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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 behind the best-selling Material World, Women in the Material World, and MAN EATING BUGS 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.
2006 James Beard Cookbook of the Year The Splendid Table Book of the Year
2005 Harry Chapin Media Award
finalist for the 2006 IACP Cookbook Award Reviews
"Arresting, beautiful, enlightening and infinitely human, this is a collection of full-page photos of families around the world surrounded by what they eat in a single week -- from Bhutan to San Antonio. Read the illuminating statistics and the essays. This is a book for the family and for the classroom. You won't see the same old "aren't we better than them" attitude, nor will you be shamed. This book reminds us that what we eat is the simplest, yet most profound, thread that ties us together."Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host of American Public Media's Public Radio Program, The Splendid Tablethe politics of food at its most poignant and provocative. A coffee table book that will certainly make coffee interesting.Washington PostWhile the photos are extraordinary--fine enough for a stand-alone volume--it's the questions these photos ask that make this volume so gripping. This is a beautiful, quietly provocative volume.Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*This book of portraits reveals a planet of joyful individuality, dispiriting sameness, and heart-breaking disparity. It's a perfect gift for the budding anti-globalists on your listBon Appetit [A] unique photographic study of global nutrition USA Today Grabs your attention for the startlingly varied stories it tells about how people feed themselves around the world. Its contents are based on detailed research, beautifully photographed, presented with often disturbing clarity. Associated Press "The world's kitchens open to Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio, the intrepid couple who created the series of books called Material World.... As always with this couple's terse, lively travelogues, politics and the world economy are never far from view." New York Times Book Review illuminating, thought-provoking, and gloriously colorful Saveur Magazine Richly colored and quietly composed photographs....Hungry Planet is not a book about obesity or corporate villains; it's something much grander. Its premise is simple to the point of obvious and powerful to the point of art. Salon.com A fascinating nutritional and gustatory tour. San Jose Mercury News
A grand culinary voyage through our modern world...a lushly illustrated anthropological study. San Francisco Bay Guardian
The talked-about book of the season...the stories are fascinating. Detroit Free Press
Unique and engaging Delta Airlines Sky magazine It's an inspired idea--to better understand the human diet, explore what culturally diverse families eat for a week. That's what photographer Peter Menzel and author-journalist Faith D'Alusio, authors of the equally ambitious Material World, do in Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, a comparative photo-chronicle of their visits to 30 families in 24 countries for 600 meals in all. Their personal-is-political portraits feature pictures of each family with a week's worth of food purchases; weekly food-intake lists with costs noted; typical family recipes; and illuminating essays, such as "Diabesity," on the growing threat of obesity and diabetes. Among the families, we meet the Mellanders, a German household of five who enjoy cinnamon rolls, chocolate croissants, and beef roulades, and whose weekly food expenses amount to $500. We also encounter the Natomos of Mali, a family of one husband, his two wives, and their nine children, whose corn and millet-based diet costs $26.39 weekly.
We soon learn that diet is determined by largely uncontrollable forces like poverty, conflict and globalization, which can bring change with startling speed. Thus cultures can move--sometimes in a single jump--from traditional diets to the vexed plenty of global-food production. People have more to eat and, too often, eat more of nutritionally questionable food. Their health suffers.
Because the book makes many of its points through the eye, we see--and feel--more than we might otherwise. Issues that influence how the families are nourished (or not) are made more immediate. Quietly, the book reveals the intersection of nutrition and politics, of the particular and universal. It's a wonderful and worthy feat. --Arthur Boehm