World eats

Peter Menzel is a talented photographer, who has published books about something that concerns us all: food. The book Hungry Planet portrays the way people eat around the world. The following hopefully raises some thoughts.


The average American adult eats 275 pounds of meat and drinks 54.8 gallons of soft drinks per year


This Chinese family loves fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce. Processed food items mixed with packaged meats and fish, this Chinese family eats more fruit than vegetables, and their produce selection is one of the smallest besides the United States


Mexico ranks first in the world in per-person consumption of Coca-Cola


Chad – $1.23 plus $24.37/week in food rations (from UN and other NGOs)


The average family in Great Britain spends over $250 per week on food, and eats mostly processed meals and candy


More countries and details can be found here.

What does your table look like? Which table would you like to sit in?


2 thoughts on “World eats

  1. The picture of the Chinese family intrigues me just a scoche. Indeed, many homes that I have visited in China proudly displayed a water cooler, but the baguettes are are a bit surprising; granted their purchases don’t look like that of the average Chinese family, (whereas the photo looks like it was taken in a relatively new/within the past 10 years) flat (that also has four walls…don’t ask), but just about every non-30 something woman I spoke with mentioned that they hated bread. The late 20-mid-30-something comment refers to the typical shopper at a “Western” bakery in China. A (most likely spurious) guess is that besides mantou, Western bread/bakeries are seen as civilized/fashionable/something non-mainland that the new middle class feasts upon, perhaps along the same vein of taking the metro or eating at burger king. I don’t have anything wrong with this, I’m just a casually cognizant expat.

    1. I’ve noticed the same thing about bakeries around Asia – the selection of breads is very different from ours in Finland (well, we don’t really have bakeries, instead we buy our bread packed in plastic, labeled with lots of health claims such as whole wheat and fiber rich), and the whole atmosphere is somehow very exotic. We are the promised land of health bread (rye bread, dry bread, low carb) but still Finns are fatter and fatter. Is seems to be a paradox that nations who eat a lot of “empty carbs” ie. bread and pasta, are fatter than those who don’t. The French and Italians are slimmer than Finns, even though their baguette is white and pasta is far from whole wheat. We here eat potatoes, because they’re considered healthier than pasta.

      Rice, a staple in the Asian diet, hasn’t made them obese. But along with the Western eating habits, Asian people are growing larger and larger. Is bread the reason for this?


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