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(Time)   Photo essay: What families across the globe eat in a week   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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21846 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jun 2007 at 4:26 AM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

226 Comments     (+0 »)

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2007-06-08 09:52:58 AM  
img.timeinc.netView Full Size

I call shenanigans, there is no KFC in that picture
2007-06-08 09:55:35 AM  
Here is what my food bill a week looks like:

2 bags hash browns $3.50 (lasts about week and half)
1 pack pre-made ground beef patties(4) $3.50
1 pack gormet hot-dogs $3.50
2 bunches bananas $3.00
apples $2.50
large bag pasta $2.00

allow $5 for treats

Total: $23.00

I make hashbrowns with sliced ground beef/hot-dog for a meal once per day.
Sometimes I make pasta. I make my own bread so I buy butter , flour, milk when needed ($10 every 2 weeks maybe)
I veggies and fruit when I have a craving. I buy a can of coffee for $5 every month. I drink tap water other than that.

Maybe not the healthiest diet. I'm single. Still trying to lower my weight. I would say my food bill is max $60.00 per month
2007-06-08 09:56:29 AM  
I call shenanigans, there is no KFC in that picture

There is, look at the plastic tray by the BK cup.

That's KFC two piece with biscuit and mashed potatoes/gravy.
KFC cup is behind the McD's fries.
2007-06-08 09:57:40 AM  
the KFC is right in front of the burger king cup
2007-06-08 09:58:26 AM  
img.timeinc.netView Full Size

Implying that this family consumes ALL of that food, week in and week out, is ridiculous. Same goes for most of the rest of the pictures as well.
2007-06-08 09:59:39 AM  
I'll have the spam, spam, spam, spam and eggs please.
2007-06-08 10:00:58 AM  
ripped cat toy

thanks for the invite for dinner, but, um, my marmot died and my kids are pretty busted up about it. maybe next time.

\no marmot
\\no kids
2007-06-08 10:01:03 AM  
pixistick: I call shenanigans, there is no KFC in that picture

There is, look at the plastic tray by the BK cup.

That's KFC two piece with biscuit and mashed potatoes/gravy.
KFC cup is behind the McD's fries.

Dammit you're right, oh well then there is no grape soda!!!!
2007-06-08 10:01:05 AM  
Implying that this family consumes ALL of that food, week in and week out, is ridiculous. Same goes for most of the rest of the pictures as well.

Take all the stuff out of your cabinets and fridge and you would be surprised.


When you get back from the grocery story, lay it out on the table and stand back. It's more than you think. Especially for a family of 4. Kids can consume!
2007-06-08 10:02:25 AM  
In regards to the mayonnaise sandwich that everyone seems to be so confused about...

In the UK they have various flavors of mayo (tuna salad is called 'tuna mayonnaise'). Most of the time, there are the typical veggies (lettuce, tomato) too.

So, a tuna mayonnaise sandwich would be bread, tuna salad, lettuce, tomato, etc. They are NOT just eating mayonnaise on bread. (yuck!)

The first time I went grocery shopping in Scotland, I spent a good five minutes staring at all the kinds of 'mayonnaise' in the refrigerated aisle. It's a little weird, but you get used to it.
2007-06-08 10:04:10 AM  
Just a question to everyone claiming healthy foods are always cheaper:

Have any of you actually been poor? I'm not talking about "college student on a tight budget" poor, but actual "living well below the poverty line and relying exclusively on WIC/food stamps/food bank for my only meal" poor?

If you have - and if healthy foods were actually less expensive for you - then your experience was drastically different than most Section 8 people I knew.

/really depends where you live I guess
2007-06-08 10:05:02 AM  

Dammit you're right, oh well then there is no grape soda!!!!

No, but I did notice the Capri Sun box. How many Capri sun envelopes do you think two 15/16 year old boys consume? An 8 year old can suck one down in about 10 seconds.
2007-06-08 10:08:12 AM  
If you have - and if healthy foods were actually less expensive for you - then your experience was drastically different than most Section 8 people I knew.

Good point. The system is not setup for heathly folks. It's set up to get the most food for the least amount.

I met a lady who grew all her vegetables in pots on her balcony in a third floor apartment. She didn't have much, but was happier with fresh food than processed.

/if you really want to do something, it will happen.
//I eat junk, but rarely
2007-06-08 10:11:16 AM  
bobbette: Is this broccoli plated in gold? You are paying too much for broccoli. A head of broccoli costs 0.99 on sale (and it usually is on sale) in my supermarket and if I wanted broccoli otherwise... I'd just get it frozen in a huge bag. You're cooking it anyways.

/hates broccoli

For you:
img167.imageshack.usView Full Size

Handsome Jack Manitoba: On further investigation, I noticed the Germans organized their spread according to the five food groups:

I LOL'd at your addition. Those guys should be happy about having plenty o' beer.

Now...what would Rugbyjock would put up in his pic?*

*not my thing, dude. (Broccoli Dog concurs.)
2007-06-08 10:12:13 AM  

We spend about R450 per week on food. Current rate is USD1 = ZAR 7.34 so our total bill is something like US$61.30.

