World Food Day – Water is Life, Water is Food
By Caroline Kenyon, Founder of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year
16th October is World Food Day and, this year, it celebrates water. 'Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind.’
Most children educated in the British school system come across the famous 18th century poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, at some stage.
It tells the story of an old sailor, his adventures - good and bad - at sea. At one point, his ship is becalmed in the waters near the Equator, as punishment by the spirits when he shoots an albatross.
The ship is motionless and the heat intense, the sailors roast in the heat. The poem’s most famous lines go:
Water, water, everywhere
Nor any drop to drink.
These words haunted me when I was little. The idea of raging thirst, that you could be surrounded by water, but as it was salty sea water, undrinkable, really terrified me. What torture it must have been.
Now, those lines echo over and over again as the planet heats - too much water brings us floods and destruction, lack of it brings drought, famine, thirst.
In some parts of the world, we take it for granted while in others, it is treated as a precious commodity. As our partners, the United Nations World Food Programme and Action Against Hunger continue their relentless fight against hunger, let’s all remember 'Water is life, water is food. Leave no one behind.’ Every day, not just today.
It’s been a joy to look through our huge archive of images - farmers, fisherman, market gardeners, mothers and children - we have found so many amazing pictures which show the centrality of water to our world and to life. Enjoy our selection.
And do have a look at our broad range of categories to see where your images with water might go, anything from a bunch of carrots glistening with dew to a trawlerman pulling in his fishing nets or washing down a wine vat, there will be a place for your work!
Red Gold by Francisco Bononato Rosso, Highly Commended, Tenderstem® Bring Home the Harvest, 2017
Traditional capture of the almadraba red tuna in the south of Spain.
Searching by Joyjit Das, Shortlisted, Young (15-17), 2023
Field to Sink by Leah Fairlie, Shortlisted, Hotel Art Group Cream of the Crop, 2021
Freshly lifted potatoes being washed.
Curled Chardonnay by Victor Pugatschew, 2nd Place, Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year, 2021
Harvest is well and truly over, and pruning time has arrived. Any excess branches are removed. Here we have a final piece of chardonnay vine still clinging to the wire, on a cold frosty morning. Bindi Vineyards outside of Melbourne.
Flooded Hotel by Faisal Azim, 2nd Place, Politics of Food, 2022
The effects of climate change and rising sea levels and surface temperatures result in Chittagong, Bangladesh, often experiencing heavy tidal surges these days. People are now used to living with the floods and know that the water will recede in a few hours. Millions of people living in these areas sometimes have to fight with tidal surges twice a day. Here, local people are having lunch in a flooded hotel.
Hand gathering cockles in Carmarthen Bay by Harry Williams, Shortlisted, Tenderstem® Bring Home the Harvest, 2022
Hand gathering cockles on a sandbank, some five kilometres offshore in Carmarthen Bay.
Rain In The City by Syed Mahabubul Kader, 2nd Place, Street Food, 2022
A fruit seller is selling fruit in the streets of Dhaka in the rain, covered with polythene to protect him.
Drop fishing nets in the middle of the sea by Tuan Nguyen Tan, Shortlisted, Tenderstem® Bring Home the Harvest, 2022
Fishermen off the southwest coast of Vietnam drive large wooden stakes into the middle of the sea to release their nets to catch fish. They usually drive the wooden poles about 10km from the mainland so, in the fishing season, fishermen often spend many days at sea, living and eating on these wooden stake systems. This way of fishing is very dangerous but it is a traditional profession, so many fishermen still try to follow it.
Eggplant with Water Drops by Yaroslav Danylchenko, Highly Commended, Hotel Art Group Cream of the Crop, 2021
Collecting Water by Ayesha Bibi, World Food Programme Storytellers
£2 of every entry to the On the Phone category goes to Action Against Hunger (AAH). AAH is a humanitarian organisation committed to saving the lives of malnourished children.
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