A fascinating slideshow:
What the World Eats
(Thanks to Mommy Life for the link!)
Some of the largest families had the smallest heaps of food. Price comparison is fascinating, as well. I'd love to hear your thoughts about the photos! :)
and just thought it was so interesting. I was surprised by the amount of soda some families consumed. I think I'd rather be one of the families who spent a lot less money and ate a lot more vegetables. A geography text I read in college did a similar thing, showing people's possessions out in the yard for families all over the world. Learning about others is a great way to keep your own consumption in check.
I thought this was interesting to see. Some of th families in other countries living on $1.23 a week!!!! But yeah, many of the larger families lived on something like $30 or $40 a week, but you know what, they didn't have any junk food. It was all fruits, vegetables, breads, and pastas, whereas the American families had junk food and things that weren't really important.
I enjoyed seeing the family from Germany since hubby and I are stationed there. I think that's really high..almost $500 or €375 for a week. I wonder where they shop. We have Aldi's here and other low discount food stores like Toom, LIDL and even WalMart. Plus, Germans love to garden and have their own fresh vegetables. Hmmm...
Anyway, thank you for sharing, especially since I need to do some grocery shopping today and will probably not get all the stuff that we want...want not need...LOL.
Blessings from Dawn in Germany
Tammy, This is fascinating! :-) Thanks for linking.
I still haven't made your spinach tortillas. BUT today I got 10 lbs of cheddar cheese. We've been without for 2 months. So I can't wait to try them!! Tonight we had mac and cheese for dinner. I'm in cheese heaven!
Pretty interesting. The largest families with the least amount of food were the one's smiling in the photos. Our family spends
$87/week on groceries. None of us look like were starving either. The families with the large amounts of soda seemed to be the largest in size. Goes to show what all that sugar can do to your waistline.
This is fascinating, Tammy! Thank you for posting it - it makes one realize how blessed we are, really. I found it amazing, too, how many of the pictures had things like Kellogg's ceral, Ritz crackers, and Pepsi/Coke products - the Western world has really had an impact on other countries. I'm not sure how good that can be - look at our overall health here in the States. It's a sad outlook. And I heard an interesting comment on the news recently that obesity is on the rise in a big way in Asia. I'm willing to bet it's an increase in eating fast foods and poor quality items - possibly due to our influence, instead of eating more healthy options like their ancestors did.
I noticed how the higher the bill, the more the food was packaged. How much money do we really pay for things to be neatly packaged? Even our vegetables get packaged in plastic or containers. It makes me also think what would my food intake look like sitting out on the table in front of my family. This is an awesome article. I noticed as well how "westernized" some of their favorite meals were- hot dogs and pizza. That was real surprise.
I had my kids watch this with me to see how others buy and the way they eat. It is surprising to see what others eat and the cost of their food. Whew! Some places prices and some peoples choices are outrageous! I really try to stay under $80 a week for our grocery/HBA/paper product budget. The kids enjoyed picking out the products that they are familiar with here. It was a great time to discuss the opulence of some and the meager amounts of others. But looking at the faces, most of them are proud and happy with what they have. It made me think what my counters would look like if I laid out all our week worth of grocery's. We are a blessed nation here in America. Thanks for the link Tammy!
We are from North Carolina and only spend $50 to $75 a week to feed a family of five. The North Carolina family in the essay spent a lot more than that! I know we are very frugal, but I guess it's a matter of lifestyle. You can take two families with the same number of people who live in the same area and their food choices and bills will be totally different!
What I noticed was some of the big smiles on the very poor families faces! I think the one from South America.
We spend alot less than the average american also, but we are also poorer than some of the average americans also.
Oh, did you notice how organized the food was from the family in Germany? My relatives are from Germany and yes, everything must be just so!
I would love to be one of the ones that ate alot of vegetables!
Thank you for the post Tammy. I really enjoyed looking at those pictures.
As an answer to some of the previous comments, , I would be one of those who has lots of vegetables, since I'm vegetarian :)
So many of those families eat processed foods! That is one advantage of being a homekeeper: I have time to cook from scratch.
I thought the families from Mexico and Egypt had the best looking veggies.
And, I am envious of that Kuwaiti family's kitchen!! Very nice.
I agree. I wanted to eat with the Cairo family! ;-)
The thing that stood out to me was the lack of fruit and vegetables in the American diet. You had to look long and hard to find them. Some of the food laid out was very beautiful with the fruits, vegetables and fresh bread.
I also noticed the family from Ecuador had, I think, the 2nd lowest budget but looked the happiest. Just goes to show that we can't be truly happy with many possessions, or even lots of food!
I was embarrassed that the American and British families apparently eat by far the most unhealthy diet in the world! All those pizzas, cakes, sweet and salty snacks, and very few vegetables to be seen!
What struck me with the German family was how much alcohol they had bought!
Interestingly, the poorer families looked on average both happier and healthier. There's a frugality lesson to be gleaned from this, I'm sure!
That was a real eye opener. I liked the families that ate the most veggies. There are 2 of us and I spend about $180 - $200 every 5 to 6 weeks, that includes paper products, cleaning supplies, food and personal care products. Not too bad....
