December 21, 2008

If You're Still Looking For That Perfect Gift...

... for a nutrition-phile, I highly recommend What The World Eats (which I was actually gifted yesterday!).

An adaptation of last September's Hungry Planet by award-winning photo journalist Peter Menzel and author Faith D'Aluisio, this made-to-be-displayed-on-the-coffeetable book captured what a week's worth of groceries looks like for 25 families in 21 countries.

Weekly food expenditures are broken down by category (i.e.: dairy, fruits/vegetables/nuts, snacks, etc.) and meticulously itemized.

The beautiful photographs are accompanied by illuminating narratives of each family's experience with food.

The Aboubakar family, for instance, is originally from Sudan, but resides in a refugee camp in neighboring Chad.

Their food is rationed and minimally diverse (their only two sources of grains consists of sourghum and a patented corn-soy blend).

The Dong family of Beijing, meanwhile, spends $155.06 US dollars on food each week; $27.95 are spent solely on beverages like Coca-Cola, instant coffee, grapefruit juice, and beer.

Peppered throughout the book are incredible statistics (annual consumption of soft drinks per person in France adds up to 23.8 quarts; in the United States, that figure clocks in at 54.8 GALLONS!) and a variety of informative charts and graphs.

This work of food for thought should satisfy many curious minds' hunger.

1 comment:

justjuliebean said...

A local museum, called Museum of the African Diaspora, recently had an exhibit about what the world eats, and they showed pictures of the average weekly food eaten by the average family, in about 75 countries. Some ate total crap (Standard Amercan Diet, e.g.), some ate mostly traditional, lightly processed food except for the Coca-Cola, some ate healthy with insane amounts of unnecessary packaging (such as Japanese), and many were mostly healthy. It was fascinating to see. It may have been related to the book