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

Great Britain

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

[Via Time]

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Previous comments
pysolomon's picture

It's funny, all of the families from the developing countries are probably upper-middle class, but when it comes to people from African countries, they photograph people squatting outside. F*ck y'all. There are Africans who live in modern-style houses you know.

Shamooo's picture

i noticed this too... wasn't really an equal comparison across the board... would have made more sense if they had stuck with urban/middle class people for every country

Gunnard Larson's picture

It is my understanding that the photographer chose a family with the median income in each country.

Erin Owens's picture

Some of these I think... 'who EATS that much? I'm a 'pleasantly plump' lady and I couldn't begin to eat that in a MONTH, let alone a week!' Others I think... 'wow... how do they manage to survive on so little?' The pictures from Bali and Chad make me think that this American could cut down a bit. Still, I'm glad we manage to make our food stretch a lot farther than the American family in the picture! That's about a month's worth of food to us... maybe longer.

cloud's picture

There is poverty in the nations represented above as having plenty and I KNOW there are amazing and beautiful fruits and vegetables in the continent of Africa, among it's countries, though it's not represented here. I'd rather see two sets of photos: one of poverty among nations - including the United States (a stack of Top Ramen, bologna, white bread, a bag of potatoes, ketchup, salt, and grape koolaid), AND a survey of middle class food around the world.

Mariesa Goji Narelle's picture

america has the smallest family but yet consume the most. (not to mention the quality of food is just AWFUL) Thats whats wrong with this country. CONSUMERISM. its the reason for so many problems, and the killing off of mother earth.

AFMomXs2's picture

I don't get the one from Mexico .. all those fruits and veggies and healthy food and a mile of COKE!!! Which is going to rot out your intestines and give you cancer .....

CPOKashue's picture

As someone had already posted, tap water isn't safe to drink or is truly nasty. Cheaper to buy coke than it is to buy the jugs of water.

AFMomXs2's picture

People in the 3rd world countries eat healthier than Americans

count choco's picture

I knew some of those places ate cats and dogs!

失礼's picture

Lol @ Chad! >.<

Thomas Alexander Price's picture

no wonder we are so unhealthy. most places have almost no retail packages except for drinks. they have ten times more fresh/ingredient food.

disqus_rfgkvAhgYR's picture

Notice how few fresh fruits and vegetables there are in the USA picture?

Anthony Maw's picture

Now that is starkly absolutely amazing. Having traveled all around the world as a photographer myself, I have to admit one seldom sees a *fat* African or Indian!

jackscht's picture

You have not traveled at all if you have never seen a fat African. The only place I have ever seen women fatter than in Africa is in the South Pacific.

Santos Rod's picture

Most of americans have bad eating habits for lack of education or just simple whatever is easier (laziness) or cheaper. Cheap and poor eating habits leads to obesity, disease and early aging. You don't have to be a millionaire to eat well, visit to your local farmers market. Learn to cook and take the time to take care of yourself and family. Food can be used to prevent disease. There is not excuse for ignorance and lot of skills and knowledge can be learn thru the web and for free too.

jackscht's picture

Yes I find Americans rather repulsive and their 'food' nothing but processed meat and sugar. Grotesquely overweight, ignorant and extremely bigoted. I dread having to go there sometimes for work and listen to that chalk on a blackboard massacre of the English language. Hopefully they will do the world a favour and nuke themselves with their wmd's.

Michelle M's picture

So DON'T come here!

Tammy H's picture

This comment made you sound like an ignorant, bigoted, low class jerk.

Santos Rod's picture

And for the busy person meal plan and tupperware or any container. Planning meals every week safe money. Even if you don't cut coupon or look for sales. Rent a movie or favorite music take that day off of work, shop for supplies and cook. If you have a clean eating diet pretty much you will lose the weight and feel better. Is very relaxing.

CPOKashue's picture

So, to save money and eat better you have to take a day off of work to shop and cook every week?

