What A Week Of Groceries Looks Like Around The World

What A Week Of Groceries Looks Like Around The World

It seems as a people, we have a fascination with photographing our food. From Henry's series of riders, to looking on instagram we cant help but document what we consume. Photographer Peter Menzel started this intriguing series of one weeks of groceries from around the world, taking traditional food photography to a much larger scale. In his book Hungry Planet, Peter explores both the cultural differences of diets around the world as well investigating how prosperity and poverty influence the diets of different nations.

hungry planet food around the world

Here is the book description of Menzel's amazing project:

The age-old practice of sitting down to a family meal is undergoing unprecedented change as rising world affluence and trade, along with the spread of global food conglomerates, transform eating habits worldwide. HUNGRY PLANET profiles 30 families from around the world--including Bosnia, Chad, Egypt, Greenland, Japan, the United States, and France--and offers detailed descriptions of weekly food purchases; photographs of the families at home, at market, and in their communities; and a portrait of each family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries. Featuring photo-essays on international street food, meat markets, fast food, and cookery, this captivating chronicle offers a riveting look at what the world really eats.

what people eat around the world


Mexico
00175372
Great Britain
00175382
USA
00175392
Australia
00175402
Germany
00175412
Italy
00175422
Canada
00175432
France
00175442
Japan
00175452
China
00175462
Poland
00175472
Kuwait
00175482
Mongolia
00175492
Turkey
00175502

View the entire series Here in Menzel's Book Hungry Planet.

[Via Time]

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917 Comments

mx1209's picture

seen that at least twice here on FS.

Thomas Ingersoll's picture

I don't believe we have posted this here before. I might be wrong tho, please feel free to post the link to the article if we have.

Tom Lew's picture
spiralphoto's picture

No, I concur. This has been posted before....but not by fstoppers. It was posted on www.homelessnation.com on December 24, 2007.
http://www.homelessnation.org/en/node/7412

elizabethzen's picture

Wow, 2007! Food in the grocery store has changed quite a bit since then.

Stefáuni Diamond's picture

Wow!
Did you see the Australian family with all hat meat on the table - they
were ALL extremely overwesight - whilst allthe other regions had little
meat and lots of veggies and looked healthy - i was especially tripped
out by the regions that had no kitchen or tables at all and were sitting
on dirt floors...THIS is the reality we SPOILED fat americans need to
be seeing to truly understand that this week an entire family will be
eating seed mill while sitting on the ground.... this article was
amazing to me - i lOVeD it!

oh and P.S - DO NOT BE BOTHERED BY THE TRIVIAL HATE & PETTINESS...,
SOME
PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR USELESS ENERGY...please
continue to share this AMAZING article in the near future for all those
inquiring minds like myself who would dearly enjoy this study as most
of us have. This RELEVANT info can not be posted too often because for each new MIND it captures could be a changed WORLD PERSPECTIVE. And Americans need as much of that exposure as possible...I would have missed this
interesting study otherwise if hadnt been for the repeat post. Besides, WHO SAID awesome articles online
should be posted just once - how is that narrow minded concept supposed
to reach billions of mindsets??? HOW? - geeze - well, THANKS AGAIN!!!!

Doc's picture

"all that meat" that nasty stuff is a travesty to the word meat! The Mongolians were eating "meat."

Stefáuni Diamond's picture

ha! - i concur!

Jovana Djak's picture

FYI, meat doesn't make you fat. Sugar does. I don't think that Menzel wanted to let people know through his photos that people in the third world have less to eat than people in the first world- you can see that by turning on CNN. These photos look at people and their food from a cultural point. For Americans, like the British, processed "junk" is a staple in their diet, while more health conscious nations, like Italy, France, Turkey, lean towards organic, and most importantly, WHOLE foods. These photos are about culture though food. The Australians that you mentioned are fat because they buy frozen "Fish Fingers". There cannot be any fish in products labeled Fish Fingers.

Un espagnol indigné's picture

I'm agree with you, sugar is the enemy, alongside with procesed food. It's better to eat a frugal meal, as many poor people does, but without artificial ingredients, than to eat a big amount of procesed food, as we do in our industrialized countries.

