Food for Thought

  Food is our common ground, a universal experience.
– James Beard

 Pul-e-Kumri, Afghanistan

Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the
single most significant trademarks of a culture.
– Mark Kurlansky

What is food to one man may be fierce poison to others.

– Lucretius, Roman Poet and Philosopher

Calcutta, India


The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water,
is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight…”
M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

Bakery run by widows, Kabul, Afghanistan

All sorrows are less with bread.

– Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote


If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars  and all the heavens.
– Robert Browning


Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the
court that surrounds the king.
– Louis Bromfield


Istanbul, Turkey

Food to a large extent is what holds a society together and
eating is closely linked to deep spiritual experiences.
– Peter Farb and George Armelagos

Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating

Rajasthan, India

Egg Vendor, Kabul, Afghanistan

Chef Wolfgang Puck,  Los Angeles, California, USA

Date Seller, Yemen


The table is a place of communion for life’s large and small events.
Art Smith, Master Chef



Refugee Family, Sri Lanka

It’s the company, not the cooking, that makes a meal.
– Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Sky

Priyadarshini Park, Mumbai, India

If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Monsoon Waters, Indonesia

Beirut, Lebanon


Mumbai, India

The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.

– E.M. Forster

98 Responses to “Food for Thought”

  1. as fotos são maravilhosas. belo trabalho de pesquisa antropológica. Parabéns.

  2. Reblogged this on Sapna's Blog and commented:
    Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.
    – Mark Kurlansky

  3. great !!! no word can describe my feelings …

  4. I’d love to show one or two of these photos in a conference workshop as part of the London Festival of Education. My session will be about how the industrial mindset needs to radically change from thinking education is about jobs, to thinking that education is about food, shelter and a culture of resilience. I would credit you and link to this website (if the slides get put online). Is that OK?

  5. nice documentary stuff and the visuals…

  6. The produce looks amazing in Afghanistan. Amazing.

  7. leaves you overwhelmed…. makes you realize we are all humans with the same basic needs……… beautiful

  8. […] When looking at Steve McCurry’s photographs it feels like tapping into the soul of the moment or person he captured, like in the image above from his series “Food for Thought”. […]

  9. Anonymous Says:

    This was a great post, thanks.

  10. I’m lost for words. Great post!

  11. Anonymous Says:

    great post.

  12. Reblogged this on EFSUN.

  13. amazing n really inspiring…………………………………..

  14. Reblogged this on Media Impressions and commented:
    Food brings us together where ever we are….

  15. Very inspiring ……

  16. Anonymous Says:

    This is really awesome!

  17. yu in kol Says:

    Just Fantastic!!!!

  18. Your photos prove that what unites us as humans far exceeds what should ever tare us apart; a simple loaf of bread.

  19. Reblogged this on On The Road… and commented:
    As always, beautiful and poignant photographs. Food is life.

  20. A great, great work.Magic shots.Hi, from Italy.

  21. As always, beautiful and poignant. The simplicity of the needs and emotions in your photos is very moving. Thank you!

  22. Anonymous Says:

    I have seen a lot of different works from other photographers but noone does it like Mr. McCurry! Emotions, composition, the story.. simply stunning!

  23. I keep coming back again and again…. what an inspiration. How common things around us can become a beautiful garland.
    My effort on water – human relationship :
    love and regards.

  24. Emily Nichols Says:

    this is absolutely stunning coverage of our daily relationship with food. so appreciative that you have compiled and shared.

  25. Very interesting beautiful images,colorful

  26. What is there not to like about your posts? They are a gift to the world; thanks! Z

  27. Anonymous Says:

    Great. Congratulations!

  28. What a great collage of photos. This first photo from Afghanistan is rich in detail.

  29. Simply inspiring, as always! Kindly give feedback on my work. Thanks and Pranams.

  30. nice series, just wonderful.
    then I’m jealous with the opportunity to travel around


    Fantastic pictures. I cannot get enough.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    muy lindo presioso

  33. Anonymous Says:

    amazing work

  34. As soon as I see the colours, I know that it is a Steve McCurry photo. Stunning series yet again.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    thank you sir

  36. Wow what great images Steve! Love the message. Nick at

  37. rekber…

    […]Food for Thought « Steve McCurry's Blog[…]…

  38. Once again a beautiful set of pictures around the world. Thanks for sharing these!

  39. Tammy Harrow- Saint Augustine, FL Says:

    I’m completely blown away by these images. Wow, just wow…

  40. Exquisite thought provoking work as always. Thank you for sharing it Steve.

  41. I grew up with your pictures. Your sister would sometimes show them to us students in class at LCA. I was always inspired by the things you managed to capture (emotion for instance) with a photograph. Now, grown up (I use that expression loosely, of course), I am still inspired by your photographs and I always love the quotes you put in the posts on this blog. Thank you so much for posting on this blog. I know that it is work and I appreciate it very much.

