Published in 1930, the Manifesto of Futurist Cooking by Marinetti introduced the concept of movement to the relationship between man and food: “people think, dream and act according to what they eat and drink”. The idea was similar to a principle previously explained by Dutch physiologist and philosopher Jacob Moleschott in his seminal work from 1850, Lehre der Nahrungsmittel: für das Volk (Doctrine of Food: For the People), which claimed that nutrition is intrinsically connected to behavior, physical transformations, and human thought. Similarly, for the Futurists, culinary habits were considered a fundamental part of modern man’s formation: “Let us make our Italian bodies agile, ready for the featherweight aluminum trains which will replace the present heavy
ones of wood iron steel. Convinced that in the probable future battle those who are the most agile, most ready for action, will win, we Futurists (…) will now establish the way of eating best suited to an increasingly high speed, airborne life.”
Today, in the twenty-first century, high-performance living models subject us — particularly in the Western world — to constant pressure, both mentally and physically, throwing us into a blind race to achieve the ideal self, just as Jia Tolentino, a journalist for the “New Yorker”, so eloquently highlights in her book, Trick Mirror. From work to family engagements, free time and the personal relationship with our bodies, in a socially oversaturated modern society, the Futurist thought regarding the chemical elaboration of food as an energy source for an optimized body and mind geared towards super consumption isn’t so
fantastical. Industrial protein foods and plant-based hamburgers have become a part of our food chain, along with supplement pills and food substitutes — the chemical and physical manipulation of nutrients — promising to keep the body in form. But what are the biological consequences and implications of such a nutritional revolution? What are the compromises we’ve unwittingly accepted?
With his project Feed Us, photographer Nicolò Panzeri delves into Italy’s industrial food system, highlighting how a majority of the foods with which we nourish ourselves are born in laboratories from in vitro test tubes and microbiologically controlled greenhouses in order to maximize production and the consumption of several plant foods, essentially ignoring their entire natural cycle.”