Thanks for sharing this. Personally, I felt very sobered by some of the pictures - the families with little food for many people. And then I felt sobered again by the processed foods in many of the photos (although I think the U.S. ones were the worse with this). It's very interesting to see how western foods have become such a part of many other cultures (including the fast foods shown).
Interestingly enough also, the 2 families with the littlest amount of food seemed to be the happiest families shown (at least to me). Makes me feel very grateful for what I have. Even though our food budget is very low right now, I am still quite blessed & have no right to feel otherwise.
I thought it was interesting to see some of the junk food you expect to see in an American families groceries all over the world! Coke, Hagen Daz (my personal favorite), candy bars, cold cereal, all sorts of stuff!
I also was surprised at how much some families spend. I think a lot of that depends on the cost of living. My husband and I spend 350 a month at least on groceries, but I think the cost of living here is pretty high. An average one bedroom appartment is generaly around 1,000 a month here, and I think that is reflected in the cost of food as well. Maybe if we knew the overall cost of living in those areas some of the food budgets might make more sense?
Oh, I loved reading everyone's thoughts about the photos! :) Thanks for sharing! :)
Joshua and I both noticed the huge sacks of grains in a couple of the pictures... we're so used to buying processed food, it would be quite a feat to cook for a week with, say, the ingredients shown from the Ecuador family. What would I make, besides maybe soup and bread? :)
And I noticed a lot of bread in the picture from Italy, and a lot of alcohol in the one from Germany, as someone else mentioned! :) A lot of soda or juice, as well...
Now, wouldn't it be interesting if I took a picture of what we ate in a week? :) I'll have to consider trying to do that. :D
I was more interested in how many people were in the family, in line to how much food they had to eat for a week.
Like I bet the family from Africa could have lived for a month on the amount of food that the family from North Carolina had to eat.
thanks for posting the link.
We spend about $50.00 a week for a family of four(one's a toddler, no teenagers). I can't believe that N.C. family spends over $300 a week, wow! It's all that name brand food, and take-out pizza, I guess. We buy a lot of frozen store brand veggies and cook from scratch. I really think that keeps costs down. Lots of veggie casseroles, store brand everything, and not a lot of processed foods. I shop the bottom shelves.
That family from Bhutan looked like they ate pretty healthy. Lots of greens...that's what we've been eating from our garden: tons of collards and red cabbage.
Tammy, I'm up for that as well...taking a picture of my week's food. Great idea!
Germans love their alcohol here! Ugh...it's gross! They even sell it at McDonalds!!!! People can drink while at work too as long as it doesn't interfere with their job. And if I am not mistaken, I think the legal drinking age is 16? Might be 18, but it wasn't that long ago I saw a bunch of teenagers drunk.
Also everyone smokes here, which is another big ewwwwww. And they can smoke in restraunts, airports, shops, just about anywhere. Needless to say, hubby and I don't go anywhere much. The last thing we want is to be breathing that nasty stuff in just to enjoy a meal or something. It's so sad :(
When I lived in Africa [Malawi--Madonna's favorite!] during the dry season people were lucky to eat. I am grateful for that time and for my love of cooking that let's me feed my family, when I need to, for less than food stamps would give us.
You are right--the more processing the more the cost. Also, in many countries that stuff is imported [even from within that geographical region] and there are import duties of up to 100% added to the prices! In Malawi, I made my own mayo for example. Staples, such as cornmeal or beans, greens, tomatos were affordable. Luxuries like bread, "European" foods like pastas, dairy etc were very high priced! Supply and demand. A local seller of tomatos wants to make money--not throw out produce. So in MOST places "fresh" can be had pretty cheap" late in the day!
Another thing, I was surprised at the amount of soda that my husband's Russian relatives drink. They do not usually have water around, but then I discovered that the water tasted so bad or was not fit for drinking so that was why. I did noticed was it in the Saudi kitchen the pack of bottled water?
In our family, we eat variations of beans and grains for the main courses of our meals five days a week. Then for the Sabbath (Saturday night) and again on Sunday (our day of rest)we eat the same big pot of a soup with meat. That's how we do it so I don't have to cook on Sunday. I saw from living this way that one of our big barriers to frugal and often even healthy living had been our desire for variety. Most Americans want to eat something different every night and with every meal. It isn't really necessary to have so much variety in order to be healthy. If you can get used to eating some of the same foods over and over, there are some nice benefits. One is that you don't have to spend so much time thinking about what to eat. Another is that you are less likely to overeat (when you know you'll be having the same meal again in a day or two, you're less likely to think you have to eat every last morsel--you know what I mean? We often eat for the sake of novelty). Another nice thing is that when you do have a holiday, you really feel like you ate something special. There are other benefits too, that would probably be more philosophical and everybody has their own feelings about that sort of stuff. Anyway, just a thought.
The comments about the smiles on the faces of the folks with the least reminded me of a saying I once read. It went something like this:
To be satisfied with little is hard.
To be satisfied with much is impossible.
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