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Meals of the Rich and the Poor Throughout History

Ancient History | December 13, 2016

Power Hungry is an eye-opening photo series by photographer Henry Hargreaves and food stylist Caitlin Levin. The series examines the food disparity between the poor and the wealthy that has existed around the world for centuries.

In each set of photos, one side of the table is covered in a decadent feast that a typical member of the culture’s affluent ruling class would eat. In stark contrast, the other side of the table shows the scarcity of food and lack of nutritious options that a poorer, downtrodden member of society would be left with, including rough bread, water, and processed cereal.

“This project began with a look at the foods historical dictators have eaten. Quickly, though, our endeavor evolved as we saw stark similarities between past and present. It became abundantly clear how authoritarian regimes throughout history have used food as a weapon, systematically oppressing, silencing, and killing people through starvation,” says Hargreaves.

“We want people to literally and figuratively sit down and look across a table to see the glaring disparities between the ‘haves and have nots.'”

These are just a small sampling of the communities where such contradictions exist.

Present-day North Korea
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Pre-Revolutionary France
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Present-day Syria
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Ancient Egypt
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Roman Empire
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Present-day USA
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H/T Hargreavesandlevin

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