station food for me.

      Glad you liked the pictures: they’re really striking. There’s something oddly stunning about decay (maybe all those pretty fractal patterns) – though, as the author of this blog I am forced to add: don’t try this at home. Waste not, want not.

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