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Hungry Planet

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  1,497 Ratings  ·  205 Reviews
On the banks of Mali's Niger River, Soumana Natomo and his family gather for a communal dinner of millet porridge with tamarind juice. In the USA, the Ronayne-Caven family enjoys corndogs-on-a-stick with a tossed green salad. This age-old practice of sitting down to a family meal is undergoing unprecedented change as rising world affluence and trade, along with the spread ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Material World
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Nov 11, 2015 7jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is another book from Menzel, about 10 years on from "Material World". Four families from that book are also included here (Natomos in Mali, Ukitas in Japan, Namgays in Bhutan and Costas in Cuba). You can see changes in these families, including new children. The purpose of this book is to show 30 families in 24 countries, circa 2003/4, pictured with a week's worth of food and drink grouped in categories (like meat, dairy, grains, beverages), plus the miscellaneous category which includes ci ...more
I would give this book 8 stars if I could.
What a great idea! I've seen the book where they place families and all their possessions outside their dwelling around the world, but this takes one weeks worth of food the family eats and places it in front of them.

The family may be the father/mother/children or elderly couple with a more elderly parent or widowed mother/children.

Not only is it the amazing photographs, every food item is categorized including quantity and price, but the entire grocer
Aug 10, 2008 Pequete rated it it was amazing
Shelves: meus-emprestados
This is a wonderful travel, food and photography book all in one. The authors take us along a round the world trip visting families in countries from all continents and giving us an account, not just about what they eat, but also how they live, making this a travel book in the true sense of the word. The book also includes several essays from other authors about topics such as the impact of fisheries and collection of other seafood on marine resources, eating habits and health, etc. I really lik ...more
Nov 27, 2014 Amy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: voyeuristic food lovers
I ran across this book in the cookbook section of the library. While it has a few recipes in it, it's not a traditional cookbook. It's a comparison of various families around the world and what they eat in the course of a week. Each family is surrounded by all the food they would normally purchase and eat in one week with corresponding list of food items in the picture and food cost.

This book was put together in 2005, so the world and its economy has had time to change in 10 years. The American
Jul 15, 2007 Alita rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Part photo essay, part political/social commentary, part foodie exploration. It's an amazing book that chronicles the authors' journeys to 24 countries to see how everyday families eat. The book is arranged alphabetically by country. They have photographed the ordinary weekly food intake (at the authors' expense) of each family and written a companion essay touching on the circumstances of that family, general information about the country, and so forth. The pictures are high quality, and the es ...more
Jan 27, 2017 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
continually use as part of our homeschool studies
Lisa Vegan
Nov 14, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who’s interested in other people and how they live
I actually like this book a lot more than other similar books such as Material World. I first saw this as an exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago and then read a copy of the hardcover book. I enjoyed it enough so that I bought the paperback version and although I have not reread it, but I have occasionally looked through it.

It doesn’t get 5 stars from me because, as with all these books comparing people’s circumstances depending on what countries/parts of the world they reside, it doesn’t prov
Nov 09, 2007 Elyssa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
We recieved this book as a wedding gift along with Material World, another 5 star book. Hungry Planet is a written and photogrpahic journey of the eating habits of families in various countries. Each family visually displays and lists their weekly grocery purchases. The narrative provides background on the family and the history and customs of their country. The family also provides a favorite recipe--I hope to go back and try some of these. The most interesting countries for me were Okinawa for ...more
Nov 21, 2007 Tracey rated it liked it
The authors visited 30 families in 24 countries and asked them about their dietary habits, as well as taking a photo of them with a week's worth of food. The countries visited ranged from the US & Australia to Chad and Mongolia. Essays about food-related social issues from various authors (including Jared Diamond & Eric Schlosser, IIRC) are sprinkled throughout, and a chart comparing the countries' financial & food-related statistics is included at the back. A fascinating (& depr ...more
Jul 10, 2009 Lynda rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The only thing I will warn you about is how big it is. Definately a coffee table book.
Jan 17, 2017 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I saw something on Facebook once that added up what the average person spent if every meal they ate was purchased. $5 at the coffee shop. $10 for lunch. $15 for dinner. "You're not too broke to travel; you're just too lazy to cook."

