Our Most Comprehensive Tutorial Yet

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]

Check out Fstoppers first ever workshop promo below:

Log in or register to post comments

917 Comments

Previous comments
Kevin Prichard's picture

Yeah, this series was first published in book form in 2005, 'Hungry Planet: What the World Eats'. Seems odd that the OP doesn't mention that basic info.

Daniel English's picture

Yeah that is considering you can afford them in America and you don't get public assistance. If you make more than what the poverty line requires. Yet, you have medicines and other bills you won't be eating like this. Instead you will be eating along the lines of people in Ecuador and Chad.

Desiree Corinne Cushman's picture

Sad to look at these pics. Not only do we consume so much more than anywhere else...we also consume processed stuff when most of everywhere else only consumes fresh goods!

wow the USA hardly has any fruit or veggies

Celeste CrobiLife Robinson's picture

Seems the USA consumed more empty calories. Not much from nature. The families had more people, but bags of grains and such and less food. hmmm

Do a lot of these seem like way too much food to anyone else? It would take my family three or more weeks to go through some of these and there's five of us.

HydeClem's picture

Wow, they really picked worst case scenario for the American family not all of us eat that bad, geezzz, I'm tired of our country being the bad guy!

HydeClem's picture

Ha, ha the German family looks real happy! I like these but they picked the worst case scenario for the American family not all of us eat that horrible..... I get tired of American's always being the bad guy there are other country's in these pics that have bad food on their tables (hello Mexico add another Soda). I think Canada is the best & then there are those that hardly have any food makes me sad :o(

HydeClem's picture

I dont feel this is a proper representation of what American's eat on a weekly bases!:o(

lady_morgahnna's picture

amazing differences ... love the ones with processed foods vs. raw foods

What happened to Indigenous Alaskan food which would be seal meat and rendered oil, Dry fish, greens soaked in seal oil, whale meat and blubber, all types of fish found in Alaska, fermented seal flippers, fermented fish, etc.

Stefáuni Diamond's picture

WOW!!! This was so interesting to see....I notice the country that ate the most meat were the fattest out of the group - Very interesting. I Loved this article - thanks!!

OH AND p.s - ITS WORTH POSTING AS MANY TIMES AS IT TAKES BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY THAT GIVES NEW VIEWERS LIKE MYSELF AND MANY OTHERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE IN SUCH A GREAT STUDY - SO PLEASE IGNORE THE HATE AND POST SEVERAL MORE TIMES IN THE FUTURE!!! Anyone new would love the time that went into this project - thanks again!

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 - DONOT BE BOTHERED BY THE TRIVIAL HATE,
SOME PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR USELESS ENERGY...but 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 info can not be posted too often because for each new person it captures could be a changed mind. I would have missed this otherwise if hadnt been for the repat posting. WHO SAID articles online should be posted just once - how is that narrow minded cooncept supposed to reach billions of mindsets??? HOW? - geeze - THANKS AGAIN!!!!

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 - rolls eyes, shakes head - > well, THANKS AGAIN!!!!

Brett Greshko's picture

I like how the German one was all super organized

epp.opp.ork.ahh.ahh's picture

I'm sure there are many American families who eat the kinds of things shown in the photo but I don't think I know any of them. Our family eats lots of fruit, makes most things from scratch, avoids processed foods and only has fast food once every few months. I'll admit that we like our pizza though.

Jovana Djak's picture

Eating healthy is not a matter of your budget- it is a choice. People choose to buy a Coke or juice instead of water, or even a beer. People make a conscious decision to eat a chocolate rather than not.

In my opinion, these photos are wonderful- they are not meant to criticize Americans, as I see by the comments most people took it that way. These photos are nothing more than a presentation of people and their relationship/expectations with food, all around the world. This is about criteria, and as different people, from different countries, it is normal that we have differences, especially with something so personal like food, as we do also with people and things around us.

bronte's picture

I am from Australian and i do not eat that much meat in a week i have 3 kids and we have a healthy organic diet.I feel very shocked by the Australian family it truly is a pore representation of the australian familys I no and love.

Linda Laszewski-Scaffidi's picture

wow. This was very interesting and will be a great conversation starter for my esl students. Looking carefully I noticed the difference between packaged foods and processed foods. The amount of food eaten by a family was also noticeable.

Pamela Anderegg's picture

Astonishing how poorly we eat in the USA.

Kolobok42's picture

That is that particular family.

owlgirl's picture

I am on Social Security so I get food stamps. I have a teenage son & we get 200 a month for groceries what the photograph shows for an American family is what I get for the month. I would love to buy all fruit & vegetables not processed junk but here that's all I can get. These photos show how some cultures are much healthier because of how they eat.

Carmen Lucero's picture

Americans eat way too much! We need to simplify!

Marcia Rogers's picture

Thank you for posting. I loved it. =)

Jeff Roth's picture

Wow the French eat cats and the Polish eat dogs. Times must be hard.

Robert Edwin Turner's picture

I did not see the African table of food ,,along with a lot of the other countrys,so untill you do then (What A Week Of Groceries Looks Like Around The World) is misleading.