I currently spending half my time in the UK and half in the RSA, so I'm conscious of the disparity in food prices. The real eye-opener is the cost of fresh fruit and veg in Europe.
2007-06-08 10:12:15 AM  
Re: water for the family in chad; that's what's in those 5 gallon gasoline containers to the left.
2007-06-08 10:14:17 AM  
Holy Moses, EstoniaKat. How you doin'?
2007-06-08 10:21:04 AM  
Why does family 8 have dogfood on the table?

Those are the pig knuckles!

There's a blatant contrast between the squatting, bowler-wearing Ecuadorians and the packaged-food and bier extravaganza in Germania. That daughter of the German family looks like a biatch. The former family reminds me of a gaggle of Roberto Benignis. Jovial despite conditions.
2007-06-08 10:23:01 AM  
Mmmmmmm... pr0n cocktail. *drool*
2007-06-08 10:26:39 AM  
I don't agree with the Mexican pic. All that fruit displayed yet their favorite foods are crap foods and the boys are looking a little fatty.

Could be that cache of soda in the background too I guess.
2007-06-08 10:27:25 AM  

There is a dark meat (leg and a thigh) "meal deal" plate of KFC in front of the Burger King cup. I'll call shenanigans on the lack of bar-b-que.

/and hot sauce
//North Carolina indeed
2007-06-08 10:29:10 AM  
cool stuff
2007-06-08 10:31:09 AM  
I live in Illinois and am retired. In the summer my 14 year old stays with dad. We go to ALDI once a month for $100.00 so about 25/wk but sometimes we need to save for a new baseball glove or something so it goes down to 70/month or so. ALDI is a German brand store but they don't sell beer (imagine that).
2007-06-08 10:39:35 AM  
MadTheologian: *not my thing, dude. (Broccoli Dog concurs.)

The fact that you had to say it speaks volumes.
2007-06-08 10:41:42 AM  
FTA: "155.54 British Pounds or $253.15"

Boy, I'd love to go back to that exchange rate. Today's rate is £1 = $1.97, which means £155.54 = $306.41.
2007-06-08 10:45:08 AM  
Recipe for Avocado Mayonnaise. (Basically it's a thicker version of guacamole.)
2007-06-08 10:45:14 AM  
Jesus people, lay off the friggin coke
2007-06-08 10:45:41 AM  
more shenanigans:

People in Beijing do not eat "sweet and sour pork".
That's a white person dish.
2007-06-08 10:46:50 AM  
I was glad to see that Sally Stuthers finally delivered the bag of wheat I paid for. What concerns me, however, is that I gave up a cup of coffee a day for a whole month for something that was going to be eaten in a week.

/not happy
2007-06-08 10:49:18 AM  

We've got an ALDI here too (central PA); great store when you're on a tight budget. You still have to be careful what you get - some of their brands taste, uh, very generic (to put it nicely.)

I still get a kick out of seeing the Amish families stock up on junk food, though; there must be a twinkie shortage in Lancaster or something.
2007-06-08 10:57:34 AM  
I bought a pre made curry from Aldi once .. not much chicken but loads of onion ... it was one of the best farkin curries Id ever had ... and then they stopped selling em.
2007-06-08 10:57:51 AM  
kab: Implying that this family consumes ALL of that food, week in and week out, is ridiculous. Same goes for most of the rest of the pictures as well.

You don't have kids, do you?
Half of that easily and the other half would be half eaten and forgotten in the living room as they go play.
2007-06-08 11:08:15 AM  
The Italian mom is a MILF.

Would hit it.
2007-06-08 11:23:25 AM  
Most appetizing spread goes to...Kuwait! Most of what's on their table looks like real food that I would gladly devour. Big props to the Germans for bringing the beer but what's up with that Japanese family? I've never known any Japanese men who didn't drink like fishes yet nary a bottle to be found? Pops must be doing all of his imbibing off campus. And if I ate as much produce as those Mexicans I would be on the can for a week.
2007-06-08 11:27:56 AM  
Interesting read. My wife's grocery budget is $300 every 2 weeks...and my family of 5 eats quite well.

I've skimmed the posts here and I see a lot of folks saying how much more expensive fresh produce and fruit is when compared to pre-packaged crap. To check, I looked up the local Kroger's flyer to see what fruits and veges go for this week. The entire front page of the flyer goes like this:

Two 16-0z containers of strawberries: $5
2 lbs on-the-vine tomatoes: $4
20 ears of sweet corn (yellow or white) $10
20 cucumbers: $10
10 lbs Vidalia sweet onions: $10
10 lbs green beans: $10
10 lbs yellow squash: $10
15 green bell peppers: $10
10 Del Monte fruit cups: $10

Further on in the flyer there are deals a-plenty. Boneless pork loin $1.99/lb. 20 cans various vegetables: $10. Seedless red grapes: $1.89lb. Broccoli crowns: $1.29/lb. I'm sorry but this is all eminently affordable when you consider that ordering in pizza for my family is often a $30 meal...and going out is even more expensive.