Fast food is cheap and convenient. Packaged foods aren't necessarily cheap, but convenient. Cooking at home is healthier and cheaper, but not many of us do it. An article in The Washington Post from March 2015 stated that less than 60 percent of suppers served at home
Bridget Allebach
Title: Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
Author: Peter Menzel & Faith D’Aluisio
Genre: Photographic Essay
Theme(s): Diversity, Differences, Nutrition
Opening line/sentence: “Peter Manzel and I invited ourselves to dinner with 30 families in 24 countries to explore humankind’s oldest social activity, eating.”
Brief Book Summary: In this wonderful photo essay, we take a trip around the world to visit different countries and experience their eating habits. Bright, delicious looking pictures of the
Oct 29, 2016 Ebot rated it it was amazing
Interesting look at our different access to foods across the planet.
Jan 26, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, food, travel
This was a very fascinating book. Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio make a good pair in putting their talents together and creating this masterpiece of food marvel. The main point of the book is to track the weekly food intake of families from all over the world, but goes in to much more than that.

The main focus of this book is on the families within it. They range from three people to over a dozen and the amount of food they go through in a week. The variety includes families from Kuwait, Greenl
Title: Hungry Planet: What The World Eats
Author: Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio
Genre: Photo Essay
Theme(s): Perspectives, culture, unity, apprieciation
Opening line/sentence: JAPAN: The Ukita family of Kodaria City

Brief Book Summary: This book shows readers what other parts of the world look like. What are those other families go though? What do they eat? How to they survive? Some cultures are new, some are not. It brings a big tear to your eyes on some pages when you realize you shouldn’t take
Oct 05, 2007 Ben rated it it was amazing
The photos in this book are amazing. The text isn't bad either. Really great read for anyone interested in food. My booktalk from library school is down below.

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, photographed by Peter Menzel, written by Faith D’aluisio.

Have you ever wondered what the neighbors eat? Why they’re so fat, or so thin? What those strange and appetizing smells are that waft in from their kitchens? How about someone in another part of the world?

A family in Australia were raised in the ou
Jun 07, 2009 Phoebe rated it it was amazing
If you saved all the food/liquids that you ate/drank in a week and placed everything onto a table, what would the table look like? This was the question posed by photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio who traveled around the world and documented in startling photographs and prose what normal families typically ate/drank. Each chapter of the book contained a full sized family portrait with the food that the family ate, an interesting essay about the authors' travel in the area, the ...more
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing
Menzel and D’Aluisio, authors of The Material World have created yet another fascinating collection of photos, stories and statistics from around the world. While The Material World focused on the material possessions of households around the world, this collection focuses on the diet and foods of everyday families. Families are photographed with a week’s worth of food, along with a general description of calorie intake for their country, expenditure of food, number of McDonald’s in the country ...more
Mar 29, 2007 Lael rated it it was amazing
Amazon does a good review, which I am going to borrow:
It's an inspired idea--to better understand the human diet, explore what culturally diverse families eat for a week. That's what photographer Peter Menzel and author-journalist Faith D'Alusio, authors of the equally ambitious Material World, do in Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, a comparative photo-chronicle of their visits to 30 families in 24 countries for 600 meals in all. Their personal-is-political portraits feature picture
Jun 12, 2013 Loraine rated it really liked it
I read the 2005 edition of Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, when the planet fed 6 billion people. Today, eight short years later, the population has reached 7.16 billion, and Mother Earth is still feeding us. We are depleting our resources, though.

Menzel's photography is superb. The organizing principle is a still shot of each of the 24 families and the food they eat in a week surrounding them. The foodstuffs are also listed. The commentary by Faith D'Alusio, Menzel's wife, is thoughtful but
May 09, 2008 Keith rated it it was amazing
okay, I'm not quite done with this book yet, but I'm nearly through and it needs to go back to the library... over a week ago I guess... so, here's my review.

