Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

A truly amazing concept, a panoramic view of cultural diversity from a diet standpoint. Hungry Planet: What the World Eats dives into the dietary habits of a spectrum of families from different countries featuring pictures of each family behind 1 weeks worth of food. The artists behind this novel concept, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio, visited some 30 families in 24 countries.

This post does not contain all of the families featured in the book but does show large portion. Some things worth noting include the horrific packaging of foods in developed nations. One quickly sees why the industrialized nations produce so much trash. Other visible facts includes the lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce in the US families. The reality being the cost and convenience of being able to store prepackaged foods for a long period of time while having foods that are quick to prepare.

I hope everyone examines these pictures and takes something from it.

Japan: The Ukita family of Kodaira City

Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25
Favorite foods: sashimi, fruit, cake, potato chips

Great Britain: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis

Food expenditure for one week: 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15
Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily

Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11
Favorite foods: fish, pasta with ragu, hot dogs, frozen fish sticks

United States: The Caven family of California

Food expenditure for one week: $159.18
Favorite foods: beef stew, berry yogurt sundae, clam chowder, ice cream

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp

Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat

Kuwait: The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City

Food expenditure for one week: 63.63 dinar or $221.45 Family recipe: Chicken biryani with basmati rice

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina

Food expenditure for one week: $341.98
Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca

Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09
Favorite foods: pizza, crab, pasta, chicken

China: The Dong family of Beijing

Food expenditure for one week: 1,233.76 Yuan or $155.06
Favorite foods: fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo

Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53
Family recipe: Okra and mutton

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo

Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage

Mongolia: The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar

Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.02
Family recipe: Mutton dumplings

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village

Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide

Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07
Favorite foods: fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding

Guatemala: The Mendozas of Todos Santos

Food expenditure for one week: 573 Quetzales or $75.70
Family Recipe: Turkey Stew and Susana Perez Matias’s Sheep Soup

India: The Patkars of Ujjain

Food expenditure for one week: 1,636.25 rupees or $39.27
Family Recipe: Sangeeta Patkar’s Poha (Rice Flakes)

United States: The Fernandezes of Texas

Food expenditure for one week: $242.48
Favorite Foods: Shrimp with Alfredo sauce, chicken mole, barbecue ribs, pizza


15 thoughts on “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

  1. Gaia

    I’m glad I came across your post: I didn’t realize this book was in the works, much less available. As you say, the lack of fresh fruit in “developed world” (ha!) diets is shocking particularly in comparison. If you haven’t already seen their other books, you should check them out. These same authors use the concept of photojournalism-around-the-world to document material possessions. The differences are shocking to say the least. The books are “Material World” and “Women in the Material World.” I have found they are excellent teaching tools, so I will probably add “Hungry Planet” to my library.

  2. bentlyr Post author

    I will definitely have to check out their other books. Thanks so much for the visit.

  3. rhodeslesstraveled

    thought in germany they’d show that everyone here eats nothing but sausages and drinks only beer lol great idea though, puts a lot of ideas into perspective and the book would tackle political, socio economic, and cultural issues all in one. amazing, powerful collection of images
    check out too for more articles and images

  4. ckasih


    This is because English language not suitable anymore because the original Bible is in Arabic.

    The full story is here:

  5. Lisa Kairos

    Thanks for posting so many examples from the book- I’ve been meaning to take a look at it and it looks fascinating. I’d like to point out the direct link between all of the packaged, processed, well traveled food on the western tables, and our dependence on oil…. so much of our food comes from thousands of miles away just to get to the shelves of our grocery stores, and then we drive there to get our food. It’s insanity. For a few years, I’ve been making an effort to wean our family off the industrialized food chain as much as possible, and onto whole, local foods. But local food systems here in the U.S. have greatly deteriorated over the last 50 years or so. It is difficult to do, but I think eating more locally is a solution for the future, just like getting out of our cars.

  6. Pingback: What the World Eats « Excessive Mastication

  7. Tawanda Kanhema

    Interesting way to look at food. Have you seen the authors’ new book, What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets? It features 80 people from 30 countries with the food their day’s worth of food, arranged by the number of calories from least to most. Its more like a follow up to Hungry Planet, with a lot more food pictures from over 30 countries. TIME magazine just did a slideshow of images from the book here,29307,2037749_2219823,00.html.

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  9. Marosi Szilvia

    Very interesting topic to talk about, good job!!
    In North-Indonesia families of 5-6 people have a budget of Rp 200.000 ( 25 USD), their main diet consists of rice,noodle, coffee,tea and fish. Most of the things they make an effort to plant or catch a fish or squid by themselves.This worth a consideration comparing to our developed way of thinking.
    (follow me at


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