Jennifer Sheldon's picture

Actually, research it, too much meat, which western culture typically eats too much of does add to weight and other health issues. Sugar does not cause obesity. Not all Americans eat like you see pictured and the same goes for the other countries too. The pictures were taken of the typical/stereotypical of that country.

billstreeter's picture

Sugar is toxic

rhonda morgan's picture

Actually a lot of it has to do with corn syrup!! Yes sugar also but corn syrup is worse for you. And its in EVERYTHING! YUCK

Tyler Hoff's picture

WOW!!! Seriously? Please tell me you're getting your information from a friend or something and this wasn't done by your own research. I'm a nutrition major graduating in a month and I have to completely disagree with you. Please cite me a credible peer reviewed article citing MEAT as being the main factor in obesity. It is sugar! It's thrown into almost everything we eat to add flavor and instant gratification. Meat isn't good in large amounts I will agree, but your body doesn't store protein like it does carbs (sugar)... So please do us a favor and don't just quote what you've heard or seen in news. DO YOU'RE OWN RESEARCH!

Your Boy Medison's picture

meat isn't good for you.

pojoel's picture

Have you overdosed on sugar, dear?

Jay's picture

I AM A VEGETARIAN AND I WANT EVERYBODY TO KNOW THIS AT ABSOLUTELY EVERY MOMENT!

Funwithguns11's picture

MEAT ROCKS! I'M HAVING SOME NOW! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jazhara7's picture

Actually, only the adults of the Australian family can really be considered overweight. The four kids are all pretty normal. Same goes for the mexican family. You see that they have lots of vegetables. But if you look at them, the older the family member gets, the more fat they have on their ribs. It's a complex system, and usually it's the sugary stuff you eat on the side that makes you fat. And if you don't move a lot, even more. Meat alone doesn't really hurt you, especially if it's in its original form (not sausages, but steak.).

Edgar Aethelred's picture

Those were not Australians in a realistic sense. They were part Aboriginies which you need to specify, and Aus Aboriginies have vastly different gabits/culture than the typical Australian.

Tami Baker's picture

Yes I definitely have seen this article posted on here before. It's okay though - it's a good reminder of how we in the USA consume so much more than the rest of the world.

Malinda J Bills's picture

And how much more PROCESSED food we consume. So glad I don't eat much of that anymore...

John Gratta's picture

Yes, this just showed what trashy Americans eat, not all Americans.

Dylan Uriah Herbert's picture

Or perhaps what Americans who don't have access to high quality grocers, local markets eat or don't have the funds to shop at places like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or have never learned how to cook because their parents were working 2 full time jobs and they haven't been able to cook fresh things as much as they'd like because maybe they work a couple of jobs or have a very demanding job that barely pushes the family into the middle class... Your comment is classist and racist in all the expected ways.

ieatstars's picture

Trader Joe's is less expensive than most national chain grocers. Most junk food also costs more than healthy food. Take a look around next time you shop.

McJ's picture

We actually just kicked out all the "junk" and sugar in our house and are paying DOUBLE for healthy food.. it's a joke! McD's can get you a hamburger for $1 but to make it at home you have to spend $5-9 to cook one yourself that is much healthier.. Where do you shop that is costs less, because I need to go there!?!?! "they" want us to buy the unhealthy cheap food so we can pay more in the end for health care, medication, etc.

Charlie Sommers's picture

My wife and I buy nothing that is pre-made, we are on a budget and do all our own cooking. Carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions and a little meat (usually what is on sale) along with dried beans and rice keep us well fed and healthy with a very low cash outlay. A stir fry can be put together quickly and can be varied depending on what's in season. We have not just started cooking this way since retirement but have done it for the last forty years even when we both worked. There is always time for good health.

oracleof jamie's picture

Agreed, and you are not alone. the Average American family does not eat like that picture. That picture is propaganda and is an insult to the Average American family.

thebravestheart's picture

This is a super ridiculous assertion, there's no basis in fact for either of those statements.

Barb's picture

I have to agree with you on this one... it is a complex issue for sure and I think that yes this article shows the differences between the very poor who are the majority in some nations right a long side the poor in some wealthy nations... what it should do is tell us how lucky some of us are and that we should always find ways to help others not put them down for their choices because we do not know their life circumstances from a picture....just sayin

oracleof jamie's picture

Actually your the only one being racist and classicist it goes both ways bud. How is John being racist by saying trashy people eat trashy foods. Race has nothing to do with it whatsoever, unless you're trying to suggest that how that American family eats is how all black people eat in America. Your response shows the whole world the way you think, and speak volumes about your character.

Edgar Aethelred's picture

These days anyone who thriws around an accusation of racism is almost guaranteed to be full of horse dung.

Tawanda Kanhema's picture

Thanks, although you completely ignored the photographer's request to comply with his Terms of Use for these images.

Todd Douglas's picture

I haven't seen it before but it's a really interested photo project idea that makes you stop and compare between the countries. And yes, Chad is a tough one to view...