From the folks that brought us the Material World coffee table book, which was photographs of families with all their possesions outside their houses, comes a book, featuring many of the same families I believe, this time posed with all their food for a week. Highlighting the differences in diet among the various folks in various places in
Nov 12, 2009 Margaret rated it it was amazing
I almost have no words to describe how amazing this book is. Menzel, a photographer, and D'Aluisio, who authors the text to go with his photography and happens to be his wife, spent a week each with thirty families in twenty-four countries. At the end of that week, Menzel and D'Aluisio paid for each family to buy an average week's worth of groceries. Each family poses with their food in their home, such as it is, and the book provides a grocery list in addition to a few pages about the family. T ...more
Apr 16, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
WOW would be a good one-word reaction to this beautifully done book full of food for thought. I am a fan of the Material World books, anyway, but this one was really thought-provoking, with scattered essays to point up some of the issues illustrated by the photos. This is a fantastic book, a must-read for anyone wanting to know more about the people of the world and what lives are like. I am still pondering and processing some of what I read. Some things I've been thinking about:
1) I'm stunned a
Jun 02, 2013 Dian rated it it was amazing
Yet another piece of literature that I picked up during my food book craze, this book is very similar to What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. The authors of this book, Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio, traveled around a good variety countries of the world and spent a week with each featured family to learn about their lifestyle through the food they consume in each week. From seal meat in Alaska to street foods in the Philippines, it is filled with interesting, authentic, wholesome, and eas ...more
Nov 27, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing
A sobering read for anyone living in a first world country. It must be a terrible thing to be undernourished and go hungry, not just for a few weeks, but for months on end. The image of the meagre amount of food the family from Chad refugee camp had to eat was heartbreaking and made me rethink the amount of money I donate to organisations like Oxfam. I feel so privileged to live where I do. Other outstanding observations: The amount of meat we eat in Australia is incredible (I personally, am not ...more
Jul 22, 2013 Greta rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Greta by: Ruthiella
How often do you sit around and think about what you actually eat over the course of a week? How often do you ponder how what you eat impacts your time, your health, your relationships and the overall life of the planet? What would happen if you sat around and read a book describing what other people around the globe eat and how it impacts them, their health, and ultimately, your health as well? We're all connected, as they say.

This book is brilliant. It is enlightening. It makes you think. And
Michael Joseph
Jul 28, 2013 Michael Joseph rated it it was amazing
Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel
Hungry planet shows how every one eats different types of food. In China the Dong family spends most of their money on fish and meats. In India the Patkars spend most of their money on dairy products such as milk powder or ice cream. This book has recipes in case you like something that seems interesting or exciting. In the united states people seem to like more prepared food and fast food. In my opinion this could be the cause of obese or over weight peo
Jul 01, 2008 Stacy rated it it was amazing
Reading Hungry Planet definitely expanded my understanding of our world and the diverse people that inhabit it. I really enjoyed the pictures, and found the portraits of the families standing with their weekly supply of food to be powerful displays of inequality. Personally, I was surprised that while many of the Western countries had so much more in terms quantity, it seemed that many of the other countries enjoyed so much more in terms quality (aside from those in refugee camps).

I thought the
Jul 28, 2008 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007, food
I tracked down this book when an e-mail was going around with some excerpts. I am so much more aware of how much I spend on food and what I buy. The photos of the American’s food were so repulsive compared to other families who had lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc... And the families who had next to nothing really made me appreciate the abundance we have in this country. I generally despise leftovers but I have been making a point to be sure I either do not cook more food than ...more
Loran (Algonquiins)
Sep 02, 2014 Loran (Algonquiins) rated it liked it
I was assigned this book for my Economic Geography class in lieu of a textbook and I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. The book has tons of very beautiful and striking photos in it which accompany each essay. I learned quite a bit from the book and it was interesting to see the types and amounts of food that different families around the world eat. There were funny little things I noticed too like the fact that even some of the poorest families still had Coca-Cola in their picture.

I enjoyed read
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