Man Makes Pizza

This short film, produced in spring of 2020, was created from almost 2,500 individual photographs over the course of several days. It is best watched with sound on.

Pizza has long been a staple of the modern western diet, adorning the tables of birthday parties, school dances, and office socials. It even defines its own gathering: the pizza party.

It is convenient, unifying, and versatile, with cauliflower crusts for the gluten free, cheeseless cheese for the lactose intolerant, and pineapple on top for the criminally insane.

However, in today’s hyper-health-conscious world, pizza reigns as an epitome of poor nutrition. High in saturated fats, sodium, and refined carbohydrates, modern pizza has the power to damage metabolism and insulin resistance, leading to diabetes, liver disease, and other complications.

Worse yet, modern, processed pizza is addictive; one study used survey data to rank pizza as the fourth most addictive food, behind chocolate, ice cream, and french fries.

Despite pizza’s evident drawbacks, a possibility remains to harness pizza’s place in the zeitgeist in order to benefit public health. Researchers found success with a “health-by-stealth” approach, which aims to improve rather than replace common junk food. Unprocessed, traditional pizza is relatively healthy, with whole-wheat flour, fresh tomatoes and cheese, and vegetable toppings.

Thus, creating a nutritionally balanced pizza is relatively simple. By adjusting ingredients in the dough, sauce, and cheese and adding toppings to supplement nutrition, researchers created a pizza which, while remaining delicious, includes the recommended calories for a single meal, as well as reasonable levels of sodium, fat, and fibre.

This traditional, health-conscious pizza has been linked to lower risk of heart attacks and several cancers. Additionally, olive oil and vegetables, both common on pizza, are inversely related to risk of throat cancer.

At its essence, pizza is a force for good. While its modern form is extremely detrimental to human health, pizza’s future is as bright as its past.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Spring 2020.