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What’s In A Meal?

A hat tip to Rick Eastes, Director Special Projects for the Ballantine Produce Co., Inc., Reedley, California, for passing along an e-mail that shows photos of different families around the world with a picture of what foods they eat in a week as well as the cost for the foods.

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina (Sure hope most American families eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less junk food than this family.) Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

The e-mail is being sent all over the world and is derived from a Time feature that gives portraits of 15 families. You can read the full Time piece here.

The photos are by Peter Menzel, and Time derived its piece by excerpting from the book Hungry Planet. Here is how the publisher summarizes the book:

On the banks of Mali’s Niger River, Soumana Natomo and his family gather for a communal dinner of millet porridge with tamarind juice. In the USA, the Ronayne-Caven family enjoys corndogs-on-a-stick with a tossed green salad. This 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 diets worldwide.

In HUNGRY PLANET, the creative team behind the best-selling Material World, Women in the Material World, and MAN EATING BUGS presents a photographic study of families from around the world, revealing what people eat during the course of one week. Each family’s profile includes a detailed description.

A glance at the photos leads those in affluent countries to count their blessings. It also seems that there is a decided lack of fresh produce in the American diet. Since the American population came from these other places, we really need to think what it is about our society that leads us to so deemphasize fresh produce.

Great book; you can buy it here.

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