Monday, January 28, 2008

The Hungry Planet

I want to share with you a book that made a very strong impact on me recently. That book is the "Hungry Planet" by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio.

The Hungry Planet would probably be classified as a coffee table book because of its large format and heavy use of photographs, but this book is too significant for that category. It is a study of how people live, eat and interact through food. Menzel and D'Aluisio traveled the world over taking photographs of a typical family with an average week's worth of their groceries. The phots are also of the family eating, shopping and cooking food.The couple traveled to all the continents except Antarctica. Accompanying the pictures are first-hand accounts of what it was like for the couple to live, eat and be with these families.

For each family, there is a list of its weekly groceries and what they cost, as well as family recipes and stats on the country.

Food, I learned is a huge part of many families' daily habits. It also acts as an important way to compare what different countries have for resources and how wealthy people in each country are. It's truly amazing what some people can subsist on in a refuge camp in Chad or in tiny Ecuador.

I am appreciative for what this book has done in my own life. Now, when I go to the grocery store, I am so thankful for the low prices we pay compared to most of the world. I am also so thankful for the variety of fresh ingredients and the amount of meat we can eat and afford. What I am also now strongly aware of is how little fresh produce and unprocessed food I eat. As I watch my groceries glide down the conveyor belt, I am dismayed and bit embarrassed that I don't eat more fresh vegetables and fruit.

I think it's important to be aware of what we eat and thankful for what we can eat. Hungry Planet really struck home about how important my diet and lifestyle is to me and how thankful I am for it.

Quote about Hungry Planet
"While the photos are extraordinary-fine enough for a stand alone volume-it's the questions these photos ask that make this so gripping. This is a beautiful, quietly provocative volume."
--Publisher's Weekly

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