Photo essay of various world families and their weekly groceries

http://www.reasonpad.com/2010/03/what-the-world-eats-part-1-photo-essays/

Fascinating, though I’m concerned about the soda consumption of some of these families.

Lots of people like bananas.

Looks like Mexicans don’t drink the water either! 12 2 litre bottles of Coke, 17ish bottles of beer, 10 gallons of Sparkletts water - 2 adults, three kids.

I have that book! I love flipping through it and seeing the different amounts of food a whole family can subsist on throughout the world. There was a blurb on the Italian family (the Manzo family) in the book. The father is a fisherman and he loves fish but since his wife hates cooking fish, they only ever eat fish sticks. That always struck me as being indescribably sad.

Jeez, spot the Americans - the ones with no produce. Well, I think I saw some grapes on the first one, and some broccoli on the second, but…

The most yummy offering, to me, looked like Mongolia. Bread, eggs, tomatoes, meat. Nice!

Does it really cost the typical German family $500/week to eat, or do those people over-spend?!

The two American families look pretty trim for the amount of crap food they eat.

Does no one else outside of the US buy milk? I can’t tell because, I assume, I don’t know what milk packaging in other countries is like.

Sad because they only eat fish sticks or sad because the father won’t cook fish for himself if he wants it?

Mostly sad that they only eat fish sticks. I do feel that generally, everyone should be self-sufficient which includes cooking things they want to eat. In the book (from what I remember anyway), the mother is a stay at home mom with school age kids who doesn’t like the smell of cooking fish. In my view, as a stay at home mom, part of your job is taking care of your family which can include cooking something that you don’t like sometimes. Besides, fish sticks are a pale imitation of freshly cooked fish.

Ok, I just dug out the book and it doesn’t seem as dire as I remembered. She does cook frittura, which is mixed fried fish, sometimes, but she mostly serves frozen fish sticks to the kids. I guess it got stuck in head as being absurd since her husband is a fishmonger and has access to such fresh fish and all she gives to her kids are fish sticks since it’s easy and doesn’t smell.

The least spent in a week? $1.23 for a family of six. And they look pretty healthy, especially for sub-Saharan Africans.

The most? $500.03 for a family of four. Good God, can you imagine what that amount of money would do for the African family? Buy land, build a home, put all the kids through school, start a business . . .

I think my parents and I probably spend around $250 to $300 a week on food, and part of that is because we eat out a lot. So, I’m not down on the German family, but it’s eye opening, isn’t it?

In their defense, I was reading the description of the book on Amazon, and apparently the authors paid for whatever they bought. I wouldn’t be surprised if the German dad said “Screw it, pick up a couple extra cases of beer.”

Great Britain:

Favorite foods:…mayonnaise sandwich…

Wow, British Food really is bland :slight_smile:

And the Germans seem pretty routine based. If there is one of it, there is 12.

Wow, we eat a lot of processed food compared to other countries.

Does anyone else wanna go live with the Italian Family? Look at all the fresh bread and fruit! Yum!

Exactly what I was thinking. Plus, it seems like amount of produce is inversely proportional to the wealth of their country, period. Great Britain and Japan had virtually no produce either, and Germany wasn’t much better. Compare to Mexico with two-thirds of their food being produce (and the other third soda, apparently :stuck_out_tongue: ).

I think this might explain the soda for the Mexican family as well. :smiley:

One of my sisters has a copy, and I also enjoy looking at it.

The photographer, Peter Menzel, also contributed to this similar book, in which he again photographs families from around the world, this time with all their material possessions hauled out in front of their houses. Sadly, the father in the Russian family was murdered, IIRC at some point after the photographer had taken the main picture of the family with their things.

Fascinating. I’m looking at this and thinking, “packaged food = expensive”. I wonder whether the book speaks of total acquisition and preparation time?

I saw this a few weeks back, and recall looking at all the countries in the photo essay; the Cairo family had to be one of my favorites food-wise, as was the family from Bhutan. Time did three separate photo essays on this, and you can find them all online fairly easily with “what the world eats” as your search phrase.

We bought the book back when this slide show was posted in '07. The book is amazing!

It’s part of a stay at home mother’s job to do something that offends her senses? I hate the smell of cooking fish and shellfish too. My husband usually gets his fish and shellfish fixes at restaurants, where I don’t have to live with lingering fish odor for the next several days. Fish odor LINGERS. Plus, cooking fish and shellfish brings the cook’s nose directly in the middle of those odors.

Kids that age usually prefer fish sticks to fresh fish, too. So even if she cooked the fresh fish, chances are her kids wouldn’t eat it as readily.

Yeah, it’s kind of ironic that the fisherman doesn’t get to eat as much fresh fish as he’d like, and it’s ironic that mom cooks fish sticks. But if you don’t like the smell of cooking fish, then sometimes it can be downright nauseating, especially if you’re the one cooking it. Other people can cook, you know. And other people can air out the kitchen.

I was sort of amused that one family displayed a couple of pizzas. At least they’re honest, and include the fast food as part of their weekly groceries.

I do wonder at the Cairo family…it looks like they have about a dozen or so bell peppers. What do they do with them all?