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Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

I recently ran across a very cool book that seems like a perfect tool for world geography teachers. Pretty sure we could use it in a variety of other content areas (especially economics) but I saw this and my mind went immediately to some cool compare and contrast conversations about world regions.

Titled Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel, the book highlights the differences in diet of families from around the world. The book jacket:

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 of global food conglomerates, transform diets worldwide. In Hungry Planet, the creative team presents a photographic study of families from around the world, revealing what people eat during the course of one week.

Each family’s profile includes a detailed description of their living conditions, food security, and diet.

This is the same guy who wrote the very cool book Material World: A Global Family Portrait. Together the two books could provide weeks, maybe months, of useful lessons.

To get you thinking about possible lesson ideas, take a look at the following examples. Using either the Kansas state standards or you own local curriculum, think about this:

How might you use these images and the basic data included to develop a world geography lesson?

Tingo, Ecuador
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55 US

North Carolina, United States
Food expenditure for one week $341.98 US

Sicily, Italy
Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11 US

Breidjing Camp, Chad
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23 US

Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27 US

Bargteheide, Germany
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07 US

Cuernavaca, Mexico
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09 US

Cairo, Egypt
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53 US

Shingkhey, Bhutan
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03 US


What do you got?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Julie Mushing #

    Great resource, thank you for sharing. This might be of interest to you…Kids Across the World – A Photographic Journey – Connecting Cultures

    May 2, 2013
    • glennw #


      Sweet site! Thanks for sharing.


      May 2, 2013
  2. This is great. I shared it with Geography, Foods, and Sociology teachers. Very interesting to see the cost compared with the food.

    May 6, 2013
    • glennw #


      Glad you found a use for it! I really think the book offers all sorts of possibilities. Have fun!


      May 6, 2013

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