Point I'm making is that many American families are dead frickin' lazy when it comes to feeding the family. My wife and I cook nearly every evening. We order the occasional pizza or go out for mexican or chinese but by and large we cook our meals and our kids don't eat truckloads of crap. We hardly ever buy soda (kids get milk/juice/water) and candy/cookies/chips are a rarity (they eat a lot of apples/oranges/grapes instead). Obesity and diabetes in America is our of control. Used to be diabetes was that weird disease that people were most concerned about it skipping a, it seems like everyone knows someone who is diabetic.

I was watching a show on Food Network the other night that splashes up a little fact before going to commercial break. The fact that caught my eye was that cows in 1900 produced something like 1400 quarts of milk per year and cows in 2000 produce something like 8800 quarts of milk per year per cow. There is something fundamentally questionable when we manipulate the sources of the very things we eat and drink to such an extent as we do today.

We take in way too much sugar, fat and a host of chemicals designed to "preserve freshness" or "added for color"'s no wonder that obesity and diabetes...and a host of other diseases/allergies are on the rampage.

I'm no vegan/organic food nut. I like my Doritos and pizza and beer as much as the next guy. However, my daughter had her friend from across the street over for supper last evening and while my 7 and 4 old enjoyed grilled salmon, rice, asparagus and salad...the guest ate almost none of it. Which pretty much told me 2 things: he doesn't get that kind of food at home AND that if he doesn't eat stuff like that he'll be fed something he does like...which is likely crappy for him.

Just thought I'd throw in my 2c but eating well isn't expensive or's about what choices you make when you're in the store.
2007-06-08 11:35:12 AM  
backno: well of course the germen family had to have beer...its like water to them
//grand-parents moved here after war
///opa drank every day till the day he died
////mmm slashies

wow, almost word for word ditto on my opa. huh, kuhl
2007-06-08 11:36:28 AM  
The Japanese one is no big surprise. The perception is that the Japanese diet is very healthy - but there are a lot of instant and processed foods here as well as fried.
2007-06-08 11:42:49 AM  
under a mountainThe Italian mom is a MILF.
Would hit it.

Read the details; they are Sicilians, not Italians. Don't be hitting on a Sicilian's wife
2007-06-08 11:46:13 AM  
My local Safeway ad

Flipped through it, Would not spend more than $40 for the week. And that's feeding myself and my GF.
2007-06-08 11:47:12 AM  
i_am_donnie_darko: /Noticed a few stereotypes though

Thats why there are stereotypes, cause that shiat is true!
2007-06-08 11:51:18 AM  
That slideshow and this thread are great! I LOL'd at the "bowler hat family" and wanna thank luthien(sp?) for clearing up this mayonnaise sandwich mystery!
2007-06-08 12:17:11 PM  
There's another fascinating book by this author (Peter Menzel) called Material World in the same format as in the link, but focusing on all material possessions of families from around the world. I stumbled upon it in a bookstore (I think Barnes & Nobles) and sat looking through it for a really long period of time. It's a really interesting glimpse into other cultures.

img76.imageshack.usView Full Size

More photos from Material World

Thanks for the link, submitter. Didn't know there was a food one as well.
2007-06-08 01:12:51 PM  
I spend on average $250 / week on food just for myself. Before you jump to any conclusions, I only purchase organic and natural foods with any pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, additives, preservatives, hormones, steroids, etc., etc., etc. A lot of it is also prepared & cooked at the market since I don't have much time at all to do my own cooking. And I only drink red wine from a bottle, not a box.

img.timeinc.netView Full Size

Notice that it's the poorest families in America (I'm assuming black = poor) which purchase the most processed foods. I do not see even 1 piece of fresh vegetables in that picture. And there's only a handful of fresh fruits. If I ate what was in that picture, I'd have a "rock gut" and couldn't shiat for a month.

img.timeinc.netView Full Size

Now this looks like something I'd like, although I would prefer more meat & fish.
2007-06-08 01:25:37 PM  
I would definitely most like to eat with the Mongolians.

/Oh, and I'd eat the polish chick too. Once she's of-age of course.
2007-06-08 01:28:28 PM  
@ rat_brain_flies_plane

thats about a block away from my work, I love it when the pigs are brought out. some of them are down right weird.
2007-06-08 01:31:42 PM  
Jules Winnfield

You missed the tomatoes, apples, and grapes just right of center. There isn't much though.
2007-06-08 01:31:57 PM  
Jules Winnfield --

Exactly what about that picture makes you think that they are in any way poor???? Have you never encountered any black people who are not poor? WOW!
2007-06-08 01:37:00 PM  
okami36: You missed the tomatoes, apples, and grapes just right of center.

None of them are vegetables. Fruits are mostly sugar. However, they already get huge, huge amounts of sugar in their diet and don't need any more.
2007-06-08 01:56:33 PM  
What? No balut?

2007-06-08 01:58:54 PM  
Jules Winnfield

The world of FARK:

Beer snobs? Check.
Mortgage snobs? Check.
Gas mileage snobs? Check.
Grammar snobs? Check plus.
Food snobs? We now have a check.
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