American photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio have traveled the world documenting that most basic of human behaviors—what we eat. Their project, “Hungry Planet,” depicts everything that an average family consumes in a given week—and what it costs. The pair released their book “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats” in 2005, showcasing meals in 24 countries.
The Ayme family of Tingo, Ecuador, was pictured with a haul of vegetables. The Natomo family of Kouakourou, in south-central Mali, sat for a portrait on the roof of their home with sacks of grains. And among the favorite foods listed by the Madsen family of Greenland was polar bear and the skin of a narwhal, or a medium-sized toothed whale.
In 2013 and 2014, their “Hungry Planet” portraits were exhibited by the Nobel Peace Center to give viewers a peek into kitchens from Norway to Kuwait and China to Mexico, and to raise awareness about how environments and cultures influence the cost and calories of the world’s dinners.
- Germany: The Sturm Family of Hamburg. Food Expenditure for One Week: € 253.29 ($325.81 USD). Favorite foods: salads, shrimp, buttered vegetables, sweet rice with cinnamon and sugar, pasta.
- Norway: The Ottersland Dahl Family of Gjettum. Food expenditure for one week: 2211.97 Norwegian Kroner; $379.41 USD. Favorite foods: fresh baked bread with butter and sugar, pancakes, tomato soup with macaroni and cold milk, yoghurt.
- Japan: The Ukita family of Kodaira City. Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25. Favorite foods: sashimi, fruit, cake, potato chips.
- Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily. Food expenditure 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. Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23. Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat.
- Kuwait: The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City. Food expenditure for one week: 63.63 dinar or $221.45. Family recipe: Chicken biryani with basmati rice.
- United States: The Revis family of North Carolina. Food expenditure for one week: $341.98. Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken.
- Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca. Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09. Favorite foods: pizza, crab, pasta, chicken.
- China: The Dong family of Beijing. Food expenditure 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. Food expenditure 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. Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53. Family recipe: Okra and mutton.
- Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo. Food expenditure for one week: $31.55. Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage.
- United States: The Caven family of California. Food expenditure for one week: $159.18. Favorite foods: beef stew, berry yogurt sundae, clam chowder, ice cream.
- Mongolia: The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar. Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.02. Family recipe: Mutton dumplings.
- Great Britain: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis. Food expenditure 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. Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03. Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork.
- Australia: The Browns of River View – Food expenditure for one week: 481.14 Australian dollars or US$376.45. Family Recipe: Marge Brown’s Quandong (an Australian peach) Pie, Yogurt.
- Norway: The Glad Ostensen family in Gjerdrum. Food expenditure for one week: 4265.89 Norwegian Kroner or $731.71. Favorite foods: mutton in cabbage, lasagne, and chocolate.
- Guatemala: The Mendozas of Todos Santos – Food expenditure for one week: 573 Quetzales or $75.70. Family Recipe: Turkey Stew and Susana Perez Matias’s Sheep Soup.
- Luxembourg: The Kuttan-Kasses of Erpeldange – Food expenditure for one week: 347.64 Euros or $465.84. Favorite Foods: Shrimp pizza, Chicken in wine sauce, Turkish kebabs.
- India: The Patkars of Ujjain – Food expenditure for one week: 1,636.25 rupees or $39.27. Family Recipe: Sangeeta Patkar’s Poha (Rice Flakes).
- United States: The Fernandezes of Texas – Food expenditure for one week: $242.48. Favorite Foods: Shrimp with Alfredo sauce, chicken mole, barbecue ribs, pizza.
- Mali: The Natomos of Kouakourou – Food expenditure for one week: 17,670 francs or $26.39. Family Recipe: Natomo Family Rice Dish.
- Canada: The Melansons of Iqaluit, Nunavut Territory – Food expenditure for one week: US$345. Favorite Foods: narwhal, polar bear, extra cheese stuffed crust pizza, watermelon.
- France: The Le Moines of Montreuil – Food expenditure for one week: 315.17 euros or $419.95. Favorite Foods: Delphine Le Moine’s Apricot Tarts, pasta carbonara, Thai food.
- Greenland: The Madsens of Cap Hope – Food expenditure for one week: 1,928.80 Danish krone or $277.12. Favorite Foods: polar bear, narwhal skin, seal stew.
- Turkey: The Celiks of Istanbul – Food expenditure for one week: 198.48 New Turkish liras or $145.88. Favorite Foods: Melahat’s Puffed Pastries.