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You are what you eat. This famous phrase comes to us from Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, from an essay titled Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism. Now don’t take it literally, but think about it symbolically. It simply means that the food one eats has a bearing on one’s state of mind and health. Our food consumption has a huge effect on our prosperity, and dictates our well being.
Have you ever pondered about the food consumption around the world? While I’m writing this, according to U.S. Census Bureau, we have over 7,084,999,000 people on Earth. Just take a moment and let that sink in. Think about how many mouths that is to feed. Think about all the daily meals and snacks being consumed as you read this. These kind of curious thoughts are always floating inside creative minds.
In order to better understand the human diet, photographer Peter Menzel and author-journalist Faith D’Alusio, decided to explore what culturally diverse families eat every week. This inspiring idea turned into an eye opening book, which contains a comparative photo-chronicle of their visits to 30 families in 24 countries for 600 meals. The book is called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, and throughout you’ll find portraits of each family with a week’s worth of food purchases, weekly intake lists, costs, family recipes, and illuminating essays.
Peter and D’Aluiso quickly learned that diet is determined by largely uncontrollable forces like conflict, poverty, and globalization, which can bring change at startling speeds. Today we will share a few pictures from their eye-opening book. Keep in mind that most of these families have issues influencing their nourishment. Some families have more to eat, which leads them to nutritionally questionable food and ugly health issues. While others barely have enough for a daily meal. If you’re interested to dig deeper on this issue, be sure to check out their book. Enjoy!