George Steinmetz@feedtheplanet

A multi-year project to photograph the challenge of meeting the rapidly expanding food demands of humanity.

Fixing a massive grain scoop before offloading soybeans from Brazil and Argentina at a COFCO’s grain port on the Yangtze River. With the start of a US/China trade war, Brazil is poised to further expand its dominance in the Chinese #soybean market. #tradewar #notfakenews


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Local islanders use a long net to fish the sand flats of the Benguerra Channel of Mozambique. The low only lasts a couple of hours, but the strong spring tide lets them net fish effectively by hand with barefeet and an old sailing dhow. Although the area is a national park, it’s still under heavy pressure from the local islanders who depend on fishing for their subsistence. When I flew low over these beautifully transparent waters in my paraglider, I saw no fish at all. #sustainability #overfishing


Purse seining pirogues offload their catch just after sunrise on the beach of Kayar, Senegal. West African waters have been heavily fished by both artisanal boats like these as well as industrial ships from other countries, and the fish populations are rapidly declining. But when the big schools of pelagic fish are offshore, the landing still takes on epic proportions. Video by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz #onassignment for @natgeo #fishing #sustainability


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz #onassignment for @natgeo
Small shark heads set out to dry beside the harbor in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Shark fishing is illegal in Mauritania, but there is a lot of by-catch. The fins are sent to China for soup, and the meat and heads are sold in Nigeria and Spain. Only by identifying problems like this can we begin to find solutions. #fishing #sustainability


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Cleaning nets of purse seining pirogues after a night of fishing on the open sea. Schools of pelagic fish rise to the surface and make a bright spot in West African waters, which makes them easier to find at night. It’s hard but beautiful way life for these Senegalese fishermen, who bring in the primary source of protein for the country. #onassignment for @natgeo


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz #onassignment for @natgeo
Artisanal fishing boats offloading their catch on the beach of Nouakchott two weeks ago. Mauritania has one of the most productive fisheries in West Africa, but Mauritanians are largely a desert people who don't eat fish, making for a lucrative export business.


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Bringing in the catch on a tamunant fishing boat in Banc d’Arguin National Park. Only 114 lanteen sailboats are allowed to fish in these protected waters, which are an important wintering area for migratory birds, and a nursery for many key species of marine life. We sailed three hours each way to get to their three 6x6cm nets, and the water was never over a few meters deep. As we roasted fish and sipped sweet on the way back, I felt like I had stepped back in time. #sustainabilty #fishing #onassignment for @natgeo


Photograph by George Steinmetz #onassignment for @natgeo
Fishing boats returning from checking nets in Banc d’Arguin National Park, Mauritania. Only 114 of these artisanal sailboats are allowed to work where motorized fishing is prohibited, to protect the tidal breeding habitat for both birds and marine life. Known locally as tamunant, my hosts caught fish over 40kg that have become increasingly rare in Mauritanian waters. The going is slow, so we had plenty of time to roast fish and make sweet tea on the sail home! #NotTooShabby #sustainability


Photograph by GeorgeSteinmetz @geosteinmetz Drying small shark heads is a smelly job left for immigrants, who export them to Nigeria for use in soup. Shark fishing is illegal in Mauritania, but fish nets are indiscriminate killers, and selling by-catch is legal here, no matter the size. I don’t expect you to “like” this picture, but hope you appreciate the effort to make it. Only by identifying the source of a problem can we start to find solutions.
#onassignment for @natgeo #sustainability #shark #sharkfishing


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Thousands of fiberglass boats clogged Nouadhibou harbor at the end of octopus season last week. The maximum allowable catch is 25k tons according to the government, but this year the catch was 38k tons, with the overage from small motorized pirogues like these. Mauritania has one of the richest fisheries remaining in West Africa, and most of it is caught for export, like octopus for the Japanese market. #onassignment for @natgeo #fishing #sustainability


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz
Harvesting the rectangular bogs on the Gaynor Cranberry farm, which is part of the Ocean Spray Cranberry co-op. Each member gets profit dividends according to the number of barrels of cranberries they deliver to Ocean Spray each year. This farm dates back to 1876. Cranberry production has increased dramatically from the early days, when they only harvested fresh berries. Fresh berry consumption has not changed, but is now only 3% of the market, and now Ocean Spray controls over 50% of the U.S. cranberry market.


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz
Pesto Calabrese, just like Momma used to make it, in what will soon be the largest pasta sauce factory in Europe. Barilla's cooking vats produce over a ton of sauce per batch. In the large wheeled bins are their fresh ingredients: red pepper, onions, chili pepper, salt, sugar, granno padano, ricotta, and pecorino cheeses. #inEmiliaRomagna #tasty