What is Food is Eaten Around the World in One Week

Opening Our Eyes and Interpreting What We See

I recently received an email from a colleague that caught my attention. In general, I don’t usually read the “forward” type of emails that have been passed on and on. However, this particular email was fascinating, intriguing, shocking and an eye opener.

The email I received was only a portion of an article that was written and posted at bizmediascience. After finding and reading the article in its original and unaltered format, it has me thinking even more.

“What are you talking about?” you ask. Take a look below, and please leave your comments or opinions. Enough said, as the photos shall speak on their own.

Meet the Manzo Family of Sicily, Italy

For the Manzo Family, they spend 214.36 Euros or $260.11 per week on food. This is what they purchase:

The Melander Family of Bargteheide, Germany

For the Melander family, they spend 375.39 Euros or $500.07 per week for food.  This is what they purchase:

The Revis Family of North Carolina, United States

 For this family, they spend $341.98 per week on their grocery bill.  This is what they purchase: 

The Casales Family of Cuernavaca, Mexico

This family spends 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09 per week on their food purchases.  This is what they purchase: 

Meet the Sobczynscy Family of Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland

This family spends 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27 for one weeks' worth of food. This is what they purchase:

The Ahmed Family of Cairo, Egypt

The weekly food expenditure for this family is 387.85 Egyptian pounds or $68.53 and they purchased these items:

The Ayme Family of Tingo, Ecuador

For one week, their food expenditure is $31.55 and for this amount, they purchased these items:

From Shingkey Village, Bhutan is the Namgay Family

For one week's food expenditure, this family spends 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03. This is what they purchased:

From Breidjing Camp, Chad is the Aboubakar Family

This family has a food expenditure of 635 CFA Francs or $1.25 per week. For this, they purchased:


What did you learn from this?


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada Author

larkin -- is it possible that it is not because America is an unhealthy country, but rather because there is a lack of education in choosing healthy and nutrionally sound food? Or, is it possible that the pace of life in America has a greater impact on food choices than those who lead a less hectic life? Interesting observations which have led me to think more deeply as to the reasons "why". Thank you for your thoughts.

larkin 5 years ago

It is not the amount that they purchased or how big their family is or how much they spent. The point that I find is that all of the families from other countries have purchased mostly water, fruits, and veggies. The family from the united states had purchased mostly pizzas, chips, and junk food. The conclusion I found is that America is an unhealthy country.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 5 years ago from Canada Author

Sarah -- Thanks for the feedback!

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Easyguyevo -- It is amazing to see where and what we place our values on. It appears the more choices we have, the more unhealthy ones we make. Thank you for leaving your observations.

easyguyevo profile image

easyguyevo 6 years ago from Barbados

I must say that I AM amazed! That is a lot of food for most of those households, WoW! Except for the last few. I could not help but notice the substantial amount of junk food eaten by the States compared to other places. Also its painful to see that some have so little while others have so much, it hurts my heart.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 6 years ago from Canada Author

Phylliyfreeze -- Great observations. Climate and access to certain foods does make a difference. For many, we are lucky that we have access to foods that do not grow naturally in our climate as they are brought in via truck, train or plane. Poverty is a major reason why, even in rich countries, many people cannot afford the foods that are healthy and nutritious. Thank you for sharing your observations.

Phillyfreeze69 profile image

Phillyfreeze69 6 years ago

I notice most of the European families had plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and the family in Chad had primarily grain to sustain the family...maybe because of the arid climate( sub-sahara) and overall poverty of the country that these foods are lacking on the family's menu.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

FastFreta -- It is interesting, isn't it. I noticed that the African family's staples are much more nutrious than that of the packaged deals that are in the other families. Thank you for your insight, and thank you in advance for recommending this hub to others. :)

Michael Shane -- Yes, the American family has mostly prepackaged food, and much of it is categorized as junk food. I believe that the food is only one source for the state of weight gain. The other is lack of excercise...most adults and children stay in playing their XBox or PS3. Only your thumbs get a good workout... Thank you for your observations.

Yenajeon -- Perhaps one way to combat this problem is education, both at home and at school. Maybe then, this picture can change in the future. Thank you for point of view.

yenajeon profile image

yenajeon 7 years ago from California

This is incredible. It is sad to see the 'American' grocery picture. All that junk!

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Thats pretty amazing! I see why Americans are so fat! The North Carolina picture is so completely ridiculous compared to all other pictures. You know most of the reason is the American market. Notice all the junk, canned preservatives, boxed and packaged junk, junk, junk, junk! I wished we could eat more like the rest of the world & I do my best! Great Article!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

Looking at all of these families they all look well nourished. I was shocked at how little the African family spent, and yet it appeared to be enough to feed the whole family. This on one of the most interesting hubs to date. I'm going to recommend this one to be read by all hubbers.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

MOW -- Yes, it is humbling. At times, I wonder if a simplist lifestyle with just the basics met is the best way to live. Seems we're all caught up in materialist items, not reality. Thank you for your insightful comments.

Cheeky Girl -- Great observations and questions! When I first read this, I couldn't help but think: the more we have, the more we want, the less happy we become which means we want more. The cycle doesn't stop. Thank you for your thought provoking comments!

Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Wow! What a huge difference between the families here and their earnings they can spend on food, life's most important top purchases. Fruit and vegetables don't need packaging, so some food is bound to be cheaper. The further east you go, the cheaper the food. This is a brilliant hub! It's a wake up call, folks! I wonder how many of them have mobile phones, radios, TVs or internet? The well off don't smile as much...and they don't need that much food, surely.

myownworld profile image

myownworld 7 years ago from uk

Something about this hub....such a powerful message in it! Just loved it! I can't stop looking at that Aboubakar family.....and wondering at the contrast in the way human beings exist and survive! Very humbling....

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Citrus000 7 years ago


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Excellent observations Citrus. Perhaps a simpler lifestyle allows us the time to spend it on things that matter most to us. Thank you for sharing what you see.

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Citrus000 7 years ago

The first thing I noticed when scrolling down your hub was how much more packaging the U.S. uses. I also noticed in the U.S. pic so much of the food is processed or pre-made. The German family appears to drink much of their diet. The family of Ecuador, and Bhutan seem really happy, but I don't know if that has anything to do with what they are eating. Interesting pics. Thanks.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

I wonder how much is enough before we realize we have enough. The simpler the life, the more we appreciate. Thank you Dohn for sharing what you interpret.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

How did I miss reading this hub? OMG, wow. Thanks Beth, for sharing this. It's absolutely incredible what we as a species can survive on. This hub has truly got me thinking. Thanks again.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

The Rope -- It is terrible to see how our lives are so different from our neighbors around the world. For one family, their weekly expenditure is enough to buy food for another family for a whole month, perhaps more. Thank you for researching, and providing the info at alernet. I'm hoping more of us will go and check it out.

The Rope profile image

The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

Beth - as always an amazing hub. There was so much to "notice" about these pics - the quality of food choices, the difference in what they can bring home themselves vs what has to be bought, the food choices, the happy faces, the surroundings, I could go on and on. It also immediately brought to mind the seperate economies and what the monetary income vs outgo was. I was particularly taken with the family from Chad so I just had to do some research. I found an article at alertnet by rutgers that really described the situation and my heart is breaking for them. Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Jen -- I haven't stop thinking about how some of the families can survive on a day to day basis. This has changed how I think and what I believe for the holidays. Thanks, Jen.

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

Great Hub! Wow, the family in Chad breaks my heart.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Habee -- Not only how do they spend so much, but look at what has been purchased. It's almost all prepackaged and no nutritional value. Strictly convenience food.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

This is fascinating! We're always careful not to waste food. How does that American family spend so much a week? Heck, they could eat every meal out for that price!

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Mtsi -- Like they say, a picture says a thousand words.

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mtsi1098 7 years ago

This hub was amazing...Pictures do say the words as illustrated here...thanks for the reminder...

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Elisabeth -- Yup, we can learn a lot from these photos! Thanks for forwarding this!

elisabethkcmo profile image

elisabethkcmo 7 years ago from Just East of Oz

wow, what a fascinating hub.. definately forwarding this one. thanks!

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Sarah -- We take many things for granted, but when we have the opportunity to compare what we have with other parts of the world, we can open our eyes, change and grow.

Sarah  7 years ago

I like this hub, its very interesting! :D

Sarah  7 years ago

I like this hub, its very interesting! :D

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Ivorwen -- Excellent point regarding my wording. I didn't intend for any difference, so I will quickly correct that. Thank you. I found that the upper pictures are of families in areas that have access to prepackaged food. The families from the lower photos (Ecuador and below) have access to locally grown foods, and if you look carefully, none of it is prepackaged (exception is the bottled water).

My question is: what is the correlation between material wealth, convenience and education have on nutrition?

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

It appears to me that there is a great lack of nutritional value in the upper pictures. Though there may not be the quantity of food in the lower ones, it is of a better value.

Question: The upper pictures state 'this is what they buy.' The lower ones state, 'this is what they could buy' Why the difference?

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Steven -- I agree too, and it's not because the westerners can afford to waste, it's the non-appreciation of the abundance that they have.

Carol -- Great observation about the American family. I noticed that too on my first pass. It is interesting how the psychology works for having a more basic and simple life and how one appreciates it more.

Carol Rossi profile image

Carol Rossi 7 years ago

Fascinating! The American family can probably afford whatever they want, and they buy junk food. Also interesting is that most of the families look happy. The poorest is probably grateful for what they have. The Ecuadorean family is particularly charming! Perhaps they have discovered that enough is all you really need.

Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 7 years ago

Wow, this is a rather interesting hub. I'm going to have to agree with leonjane, 100 percent on this, since it wouldn't surprise me that most western culture families tend to waste a lot more food than some other cultures, living in 3rd world countries. Anyway, thanks for information.

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada Author

Leon Jane -- I couldn't help but compare the nutritional quality of foods between western and eastern cultures. Check that out! The less we have, the more value it has in our eyes.

Deborah -- It is shocking. Thank you for forwarding this to your sister.

Deborah Mazon profile image

Deborah Mazon 7 years ago

I am forwarding this hub address to my sister. She forwards me email with interesting and often shocking information. Finally I have something equally shocking to forward her. Thanks!

LeonJane profile image

LeonJane 7 years ago from Australia

It's quite humbling to see that Breidjing Camp family can survive on small amount of food per week compared to the rest of the world. You also have to compare family size with quantity of food as well to put this into perspective. I'd also be interested to see how much of each families food ends up as wasted food. You would also probably be surprised that western people waste more food than others even though they have more devices, like refrigerators to help keep the food from spoiling.

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