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Jun 2, 2007 11:21 PM

What the World Eats [moved from Not About Food]

Has anyone seen this Time magazine article? I thought it's very interesting comparing what families around the world are eating in a week. I am quite shocked too at how much money is spent on food.

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  1. This is extremely interesting. I heard the average american spends $59/week on groceries, though, so I don't think these large families are spending all that much. Especially with the exchange rate on the dollar (used to have 2x as much buying power in europe 10 years ago).
    Some things I noticed: why aren't the rich Chinese eating more vegetables, the Mexicans are drinking a lot of soda, obviously carbs ARE the way to go as evidenced by the thin Sicilians (and African regugees). I'm sorry the Andean people have NO protein, I didn't think they lived in such obvious poverty, at least the African refugees knew what meat was and didn't look like their growth had been completely stunted. Americans are eating way too much junk food, replace all of the junk with fruits and vegetables.

    7 Replies
    1. re: fara

      The photo of the Andean family shows several legumes--a major source of protein in the Andes.

      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        does it? that would make sense, though it looked to me like everything was grains.

        1. re: fara

          fara, you're completely right. It is hard to tell. I looked again and can't quite tell what the three or four grains/legumes are. Can't tell what's in the closed bags either. On the other hand, having worked so much in the Andes, I would guess that some of the open piles and some of what are in the closed bags are legumes--at least common beans and most likely some others. But again, hard to tell. We are working on diets and health; and the family looks healthy.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            I hope they are healthy, but to me they look malnourished. Did you know height has a greater correlation to protein consumption than to genetics? But I hope they're getting their legumes Sam, really. much too sad otherwise.

            1. re: fara

              We're working with stunting as a key indicator in our work. On the other hand, Penn State in the 70s did some human adaptation to hypocaloric, temperature, and altitude stress and found "stunting" that was perfectly healthy at very high altitudes. Those diets are legume rich. And they are next to the centers of domestication of common beans, peanuts, potatoes, amaranths, lupines, quinoa, and the like.

              email if you like. See my profile.

            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

              But if they're eating whole grains, they should get enough protein, shouldn't they? Your diet only needs to be 12% protein and whole grains are generally higher than that, maybe not rice and potatoes but flours, quinoa and such.

              In addition, it's not easy to tell who's malnourished by what they look like. I can't remember what the percent is but a large percent of americans, especially ones who are overeweight/obese are malnourished.

              1. re: chowser

                you're right about "malnourished." wrong word. how about not enough protein to grow tall?

      2. Funny, I was thinking just recently that somebody should do this project. Wow, look at all that packaging/branding. Another one I'd like to see is a typical weekday's worth of food for an adult, on standard size plates.

        1. Great: clearly shows the prepared and packaged food eating peoples vs. the fruit, vegetable, and legume eating peoples.

          1. Interesting to see where Coke, M&M/Mars, and McD products show up.

            1. By my subjective reckoning, 4 of the 16 have budget constraints, and 12 are only limited by the recklessness (or not) of their own choosing. But clearly the undernourished in the world are under-represented in this sample. Interesting kitchen voyeurism, though. The look of pride in the faces of the "4" is a hammer blow to the conscience.