What the world eats.

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The Dong family of Beijing, China

Food expenditure for one week: 1,233.27 yuan or 155.06$
Favorite foods: fried shredded pork with sweet and sour souce

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The Casales family of Cuernavaca,Mexico

Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or 189.09$
Favorite foods: chicke, pizza, crab, pasta

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The Revis family of North Carolina, U.S.A.

Food expenditure for one week: 341.98$
Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken

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The All Hagan family of Kuwait City, Kuwait

Food expenditure for one week: 63.63 dinars or 221.45$
Favorite foods: Chicken byriani with basmati rice

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The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp, Chad

Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA francs or 1.23$
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat

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The manzo family of Sicily, Italy

Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 euros or 260$
Favorite foods: fish, pasta with ragu, hot dogs, frozen fish sticks

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The Ukita family of Kodaira City, Japan

Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or 317.25$

Source: ©Peter Menzel www.menzelphoto.com; from the book Hungry Planet: What the
World Eats. Ten Speed Press



April 3, 2008 at 10:50 PM

These are precious images and extremely well done.

What comes to my mind when I see this huge consumption of food by people across the planet:

1. At the rate humanity is raping planet Earth, the grandchildren of the children shown in these images will be lucky to have half of what the family in Chad is shown to have today. Earth simply cannot continue to support this consumption.

2. We eat a lot more than we need to. If you look at the family from Chad, they still look healthy and happy eating 10% of what everyone else eats. Humanity must learn to eat less and that should boost our health index and reduce our medical problems.

3. We need to wake up and realize that there is no deity watching over us and protecting us, and start taking full responsibility for the health of the planet ourselves.

4. To produce this much food, we need huge energy resources. We must start using solar, wind, and geothermal energy. Forget fossil fuels, and forget nuclear, both in my view are savage and irresponsible sources of energy.

5. To continue to grow food for the world, we need fresh water. We live on a water planet: two thirds of it's surface is covered wit water. We must start desalinating sea water because what we spend on wars can produce 10 times more fresh water from the sea than all of the natural fresh water available to us today.

6. You can see how similar humanity is everywhere. We need to get rid of national borders and national pride, allowing humanity to finally become one global family, abolishing wars and borders.

7. Without serious change in attitude, and radical change in energy technology, I believe that maintaining this irresponsible rate of consumption, close-mindedness, and madness, humanity is quickly heading towards extinction. And what a loss that would be.

Look at the richness of humanity's diversity, abilities, intelligence, and know-how. Humanity has the potential to rise to greater heights and conquer the stars. But not if we stay as we are today.


April 4, 2008 at 7:20 AM

Yeah, I'm sure the family in Chad loves living a life of malnutrition because their people in Africa would rather spend their time killing each other instead of using the vast agricultural potential of the land. The only thing they're "happy" about in that picture is that they get to eat that week, but I wouldn't go so far as to call them "healthy".

I say we let Darwinism run it's course and allow those that are too ignorant to feed themselves starve to death.


April 4, 2008 at 7:50 AM

Read more carefully before you post. The Chadian family is in a refugee camp. They don't choose to eat that little. Though I'm sure they would appreciate your assessment of their happiness and health!


April 4, 2008 at 8:13 AM

1. The fact is, the countries which produce and consume more than they need have virtually eliminated starvation from its populations. So much extra is produced that these countries simply give away millions of metric tons of free food to those who don't have enough. To pretend that the Chad lifestyle is something to which we should all strive is stupid and silly.

2. Did you say the family from Chad look healthy? Only in the World of a patronizing liberal moron is that a healthy way to live. Life expectancy for the country of Chad is about 47 years.

3. The health of the planet? You want us to believe that after 4 billion years my slice of pizza is going to destroy the Earth?

4. So constructing hundreds of square miles of wind farms are ok... hundreds of square miles of solar panels are ok...millions of tons of steel and copper to build turbines connected to geothermal vents are ok. BUT a 3000 square foot gas station is not? Hmmm OK.

5. Without consumption there would be no need to desalinate water. For more than 5000 years consumption and increased populations have been the driving force in developing new sources of fresh water. Consider some of the iron age underground water systems, the Roman aqueducts and even the LifeStraw.

6. Eliminating borders will eliminate war? Yah..I challenge anyone to connect the dots on that. Throughout history, there are zillions of examples of family disputes, tribal conflicts and regional battles that have all erupted due to poorly defined boundaries. Human beings like many other animals are territorial. It's in our DNA.

7. You may think human beings are headed for extinction. However, all evidence points to the contrary. There are more human beings on the planet today than at any other point in history. That is hardly a sign of possible extinction.

MetroSpy owns you!

da bear

April 4, 2008 at 8:32 AM

This is an indictment of American staple foods, I do believe. We overpay for junk food.


April 4, 2008 at 8:56 AM

I don't entirely agree. I'd probably pass out if I eat like a person from Chad. Truly we must be different.

When I was a kid in an outing and low in cash, I simply had to steal fruits or something, now at 43, I can't go without downing 3 full meals, and I'm not overweight.
It must be our different metabolisms. I bet those Chadians don't even sweat, while I break a sweat just walking outside.


April 5, 2008 at 2:31 AM

These picture are very well done i think, they show diffrences in our diet due to culture and global placement. Though it is sad to see the family in Chads low standard of living i think these photos are good mainly because of how we can see what foods we eat acording to location (Japanese with a diet heavy in fish still even with the large diversity of foods all over the world).

To the first comment i would hold of comments and veiws about situations you have never been through, unless of course i am mistaken and you have eaten a diet like the family in Chad for any period of time and been happy and healthy.....i doubt it


April 5, 2008 at 2:58 AM

i really feel sad for the American family.. they spend the most money and eat the crappiest food! Look at the Burger King and McDonalds stuff they are 'proudly' displaying!


November 20, 2008 at 4:19 PM

I would agree with the previous poster that these pictures are extemely well done.
I am amazed that the family in Chad can survive on the small amount they have/ are given. As americans, It makes me ashamed of all that we are furtunate to have (and waste) when I see people that are able (through the grace of God) to survive on so little. What an amazing Mother she must be, I could probably learn volumes from her.
I wish that they had shown another American family in addition to the one shown. Showing a family that spends 350.00 a week on JUNK is not a flattering view of our country nor do I think that it is a 100% accurate representation of all American families. As a wife, mother of 4 and a nurse, I spend a great deal of time preparing 3 meals a day that are nutritious and down right mouth watering (down home)good!
After unexpected job layoffs for my husband and myself, we are on a very modest budget going from spending about 200.00 a week prior to the layoff for groceries consisting mainly of meats, fruits and veggies. (No chips, cookies, sugar cereals or prepackages boxed mixes. I now manage to still nutritiously feed our family on about 80.00 a week but that means NO waste what so ever. If there are any left overs they are eaten till gone or they are reworked into another meal or frozen to make another appearance later. We have given up alot of the fruits unless they are on sale. As a family that used to only eat out maybe once a month, that has stopped for the time being.
I can promise you that you can feed a family of 6 on very little money and not compromise taste.
It was super to see the amounts and variety of foods that are comsumed in other countries. I would love to see even more. My kids gathered around my laptop to have a look as well and it gave us a chance to talk about how other people live and eat. Hats off to the author of this piece!


February 16, 2010 at 7:36 AM

This is just a sampling from a book, I believe it was called Hungry Planet. There were more families photographed and interviewed including (I think) two more american families and families from Norway, France, Egypt, a few other African countries, etc. It listed every single item they had and stories from the authors about spending time with the families. I take the book out from the library all the time.