In late September I was in Amsterdam and visited the newly refurbished Rijksmuseum. After meandering around the Vermeers and Rembrandts, I came across a small gallery showcasing the work of Dutch photographer, Henk Wildschut. From a distance the bright, square pictures looked like any standard selection of portraits and still lifes, but on closer inspection they contained pictures of factory workers, food processing equipment, and the odd little chick. Beautiful? Not always, but a visual insight into the world behind the scenes of food production, one that the public certainly doesn’t usually get to see. One of the most interesting aspects was Henk Wildschut’s introduction to the exhibition, on his changing perceptions of the food industry: “Few subjects generate as much discussion as the subject of food. Such discussion is increasingly marked by suspicion and pessimism about how our food is produced. Two years ago, when I was asked to make an in-depth study of the subject of Food for de RijksMuseum in Amsterdam. I was full of preconceptions about the food industry. I saw it as dishonest, unhealthy and unethical. More than that, it was contributing to the decline of our planet, unlike in the good old days, and I felt that the magic word ‘organic’ was going to solve everything. So when I embarked on this project, my first impulsive reaction was to bring to light all the misunderstandings about food once and for all. After two years of research and photography I realized that the discourse on food production can be infinitely refined and that this often puts supposed advantages and disadvantages in a new light. Scaling-up can actually enhance animal welfare, for example, and organic production is not always better for the environment. Often, an excessively one-sided approach to the subject of food is a barrier to real solutions. Food is simply too wide-ranging and complex a subject for one-liners or to be describ[ed] in terms of black and white.” You can learn more about Henk Wildschut, his work and see more photographs from the collection on his website. The exhibition is on at the Rijksmuseum until 7 January 2014. Visit if you’re in the area and let us know what you think. Do these pictures accurately reflect the food industry?