All of us have wondered at least once what people all over the world eat every day. What are the traditional foods in India? What's for dessert in Cuba? What do people eat for breakfast in Chad? And what about Norway, Great Britain, and Mexico? It's very interesting to learn what people traditionally eat in many different countries, how they cook and store their meals, and how much they spend to buy everything they need to feed their families.
American photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio asked these questions as well and eventually, they decided to find answers to them. According to Time, they traveled the world to see what average families eat within a week and how much it costs. They saw a refugee family in Chad that spends a bit more than a dollar for their weekly menu. Then there's a family from Norway that spends over $700. These two saw the families who eat rice and veggies and those who like fish and meat. They also realized how the environment affects the food we eat and its cost. The results of their extensive research were described in a book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.
Below are some of the photos from this book and what families around the world consume within a week.
20 Cuba: Lots Of Fruit And Bread
In the photo above you can see a family living in Cuba. Ramon, Sandra, and their kids Lisandra and Fabio live in a Colonial-era house with their in-laws and cousins. It's here they present their table covered with a week's worth of food. What we see here are mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a lot of bread and different kinds of drinks. I must admit, Cuban families seem to have a very healthy diet!
The members of this family commonly use their gas stove, as well as an outdoor BBQ grill to cook their food. This week worth of food costs $56.76 USD.
19 Japan: Rice, Fish, And Noodles
Let's move to another part of the world and make a stop in Japan! Here we can see the Ukita family, who live in Kodaira City. Like most Japanese people, they eat a lot of rice and different kinds of noodles, as well as fish. The Ukita family uses a gas stove and a rice cooker to cook their meals and stores them in a small freezer.
The favorite foods of the parents are sashimi and fruits, while their kids like to eat cakes and potato chips. Kids seem to have similar tastes all over the world, right?
This week's worth of food in Japan costs $317.25 USD.
18 Egypt: So Much Greenery
Now let's come to Egypt. This large family living in Cairo includes several children, as well as the wife's father and brother with his own family. On their table, we can see a lot of greenery and veggies, which is good for health, so I bet the members of this large family are feeling well.
Their favorite family recipe in this family is okra and mutton, and the cost of all the food that this Egyptian family eats for a week is $68.53 USD. When you think about it, that's not a lot of money for all those mouths!
17 Norway: A Very Diverse Diet
Wow, that's a lot of food! This is what this family from Gjerdrum, Norway eats within a week. We can see that their diet is very diverse — there're all kinds of foods in this photo, from fruits and veggies to snacks and cheeses.
It's clear this happy family has their favorite dishes, but the ones that stand out to them is mutton in cabbage, lasagna, and chocolate. Yum! I'd love to try the lasagna they make!
Since Norway is quite an expensive country, the cost of all this food that they eat in a week is quite steeper than the others: $731.71 USD.
16 Mongolia: Living In A Shared House
From Norway, we're moving to a much another country: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This doesn't eat as much as the previously discussed family does, and their diet isn't as various. However, since they share a house with two other families, they also have to share a kitchen, where they cook using an electric and coal stove. The family also stores their food in a fridge, while all their utensils are shared with other families, as well.
As a unit, their favorite dish is mutton dumplings, and if they were buying all that stuff in on their table for a week, it would cost them $40.02 USD.
15 Great Britain: All Family Members, Doggo Included
Meet the Bainton family from Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire, who obviously like to eat a lot of chocolate. Other kinds of food loved by these people include avocado and prawn-mayonnaise sandwiches for parents, prawn cocktails, and chocolate fudge cake with cream for their sons. If you ask me, this is my kind of table!
It's so sweet that they also included their dog's food into their week's worth of food of their family! After all, this doggo is a rightful family member. The total for everything on their dinner table is $253.15 USD.
14 Chad: The Smallest Food Budget
This is the family living in a tent in the Breidjing Refugee Camp, in eastern Chad. We can see that the choice of products they laid down on their dinner cloth (it appears that they don't eat at a table like some other cultures do) is rather poor, but this is the way people live in most African countries.
This family uses a wood fire to cook their meals and they dry it naturally to preserve it. They don't have a stove, nor a fridge. What they like to cook the most is their national food D’jimia, which is a soup with fresh sheep meat.
The sum of money spent to purchase all foods for a week is the lowest on our list: it's only $1.23 USD.
13 Italy: A Lot Of Bread And Tomatoes
This sweet Italian family with three kids live in Palermo, Sicily. Apparently, they eat quite a lot of bread and fresh fruits. And of course, there are plenty of tomatoes! I mean, what Italian person can do without a tomato sauce for a week?
The favorite foods of the family members are fish, pasta with meat sauce, hot dogs, and frozen fish sticks. Like most families, they cook their food in a gas stove, as well as in a microwave oven, and they store it in a fridge.
The cost of the week worth of food for this Italian family is $260.11 USD.
12 United States: Example Of Diversity
The Fernandez family from San Antonio, Texas, has quite a diverse and relatively healthy menu for a week. On their dinner table, we can see different kinds of food; from meat and pizza to veggies and snacks. To cook their food, the Fernandez's use an electric stove, microwave, toaster oven, and their outdoor BBQ.
The favorite food of the kids is pizza, while their parents like shrimp with Alfredo sauce and barbecue ribs. Their grandmother, on the other hand, prefers chicken mole. The week worth of food in this family costs $242.48 USD.
11 Kuwait: Lots Of Good Food
This large family living in Kuwait City, Kuwait, even has two servants (they're standing to the left in the photo), who help them cook and serve food. We can see that the weekly menu of this family is rather diverse. All the foods look nice — I'd even eat most of them myself!