Caitlin Ball's picture

Wow, the U.S. mostly eat's junk food... o.o kinda sad.

PickPocket's picture

Never thought Germans would eat so healthy

staticoverdub's picture

Pictures are nice and all, but you realize this is just one family from each country, right?

Wait, you didn't, did you....

treebow's picture

I'm enjoying the ignorant and rude degradations for Steven Bannisters ignorance and rudeness. :)

Robert Wills's picture

I especially like that the German's food is more orderly than any other country! I can't see the names of the products clearly but I am thinking they may even be alphabetized.

Gunnard Larson's picture

I had a fried from Mexico and he says everyone drinks coke because it's not safe to drink the water... He also said everyone smokes cigarettes because then at least you are breathing through a filter. (I think they were both jokes but I wasn't sure.)

palmajo simmons's picture

No pizza in Italy???

Kristian Theresa Vario's picture

in italy they would take the grains and tomatoes and cheese and prepare them by hand to make the pizza....so there's pizza in the pic, just in it's deconstructed form i guess....

Jellybaby Jo Cypher's picture

these photos make me feel we take good food for granted when there are so many without
we throw away and waste tons of food every day while people are starving

Seepferdchen's picture


Martin's picture

Many of these photos look like exaggerations to me. It seems that a lot of the photos from the wealthier countries he has included the entire box/carton/package when surely the entire amount of all of those items is not being consumed.The artistic part is interesting but I would like to see some statistics to back up these photos.

Helder Pinto's picture

You should look at this like as art and not as a freaking graph!
I'm pretty sure you can find one if you google it for 5 minutes.

InukPagan's picture

WOW! Developed countries sure buy a lot of junk lol

David Gonzalez's picture

i'm from mexico and i approve of all that coke in the background

Moshpitgirl's picture

If they really want to paint a picture they should really look at doing the same thing for different income levels around the world. The photo from Chad is sadly one of the better off families. The families from Canada and the US are some of the higher level incomes as well. Canadians are just as bad for fast food too. I know what my groceries as a Canadian look like and it's not that. That's almost a month worth of groceries for some people....

Gunnard Larson's picture

it is my understanding that the photographer chose a family with the median income from each country and from my experience in the countries I have spent a lot of time in it is fairly accurate. For the American family it looks like a lot of food but most of it is empty space in packaging. The Canadian family is clearly native, it looks like there is a quarter of a caribou on the table.

dobyblue's picture

Loads of GMOs in the Canadian and US pics, can't be that much "better off" otherwise they'd be buying all organic or Non-GMO Project Verified products.

Your Sexy Cousin Rex's picture

My bros from Chad eat better than me

gamephase's picture

Today I learned, I eat like an Australian.

Jordan Mower's picture

Family from Germany looks pissed off.

Graham Allen's picture

Which is odd, because there's a lot of beer there.

tesmith47's picture

this was very poorly done, first of all industrialized countrys should not be compared to non industrialized countrys, that is apples and oranges
second are these families incomes the average for their country?

Kenneth Allen Donaldson's picture

Germany for me. Looks like they include adult beverages.

Vincent Beaulieu's picture

Was I the only one looking for a turkey in Turkey?

Adrian's picture

lodowkabeztajemnic.com - Fridges of the world

Janet Whitt Christian's picture

What this showed me was how much food a small family has to eat in a week compared to larger families. In Buhtan there are 13 people eating that food.

coz they eat frogs.. :>'s picture

Do they really eat cats in France??

danmcn61's picture

I'll vote for the Italy family menu as the most appetizing.

guest's picture

This article is a bit offensive and is an example of how stereotypes are formed. I come from an Ecuadorian background and that image by no means whatsoever depicts a "typical" ecuadorian family or grocery list. We live in houses, shop at grocery stores, and follow a diet that is strikingly similar or the same as the families depicted in images of Western countries.

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