  42. simplesmente poético

  43. Being in the right place at the right time is obviously not enough, you have to see the poetry. These photos are all poems in color. Thank you.

  44. A wonderful perspective and a fresh angle on food photography

  45. Amazing Mr McCurry!!!! Love it!!!

  46. you rend my heart. Wonderful as always!

  47. AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL! Certainly FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Thanks for sharing.


  48. Excellent representation of connection throughout the world.Its all about your dedication and honest effort which in turn given a sensational output.
    Partha Pal,India

  49. really exceptional – Thank You

  50. Vicent de Miravet Says:

    Unes fotos impressionants que ens fan veure lo poc que apreciem el que tenim al costat

  51. Anonymous Says:

    Unes fotos precioses que ens fan reflexionar sobre el que tenim al costat i no apreciem.!!!!!!

  52. this is a winderful and inspiring post! thanks for reminding us what the true essence is.

  53. Reblogged this on Ramblings and commented:
    Stunning photography that reaches deep inside to reveal the indomitable human spirit … you really MUST visit Steve McCurry’s Blog

  54. Bharati Says:

    Beautiful !!

  55. Awesome blog!

  56. Thus begun my Good Morning!!! summed it all very well in words of Forster “The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death”

  57. Simply amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  58. Seems each photograph has a place and time stamp on it.
    Nothing can be as complete as you photographs.

    Thank for posting Steve

  59. Jim Donahue Says:

    Well did Wolfgang Puck kiss that fish? Steve as always your images are second to none..The best in the world. Amen.

  60. Dean M. Says:

    First shot, “Afghanistan”, if right were discreetly cropped, could be a Renaissance painting of note.
    Dean M.

  61. Dean M. Says:

    The shot titled “Mauritania” is in my opinion a stellar work equal, although arguably, to “Afghan Girl” of NG fame

  62. frugaltravelrus Says:

    Reblogged this on Frugal Travel R Us and commented:
    “Food is our common ground, a universal experience” – Remarkable photos from around the worldRemarkable photos from around the world

  63. rafael10031 Says:


  64. Just look at all the amazing places where people are preparing and sharing food! Your photograph are a beautiful testament to the human spirit and the whole idea of breaking bread.

  65. Great images as always:)

  66. Wunderschöne Bilder, mein Favorit: Mutter und Tochter mit dem Brotkorb!

  67. Gi Hasson Says:

    o anjo das lindas imagens….

  68. Tom Van Dorn Says:

    Approved by the Steve McCurry studio, I hope you enjoy this video tribute to the man and his amazing work.

  69. Such beautiful striking photos. I love the “Mauritania” one especially with the blue.

  70. laura illescas Says:

    steve tus fotos son un canto a la vida!!! Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:18:26 +0000 To:

  71. Without words …. Like all your work! Fantastic!

  72. margarida marques Says:

    As always, very powerful and beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.


    Very interesting and well done!

  74. […] the original here: Food for Thought « Steve McCurry's Blog This entry was posted in Blog Search and tagged activity, afghanistan, calcutta, common, […]

  75. Exceptional…you are a star!!!!!!!!

  76. Once again a fantastic photos set. So dramatic the photo from Lebanon. All the buildings are destroyed by the war but the meals have to be made of course…

    P.S. I did not know You had a beard when You was younger.:)

    • Anonymous Says:

      I was amazed to see this woman preparing food like any other day despite the destroyed buildings all around her in Lebanon. This is all they know for so long.

  77. Such pleasure. Your photography and the thoughts that are sprinkled between, are food for the soul. Thank you once again, for this feast!!!

  78. patrizia Says:

    I love the way you tell the story. You are great!

  79. Birgit Hahm, Germany Says:

    sehr, sehr berührend-
    danke steve mccurry!!!!!!!!!

  80. Very interesting collection of photographs from around the world!

  81. Magical…so diverse and that adds so much power to the series!

  82. Dipayan Bhattacharjee Says:

    Excellent and incredible… Each of your work is so inspiring… And I love the subtle color tone which your photographs have… It so much increases the depth and intensity of every picture…

  83. isabelle brightman Says:

    Absolutely beautiful, as always. Thank you very much.

  84. […] A new blog by Steve McCurry, usual amazing pics…d-for-thought/ […]

  85. Terry Turcotte Says:

    The shot of the woman peeling potatoes in Lebanon has huge impact for me. She looks so peaceful and normal with the juxtaposition of the destruction and chaos behind her. Love it!!!

  86. Beautiful images!

  87. Captivating as always!

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