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Food for 1 week

I received an e-mail with this same title from one of my good friends. As far as I can tell, these images are making their way around the Internet so you may have already seen them, but I think that they are pretty striking. They show families of different sizes from around the world and how much food they consume in one week. See the complete photo essay at Time magazine's site. These photos originally came from a book called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio.United States: The Revis family of North CarolinaFood expenditure for one week: $341.98clip_image002Ecuador: The Ayme family of TingoFood expenditure for one week: $31.55clip_image008Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing CampFood expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23 clip_image010Pretty remarkable stuff.

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I sponsor two children through PlanUSA (the organization through which Jack Nicholson's character sponsors Ndugu in About Schmidt) and I find it disturbing to know that the yearly income of families in the communities where my kids live (in India and Bolivia) is less than I might spend in a month on books or other entertainment.

This came out several months ago in Time Magazine: see http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1626519,00.html (it might be worth thinking, by the way, about the copyright implications of copying most of Time's photo-essay). If these pictures are representative, it's a perfect depiction of why some nations are a lot fatter than others. Aim for the diet of Bhutan, is my advice.

Stuart is right--I removed some of the photos and added a link to Time's site.

I love it--almost every family in almost every country had purchased at least a few American food products! We just need to open a few more Coke and Corn Flakes distrubutors in Chard and Ecuador.

$341+ for a family of four for a week? I'd have to say, they're not even trying to budget.

The St. Anthony Messenger ran a series a few years ago on the moral implication of what and how we eat. I made some changes in what I bought, and with Lent coming up, this might be a good time for people to experiment with doing more with less.I'll draw the line at providing recipes, but I'll attest that you can feed a family of three pretty well on under $100 a week if you get a slow-cooker and are willing to eat a lot of soup and homemade bread, and give up desserts and snacks in bags.David, hats off to you for participating in PlanUSA! It's only $24 a month, folks!

The problem, for me, would be Starbucks--I hate to even think of my Starbucks bill.

Today is garbage collection day in our village (which is how Chicago suburbs refer to themselves). This morning I set out six bags of trash and two overflowing bins of recycling at the curbside. The trash represents three days' worth of consumption (our village collects trash twice weekly), the recycling bins are seven days' worth.By volume, we throw away more stuff each week than the Ecuadorian and Chadian families consume.

Thank-you for this post which I am sharing here with my little guy.