Social network feeds around the world brim with food photography of all kinds; whether it's a quick memory of Friday night dinner or a Martha Stewart-quality holiday tablescape, we feverishly share online what we eat. Chances are we don't know what really goes into the food we're documenting. Wanting to take a deeper look into our cultural obsession with food beyond the five-star restaurants and cooking shows, Caren Alpert, a San Francisco-based photographer looks at the makeup of our food in a literal and technologically astounding medium. Using a scanning electron microscope, Caren captures the molecular essence of both natural and processed foods.
At a recent TEDx event, Caren showed us the results: high definition images that look more like alien landscapes than cake sprinkles and vegetables. From start to finish, the entire process of capturing the true structure of a food staple can take weeks to months, plus Caren must infuse colors into each photograph in post-production work. Take a look at a selection of Caren's work in the slideshow for an intimate look at items we consume daily and note the startling difference in the composition between artificial foods and those from the Earth. It takes the notion of food photography to a whole new scientific, and beautiful, level.
Photos courtesy of Caren Alpert