Matthias Weiss's picture

Okay, hands up: Who took Chad and Mali out of Africa?

teacher39's picture

Some of these pictures seem oddly set-up. If this is really true, that American family must have amazing metabolism and a whole lot of the other families have awful metabolisms! I'm definitely calling BS on the Canadian groceries. I lived there for many years and don't know any family that consumed only 1 bag of chips a week and the chips weren't ever Lays brand, they usually Hostess brand in many flavors.

lazarusloafer's picture

But that's wrong. I'm a Canadian and that family's grocery's looked an awful lot like my family's groceries growing up, right down to the ONE bag of LAY'S. (Sometimes it was Tostitos or Miss Vickie's, but never Hostess, except during the hockey season in which case there would be a bag of Hickory Sticks as well).

Patrick Rhoades's picture

and the american family looks nothing like what my family buys and we are your typical red blood Americans we buy everything fresh because it tastes better that way also did you know to be considered fat you have to be 3 lbs overweight that is why america has such a high count for fat people the study left that out also look around how many fa Americans do you really see it is rare for me to see one I feel like I am the only one considered obese but that is due to only eating once a day with high carbohydrate and fat because of the meat which can be high in fat which has sugars in it but not a large meal by any means so my metabolism has slowed to crap and is storing everything it can.

Hannah Coo's picture

I think its fun to see all the different diets! And hard too! I also know that for instance Ecuador has all those plantains and from what I was taught you either boil or fry them! So sometimes just showing the items we buy in a week can be deceiving to how healthy they really are. Plus we all have to remember this is one family from each of these countries. There are many different situations in each country. I wish I could help the family's in the Mali and Chad picture!! Let this challenge you to help if you can!

Fiona's picture

I loved these pics. What a great idea. I'm sure we could all learn something from each other. I'm Australian and even though "my" family doesn't represent "my" weekly shop very well (all that meat would feed us for a few months) I'm sure the pics represent a generalised idea of what people eat and what is available to them. What stands out the most is the different amounts of fresh foods and processed foods people buy and all the soft drink. If we took a bit of the healthy foods from each family we'd all have a great balanced diet. The families from the poorer countries didn't look like they had much variety but given that they don't have refridgeration or much money, that's understandable. I'm envious that they probably don't agonise over what they'll cook for dinner every night either. I love they way the people from Europe eat and even though I'm Aussie, I cook a lot of Indian, Italian, Asian and Mexican styled food. Viva la differance and happy, healthy eating I say!

rnader5's picture

How embarrassing for USA and England!!!

Kolobok42's picture

Well, the Weetabix should be embarrassing for the UK. That has got to be the grossest cereal I have ever tried.

Nina Darguzis's picture

I'm from the US but mine looks less like the United States and more like Germany

Dismally Scientific's picture

Was it just me or was the German weeks worth of groceries more organized than the rest?

Dakota Calhoon's picture

wow, look at all the crap the western countries, particularly the USA and Canada eat. Gross!! They would be wise to take some lessons from Guatemala, Mongolia, Turkey, etc....

Ham's picture

People are only judging WHAT these people buy, and mostly ignore how many people are in the room versus the actual quantity of the groceries. I believe that was the original point. I guess though, everyone thinks they're a guru on human diet these days... because that's way more important than altruism and justice, right?

Leon's picture

Certainly makes you feel lucky after looking towards the end :)...

Adrian's picture

oau,,super pozele Incearca <a href="http://www.apigold.ro/en/laptisorul/" rel="nofollow">laptisor
de matca pur</a> inca <a href="http://www.apigold.ro/en/laptisor-de-matca/" rel="nofollow">laptisor de
matca</a> intrati si pe <a href="http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/" rel="nofollow">wikipedia</a>

Adrian's picture

Incearca <a href="http://www.apigold.ro/en/laptisorul/" rel="nofollow">laptisor
de matca pur</a> inca <a href="http://www.apigold.ro/en/laptisor-de-matca/" rel="nofollow">laptisor de
matca</a>

Adrian's picture

oau beautiful <a href="http://www.apigold.ro/en/laptisor-de-matca/" rel="nofollow">pictures</a>

Jean's picture

I am from Belgium and I swear this is not what we eat... We do have something to eat right there

Andres Columbus's picture

First of all, order out Pizza is NOT groceries. I love how GB and USA have all that colourful boxed processed shit....no wonder we have obesity epidemic and GB has teeth issues. And btw, all these families aren't a typical diet...many of these families from the poorer countries would be considered rich and well off. I mean, if you have money to enough food for a week AND build a shrine in your house you're doing pretty good.

Elise M.'s picture

India's table looked very nutritious. No wonder I always try and cook Indian cuisine!

Franca Luongo's picture

After seeing these, I'm glad my next holiday is to Turkey.....by the way Australian weekly groceries differ depending on your family heritage but yes generally we consume too much meat and softdrink. Hopefully this photos are a wake up call to lots of affluent countries.

dfgsdf's picture

This lost its credibility since the moment the Chinese didn;t have their rice cooker

kerry's picture

I like the german diet,thats a lot of booze for a week,for 2 adults.

Zeldas Champion's picture

actung!

Kolobok42's picture

I liked the looks of the rest of that table, the French and the Polish. The amount of Coke in the Mexico picture was shocking.

More comments