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“If there were a pill that eliminated your appetite forever, would you take it?”

I’d met a friend for a decidedly poor dim sum lunch. As we were finishing up, he proposed the idea of the hunger-killing pill. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I gazed down at my half-gnawed pork dumpling.

“Let me think about it.”

Food: Would I really miss it? Often I find the daily task of feeding myself a chore… Do I eat in or do I want to go out? If out, where do I go? And then, what kind of cuisine? And what do I order? It’s a three-time-a-day hassle.

Of course, there are also aspects of food and eating that I really enjoy. Hot dogs at a summer barbecue… the chicken parmagiana plate at the restaurant around the corner… steak frités! Would I take a pill that erased all this for me?

I figured the only way to decide was to examine what it was I’d be leaving behind. I mean, what do I really eat? I have no idea—I couldn’t say for sure what I had for lunch two days ago. To gain a better perspective, I decided to take a photo of everything I ate for a week. For sanity’s sake I limited this to solid foods. If I snapped every cup of coffee or bottle of beer I consumed I’d run out of film pretty quick.

The results? Would I pop the pill? Give up food? Well… I’m still not sure. Let’s meet for dim sum and discuss it.

(The week I chose happened to coincide with a trip my wife and I were taking to Kansas City, so my regular schedule and menu choices were a little disrupted. I don’t normally eat Skittles and pretzel dogs for lunch. Nor do I weigh 400 pounds—as you might suspect from these images.)


TMN Contributing Photographer J. Geoffrey Badner is a Creative Director and Photographer who resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife, Susan and daughter, Sasha. To see more of his work you can visit his photography portfolio at or his design portfolio at MACROSTATE. More by Geoff Badner