Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel


In the book Hungry Planet, photographer Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio present 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 of their weekly food purchases; photographs of the family at home, at market, and in their community; and a portrait of the entire family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries.


To assemble this remarkable comparison, Menzel and D'Aluisio traveled to 24 countries and visited 30 families from Bhutan and Bosnia to Mexico and Mongolia, and recorded what they ate for a week. Menzel photographed each family in their kitchen with the week’s worth of groceries, while D’Alusio interviewed them about their food habits and family structure. Accompanying the portraits and narratives are detailed breakdowns of each family’s grocery list, more photographs of the family and home country, and statistics for each country visited.

Here is a selection of pictures from the book. Note: the book was made about 5 years ago, and the prices were of that time.

Japan: Ukita family of Kodaira City

Expenditure on food for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25
Favorite foods: sashimi, fruit, cake, potato chips


Italy: Manzo family of Sicily

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


Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp

Expenditure on food for one week: 685 CFA francs, or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat


Kuwait: Al-Huggan family of Kuwait City

Expenditure on food for one week: 63.63 dinar or $221.45
Family recipe: Chicken biryani (spicy rice) with basmati rice


United States: The Revis family of North Carolina

Expenditure on food for one week: $341.98
Favorite food: spaghetti, potatoes, chicken with sesame seeds


Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca

Expenditure on food for one week: 1 862.78 Mexican pesos or $189.09
Favorite food: pizza, crab, pasta, chicken


China: The Dong family of Beijing

Expenditure on food for one week: 1 233.76 yuan, or $155.06
Favorite foods: fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce


Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna

Expenditure on food for one week: 582.48 zlotys, or $151.27
Family recipe: Pig's knuckles with carrots, celery and parsnips


Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo

Expenditure on food for one week: 387.85 Egyptian pounds, or $68.53
Family recipe: Okra and mutton


Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo

Expenditure on food for one week: $31.55
Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage


USA: The Caven family of California

Expenditure on food for one week: $159.18
Favorite food: beef stew, berry yogurt sundae, clam chowder, ice cream


Mongolia : The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar

Expenditure on food for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.02
Family recipe: Mutton dumplings


United Kingdom: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis

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


Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village

Expenditure on food for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork


Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide

Expenditure on food 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



[via Time]

Related: What's In Your Refrigerator?

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  1. I created a google chart of the life expectancy for each of the countries pictured in this post at

  2. I am very uncomfortable with your (the photographer's) depiction of Africa. Why were other families interviewed in homes and when it came to Africa a refugee camp was seen as the best option? This is simply an example of the continued biased coverage of Africa in international media. If the photographer aimed shoot on level ground, s/he would have at least taken the trouble to visit a home in Africa as well. I assure you, that even in my rural home, the variety of food (grains, vegetables, meats) are much more than rations given at any refugee camp. I do not understand what your (the photographer's) motivation was. Very disappointing.

    1. In the book there are two families from Chad, one from Egypt and one from Mali.

  3. Those are just a few of the pictures. They also went to Mali, Egypt, and another family in Chad (which was an interesting comparison with the Aboubakar family).

  4. Agreed with PatriotAfrican. The vast majority of people live in developed cities - but western publications seem to have a fetish for depicting Africans as all living in refugee camps. Very disappointing to see you further this misconception,

  5. hey he said in the description that it was from a refugee camp..i think it is pretty acurate and even the homes look traditional

  6. the life expectancy link is so wrong how can us be on number 4 with more life expectancy than the others when all they eat is fast food??or britain on number 3??

    1. Because there's more to health than junk food avoidance. You also need a health system. And clean water.

    2. Because life expectancy is primary driven by infant mortality.

  7. The vast majority of people live in developed cities - but western publications seem to have a fetish for depicting Africans as all living in refugee camps.

  8. I thinks over training is not good for the beginners,.
    but its good for gaining the size and shape of the body but the food is must use according to the workout,.

  9. Very interesting article.
    I like your post.


    Looks like the Daily Mail has stolen your article!


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