You are what you…package your food in?
Time magazine has a great photo essay entitled “What the World Eats,” which shows families of various sizes from around the world surrounded by the food they eat in one week. Not unexpectedly, there are some huge differences in types and amounts of food. Cost in US$ is provided, but not adjusted for local income levels. What was interesting to me was not so much the cost of food, since the article provided no real comparative data on the topic, but rather the kinds of food and the packaging. Many families–not just American families–were surrounded by dozens of bottles, cans, and plastic packages. Compared to most other countries, Americans had very few vegetables, especially unprocessed vegetables. Fast food meals were represented with the assorted disposable bags, boxes, and cups in which they are sold. Interestingly, Corn Flakes appeared on many peoples’ tables.
Obviously, one family’s table can scarcely be thought to represent the way every family eats, but the essay does really underscore (for me) the dark side of “progress” and technology. I bet the refugee family is the most likely to reuse their burlap packaging for next week’s meals.
Time essay: What the World Eats