Produce aisle freak show
July 27, 2007 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Mutatoes is a photographic collection by artist Uli Westphal of non-standard fruits and vegetables found at Berlin groceries and farmers' markets. The distorted, the discolored, the bumpy, the stumpy, the coiled and the conjoined all get star treatment. (Flash site)
posted by hydrophonic (21 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
They all are special.
posted by dov3 at 11:32 AM on July 27, 2007

Some of those red bell peppers look like something out of Chernobyl.
posted by mdonley at 11:37 AM on July 27, 2007

Some of those carrots look like something out of Pornucopia.
posted by katillathehun at 11:43 AM on July 27, 2007

Dude, where's the "NSFW" notice? There's nothing here that can't be used as a dildo or butt plug. I stopped before I got to the peas. I'm sure they'd be great anal beads.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 11:50 AM on July 27, 2007

Uh, his site is that red peppers look funny? This is news? Or Art? Seems more like LOL PEPPERZ to me.
posted by GuyZero at 11:51 AM on July 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

The carrots reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:51 AM on July 27, 2007

posted by DU at 11:52 AM on July 27, 2007

Excellent studio lighting. Saved to study later.
posted by sidereal at 11:56 AM on July 27, 2007

I had way too much fun just letting the cursor rest all the way on the right side and watching those veggies fly by faster and faster.
posted by langeNU at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2007

Excellent photography.

Wonderful vegetables.


(Seriously, moving targets? Not cool.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2007

"Mutants" only to those who never grown their own veggies. Or those who only shop at the mega-mart, where only the aesthetically "correct" specimens are put up for sale.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:30 PM on July 27, 2007

Some of these were really funny or almost disgusting, but then I realized that the fact that these seem so very odd to us (at least in the usa) just shows how accustomed we've become to having only the prettiest shiniest food presented to us in our modern supermarkets. All the ugly stuff is culled and fed to the animals or processed. The veggies at a farmer's market are much more ungainly, but look much more like plants that grew in dirt rather than in a lab.
posted by tula at 12:32 PM on July 27, 2007 [2 favorites]

What Thorzdad just said.
posted by tula at 12:32 PM on July 27, 2007

those who only shop at the mega-mart

Ugh. First, the first page of the artist's portfolio says "these fruits and vegetables [were] found in Berlin[']s super- and farmers markets", so I'm going to call BS on the Giant Commercial Conspiracy of Produce Physical Appropriateness for Supermarket Shelves. And this was in the EU, as well, which has a totally different set of food politics and regulations from the US. I don't live in the EU, so I can't really speculate on that, but perhaps other MeFites can.

Being labeled as one of "those" people isn't the nicest feeling, and while I do shop in places other than the mega-mart, I often choose not to, because I'm happy with my local mega-mart's location, prices, quality, and selection. Here in California, we've got stores like Trader Joe's, which provide competition for larger grocery chains, who perhaps otherwise wouldn't stock some of the more exotic and less popular things out there. Add to that the ocean of ethnic and farmer's markets out here, and it's foodie paradise.

But I shouldn't have to defend where I shop, because frankly, I, like you and everyone else, do the best I can with what money I earn, and the amount of money and time I spend on food works for me in a way that's totally different from anyone else. If that means that I get looked at askance for using non-organic, GMO carrots in a salad, or eggs from a farm of 100,000 chickens, fine - I'm not asking for anyone else's approval.

And for many people, especially those who don't have access to cars or feasible public transit to get all that fresh food home, let alone the presence of a farmer's market or health-food store in their town at all - which, let's face it, often means the poor - the "mega-mart" is the ONLY place to buy fresh produce in town; even if they would rather shop elsewhere, that's what they have to deal with.

Everyone is welcome to shop wherever his or her heart and wallet take them, but I ask commenters herein to check their food classism at the door, please. Thanks.
posted by mdonley at 2:09 PM on July 27, 2007

What Thorzdad and tula said. S'truth.
posted by sidereal at 2:11 PM on July 27, 2007

Delightful post hydrophonic. It's the Georgia O'Keeffe version of fruits and veggies. Naughty carrot mutants.

Real life pornucopia is corn smut, a delicacy in Mexico.

There's predictably mutated veggies around, like purple cauliflower. It's the unpredictable ones that are really interesting.

Always wanted a good word for those odd lookers that turn up. Mutatoes is an excellent and useful neologism.

Fruits and vegetables are beautiful, so many colors, textures, shapes. When they're mutated it's both disturbing and comical.
posted by nickyskye at 4:05 PM on July 27, 2007

Reminds me a lot of Edward Weston, the first guy to photograph a pepper like it was a nude woman.
posted by bookish at 4:44 PM on July 27, 2007

wow bookish, those Edward Weston images are amazing, so early in the last century too! His peppers all look like Henry Moore sculptures in miniature.
posted by nickyskye at 5:04 PM on July 27, 2007

These are great! The cumulative effect is one big, rounded, looping, twisty organic kiss.
posted by mediareport at 10:51 PM on July 27, 2007

None of these can hold a candle to the double banana I once received from a co-worker. It was two whole bananas fused together by banana skin. Sure, it looked like an ordinary pair of bananas on the outside, but once you went to peel them it was unadulterated banana madness. Imagine:

WTF, these bananas don't come apart?

/starts peeling

Holy moly, they're one banana, yet two?!
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:06 PM on July 27, 2007


And the countdown to the second Devo-related lawsuit about titles commences.
posted by Reggie Digest at 2:21 PM on July 28, 2007

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