Last week, I received a forwarded email from a friend, and the only reason I opened it was because the subject was "World Food Consumption" so it seemed like something I should read. You may have seen it too, it's floating around.
The email comes from a book called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio and features a selection of photos from the book of families with a week's worth of groceries based on their diet.
Here, on the left, is the Revis family (USA) who spend $341.98/week on food. On the right is the Aboubakar family (Chad) who spend $1.23/week on food. These are two extremes of the spectrum. It's interesting, though to also look at not just what the families spend, but what kind of food they eat. It is not just the Americans eating the processed foods.
The email only had a handful of the thirty families Menzel profiled in the book. Each is fascinating both for what they ate, and what they did not eat. Take a close look at the photos. Many of the other families in the book, "rich" and "poor" drank soda and ate packaged foods. Here are a few more, from kindo.com.
For more on the Hungry Planet project, you can read and listen to a 2005 story from NPR's All Things Considered or visit Peter Menzel's website.