Matthieu Paley
The Evolution of Diet
The evolution of diet is a global story documenting ancestral eating habits around the world that are still practiced today.
To tell this story, the photographer identified some of the most emblematic environments, some of them remote and extreme, such as the Afghan Pamir Mountains and the Arctic, other much closer to home, such as Crete in the Mediterranean.
Searching for differences as well as parallels, Matthieu traveled through jungle, ice, savannah, mountains, sea and valley in order to show the inextricable link between the unique places we live, the resulting food we eat, and how diet shapes our life, culture and bodies.
The story traces the food our ancestors ate to see what we could learn from them in order to feed two billion more people by 2050. Because after all, it is true: we are what we eat - or at least what our ancestors ate.
Born in France, Matthieu Paley has travelled all over the world for National Geographic magazine. Focusing his efforts on regions that are misrepresented or misunderstood, he is especially committed to issues relating to diminishing cultures and the environment. Following a decade of relentlessly documenting the harsh, unforgiving existence of Afghanistan’s Kyrgyz nomads, Matthieu shot his first National Geographic story in 2011/2012 titled “Stranded on the Roof of the World”.
The recipient of numerous awards (more recently a 2017 World Press and a Photographer of the Year International Award), Matthieu has published several monographs of his work and his fine art images have been exhibited in galleries worldwide as well as in Museums. He regularly leads workshops for National Geographic Expeditions and is a lecturer for Nat Geo Live.
Over the course of his career, Matthieu has learned 6 languages, feeding his passion to connect with the people he meets and helping him to instill a sense of intimacy into his images.
You can follow him on his Instagram page @paleyphoto