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What do you eat each week?

July 10, 2012

A few years ago I received an email photo essay that I wish I had saved. I search the web and found something similar. Time Magazine’s What the World Eats compares weekly grocery purchases–the items and the cost—for families in a number of countries around the world.

Look carefully at each photo. Several will have you counting your blessings. Several will have you appalled.

Note the amount of fresh foods and packaged items, the beverages and also the number of people that budget feeds.

Then think about what YOU eat.

Chad $1.23

Bhutan $5.03

Peru $32

Mongolia $40

Egypt $69

Poland $151

China $155

California $159

Mexico $189

Kuwait $221

Great Britain $253

Italy $253

Japan $317

North Carolina $342

Germany $500

Fast food, prepared frozen dinners, lots of alcohol…..are ruinous on your budget…..and also on your health.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2012 11:48 am

    Nice one.

    • July 10, 2012 11:53 am

      It sort of puts the horrible way many Americans eat in a clear perspective.

      • July 10, 2012 12:11 pm

        We cook from scratch… its around 80 euros per week for 4 adults.

      • July 10, 2012 12:22 pm

        I think cooking from scratch is something many people here no longer do. No one is teaching young people to cook and lots of frozen options in the supermarket can be heated in 5 minutes or less in the microwave. I also cook from scratch and by purchasing my fresh produce and meat from farm markets, the costs of nutritious food is lower than the supermarkets.

  2. July 10, 2012 1:40 pm

    Since I started following your blog I’ve put myself into a very sticky situation… As a blogger on heritage foods and trail cooking many of my recipes involve meats or animal products…and now here’s the problem. I’ve become a vegetarian!
    I felt like a traitor to all those following my blog. Then I thought of the farmers market idea and some of the things that they stand for. Healthy food, good eating habits, value, made from scratch rather than prepared foods, canning, freezing, growing what you can…the list goes on and on.

    I realized why I had previously disliked the vegetarian diet and why I shunned it. It wasn’t the food at all! It was because of the horrible condescending attitude of many vegetarians.
    I would sit as politely as possible while a vegan would bash my meat and dairy lifestyle with their ‘holier than thou’ condemnations. All the while I was day dreaming of punching their teeth out into the next county.
    I have a word of advice for over enthusiastic vegetarians, if I hear one of you tell me, “I told you so” you’d better have a great dentist! Now what the heck is lite Silken tofu and tahini? JW

    • July 10, 2012 1:48 pm

      I know that I have gone to one or two meat-free days now but I doubt I will ever become a vegetarian. I think healthy eating can be achieved any number of ways but I still think one of the biggest issues is that people don’t cook from scratch and so rely on packaged meals to heat in the microwave. They are missing so much!

      • July 10, 2012 3:04 pm

        I am borderline diabetic, overweight and have high cholesterol. After years of failure I haven’t gotten any healthier even though I cook everything from scratch and only ate grass fed beef. I don’t think being a vegetarian is for everybody. I have tons of healthy friends who are meat eaters that can attest to that. I’ll still write my cooking blog without change because folks still eat outdoor cooking and like heritage stuff…even if I no longer eat meat 🙂

      • July 11, 2012 2:10 pm

        I found when we made the switch to the local foods I lost 30 pounds in 5 months. Need to do more, but it was a great start. Ate many more veggies and had fun trying new ones that were in our CSA box.

      • July 11, 2012 2:34 pm

        I’ve been having fun trying out some of the meatless recipes I’ve been given. Wow, my house smells so good! ha ha!! Last night I made my own tortilla chips from scratch along with refried beans and salsa to make a Mexican dinner. It was better than any I’ve ever had from a restaurant…even my own when I had one!@

  3. July 10, 2012 6:21 pm

    These pictures are definitely the work of Peter Menzel and his wife Faith d’Alusio, who have produced a series of amazing photo books on this topic. “What the World Eats” features many of these pictures, as well as a write up that goes with each family. “What I Eat: Around the world in 80 diets” features Joel Salatin,in case you need added incentive to check these out!. Your local library is sure to have at least a couple of his books, or you can get them through inter-library loan.

    • July 11, 2012 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the reference. The photos I saw years ago stayed with me and I thought, when I started this blog, that comparing food budgets makes an interesting read for people.

  4. July 23, 2012 7:41 pm

    Hi Wildramp. First let me thank you for liking my post on I am intrigued by your photos. We Americans are so spoiled and out-of-control with our food choices. I come from an “old-school” cook-it-from scratch heritage; but I must confess that I don’t do much of that anymore. I cooked homemade meals when my son was living at home. Thirty years later, I am no longer tied to the kitchen and loving my freedom! I still each delicious, nutritious meals, however. I guess at my age (63), I feel entitled to do more of what I want and less of what is expected of me. Have a great day!

    • July 23, 2012 10:57 pm

      The use of local foods will maximize nutritional content in your meals as well as keeping money in the local economy. We have seen a huge trend to less cooking from scratch and cooking at home.

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