Edgar Aethelred's picture

Why? They've eaten like that fir milleniae. Actually, they're eating FAR better now than they've eaten for milleniae. Your racist, condescending attitude is boring.

DavidBickley's picture

The photo from Chad is a bit of a reality check for sure.

Frank Hvam's picture

The "food" from Usa is a reality check.

Marie Antoinette Ortega Reyes's picture

agreed 100%, studies show people with less varied diets have increased longevity too...

Luke Reeder's picture

i have studies that say the opposite and also what exactly are you talking about with less varied diet. Do you think an African with just those grains lives longer than us? Which planet are you on?

Ben Chapman's picture

I think an African with on-demand clean water, hospitals, a GP, free medicine, condoms, anti mosquito nets, education and "just those grains" might well live longer than a fat, "well" fed American.

Kerry Shannon Federonich's picture

It has been proven that if you eat a less varied diet your overall health is better. Obviously these studies take into account a balanced diet and are not taking into account other factors like the poverty level of some of these families, or access to clean drinking water and health care.

Tami Baker's picture

No need to be rude, Luke.

Hannah Coo's picture

I could be wrong, but im pretty sure those studies are for more simple diets. Like eating fruit, veggies, grains, meats. Leaving out all of the other items we can't read. If you only ate rice all your life, you would die. There has to be some kind of balance. Some spices are very good for you. I agree that the photo from Chad is hard to look at, I'm sure it isn't there choice to eat so little and with so little to choose from. But at the same time I was amazed at how much that family eats fast food in just a week in the USA! These pictures are fun to look at, but they do not represent every household in each of the countries.

SuzyQ's picture

Give me a break. He picked a junk food family from the USA. We could do that in other countries, too. Most of the people I knew, grew up with, or had as neighbors did not eat all that junk food. Most had lots of fruit and veggies.

Ryan Hunt's picture

Yeah seriously.... they eat a lot of garbage... depressing to see the lack of vegtables and fruit...

HBRI's picture

SuzyQ, I truly think that they hit the nail on the head with the family from the United States. Reasearch show the US as the largest consumer of GMO's, prepackaged foods and junk food. The United States has the largest percentage of obese people by a huge marker from the nest highest. I would have loved to have grown up where you did. I am a health nut and my family eats very healthy. On the other hand my family, mother, father, brother, brothers now imediate family, friends and other realitives eat exactly like the people represented in this photo. We are a military family and relocate often. The majority (not all) eat as the family does in this photo. I think that you and I and a low percentage of people here in the US eat healthy. Makes me sad. Hoping for a healthier future for our country and the ban of GMO's.

Joy's picture

I have to admit, I was completely shocked by the American family! Is this actually normal? My three sisters and I was not raised this way and I did not raise my child this way either. I too am a Military spouse, and first thing I do is find a good farmers market in the area. The American family photographed, from what I could see, only had grapes, a couple of tomatoes, and I think I found a few potatoes. I didn't see any grains and only canned veggies (I hope some of those cans were veggies). Very sad. So much junk food, chips, pizza, McDonald's...every week? And, Really, what is the point of Diet Coke, that I will never understand, you can't "diet" with Coke. Wow!

On the other hand several of the other countries had a lot of carbonated drinks in the background. While places like Mexico, India, Poland, Kuwait, especially Turkey, had a lot of fruits and vegetables. I'd have to say Turkey and Kuwait looked more well balanced to me, meats/proteins, fish, grains, fruits, vegetables. That looks more like what I would buy and love to eat!

Jeanne's picture

In Turkey they eat vegetables but mostly wheat and dairy with lots of olive oil, an amazingly high amount.

Guest's picture

I spent about two years living in Mexico, and I drank a lot less water than I usually hope to. Even in Mexico, the general population consumes more soda or fruit drinks than most Americans because of the water quality issue - sugary drinks actually cost a little less than bottled water does - however they also make most of their drinks with REAL sugar, not all the other crap in American soda.

Sele's picture

Well, that makes the US economy and the uncle doctor happy. A lot of money wasted for Coca Cola, Mc Donalds and other crap food and millions of ill people. And this is just the beginning. With that GMO´s and all that other crap junk food, the doctors in the US will be rich as hell in the future. It is the American Dream - riches getting richer and pure people believe in all the advertises - that coca cola and mc donalds are healthy...

Believe it or not, the less you eat the more healthy you are. For me, Japan is the winner here. Germany looks healthy too, unfortunately we here in germany have the problem with US GMO´s too. If you dont watch out, you get poisoned by Monsanto and Co.

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