There are two gas stoves in this house and the servants use them to cook food for the family. The favorite food of this family, which is chicken biryani with basmati rice, seems to be the dish that's cooked most often there.
The family spends $221.45 USD to buy all this food for a week.
10 China: Variety Is The Spice Of Life
This is the Dong family from Beijing, China. Pictured is Mr Dong and his wife, their son, and Mr. Dong's mother. Mr. Dong's mother only eats with them a few times a week. The food on their dinner table looks very nice if you ask me! There's so much variety that can nourish their bodies — it's incredible.
The family traditionally cooks food on a gas stove and stores it in a fridge. Their favorite dish is yuxiang rousi, which is fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce. The cost of all the food you see in the photo is $155.06 USD.
9 Australia: Homemade Dips Are Everything
Let's move on and take a look at what an average Australian family eats during a week. In the photo above, you can see the Molloy family. They live in Brisbane, Eastern Australia. To cook their food, they utilize their stove, microwave oven, and outdoor BBQ.
The favorite foods of the parents are prawns and chocolate, as well as fresh fruits and cheese. The kids like Mexican food, homemade dips, spaghetti Bolognese, and lollies.) I can see the homemade dips right over there to the right from the table's center and I bet they're delicious!)
The cost of all this food in Brisbane is $303.75 USD.
8 Mexico: So Much Coca-Cola
If one of the kids of the previous family in Australia likes Mexican food, they'd like to visit Mexico and try how it's traditionally prepared! After all, no matter what you're eating, going to the actual country where it's authentically made is always tastier.
In the photo above, you can see the Casales family, who live in Cuernavaca. Apparently, they eat a lot of fresh fruits, veggies, and drink a lot of Coca-Cola! The favorite foods of the parents are pizza and crab, while kids like to eat pasta, chicken, crab, and candy.
The food on the table that lasts a week is $189.09 USD.
7 Ecuador: The Happiest People Ever
What a happy family! Their wide, genuine smiles say a lot. Even though they don't have as much food or opportunities as some of the other families on this list, they look just as grateful and happy as the others. Just look at those smiles!
This happy couple has eight children (one of them isn't in the photo) and they live in Tingo, a village located in the central Andes, in Ecuador. They cook using the wood fire and store their food by natural drying. Their favorite dish is potato soup with cabbage.
And yes, this is a lot of bananas! Perhaps, this fruit is their main source of vitamins. The cost of all this food is only $31.55 USD.
6 Poland: Food For The Family And Their Pets
We're coming back to Europe for a bit! Here we're looking at the Sobczynscy family from Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland. Just like the family from Great Britain, we saw in one of the entries above, the Sobczynscy's also placed their dog's food on the family dinner table. I'm sure that the doggo likes to live with a family who nurtures them with so much great food!
The favorite foods of these smiling people are pig's knuckles with carrots, celery, and parsnips, and they cook it all on a gas stove. All the diverse food you can see in this photo can be purchased for $151.27 USD. in Poland.
5 Bhutan: Not Too Much Food, But Many Smiles
Wow, what a huge family! They live together and have multiple kids, yet they look very happy as a unit. The same can't be said for most families, so I love seeing those smiling faces.
This family lives in Shingkhey, a tiny remote hillside village in Bhutan. All of them live in a three-story rammed-earth house, cook their meals in a clay stove that works on wood fire, and store their food using the natural drying method. Their favorite foods are mushrooms, cheese, and pork.
The cost of the week worth of food for this family is only $5.03 USD.
4 India: Rice Flakes And Chapati
The Patkar family lives in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India. On the farther side of their dinner table, I can spot a huge pile of chapatis—my favorite Indian food—and it makes me a tad jealous of the fact that they eat them every single day!
This family consumes a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, as well as rice. Their favorite dish is Sangeeta Patkar's Poha, or, in simpler words, rice flakes cooked by the personal recipe of the matriarch of the family. It sounds yummy and I'd love to try them!
The family members spend $39.27 USD. per week to buy all this food.
3 Guatemala: Traditional Clothes And Traditional Foods
Here we can see the Mendoza family living in Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Guatemala, who eat the traditional dishes of their country. It's nice that all of them are wearing their traditional clothes in this photo — they look beautiful!
On their dinner table, you can spot a lot of rice, as well as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables and fruits. The favorite dishes of the Mendoza family are turkey stew and sheep soup cooked by the personal recipe of the family's matriarch. They cook their meals on a gas and wood stove and store them in a fridge.
All the food this family eats within a week costs $75.70 USD in Guatemala.
2 Canada: Ever Tried Narwhal Meat?
Let's continue our gastronomic journey and come to our next stop, which is Canada. In the photo above, you can see the Melansons, an average Canadian family. They live in Iqaluit, Nunavut Territory, in the north of this vast country. Their traditional weekly menu includes several kinds of fruits and veggies, as well as fish, cheese, and meat.
Some of the favorite dishes cooked in this family are peculiar of the region they live in. These dishes are narwhal and polar bear, as well as extra cheese-stuffed crust pizza and watermelon.
The week worth of food for this family can be bought for $345 USD.
1 Turkey: They Seem To Love Eating Puff Pastries
The colorful photo above features the week worth of food for the Çelik family, living in Istanbul, Turkey. The family lives with the wife's mother and their three children. They use a gas stove to cook their food and a fridge to store it, like multiple other families all over the world.
The favorite food of this Turkish family is the puffed pastries prepared by the mother of these three sweet kids sitting on the couch. I wonder how she cooks them because I like puffed pastry myself.
All the food that's enough for this family to eat throughout the week costs $145.88 USD in Istanbul.