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What the world eats

You know that Master Card commercial that shows you the contents of the grocery basket of a sumo wrestler?

This article from Time magazine shows a similar thing: the contents of all grocery baskets in a week for different families around the world.


Japan: $317.25/week




Italy: $260.11/week. That’s a lot of bread!




Germany: $500.07/week. I guess their main source of water is beer. But we already knew that.




USA, California: $159.18/week. Compared to the others these guys spend very little on food. Which can mean either that they’re very thrifty or that food is really cheap.

USA california



Kuwait: $221.45/week




USA, North Carolina: $341.98/week. See how nicely wrapped all the foods are? Do you see the processed meats, the pizzas from the Pizza Night and the chips that go with the Bud and Coke in the back? Now that’s what I call “real Americans”!




Mexico: $189.09/week. I guess their main source of water is Coke. Well, at least they also eat loads of veg as well.




Poland: $151.27/week. Main source of protein: bratwurst




Chad: $1.23/week. I saved this last one for last. Doesn’t the contrast with all the above give you the chills?

breidjing camp 


Found via Graethel’s blog.

Comments (8)

  • I did see this a while ago. It’s interesting — a bit unfair because the economy of Africa vs. US vs. Others is so different, it’s just not right to do a dollar for dollar conversion.

    I’m not saying the people in Chad have it good, but it’s worth remembering that they’re living off cornmeal, potatoes, beans, and so on. Also, they’re water is probably well-water, stored in those orange and white containers (not sure what that bottled water is doing there).

    It’s not a great diet, but their bodies have adapted. When I was in Kenya, we practically lived off ugali (water, salt, and cornmeal). It’s surprisingly filling — essentially the equivalent of living off rice or bread or oats. Something high in carbs and low in fat and protein. With three full-grown adults and three kids, I imagine those two bags will feed them sufficiently for the week. Of course, they’re also missing all the other essential nutrients but…

  • — @ Phil
    Yeah, I suppose they have adapted. Meaning that they do manage to live with 1000 calories per day just fine. If by ‘just fine’ you mean they have low immunity, and rarely live over the age of 50.

    But then again we have all the comfort of medicine they don’t have. It’s not necessarily because we eat better…

    We do have more nutrients and a more complete diet but we also have the disadvantage of ingesting all those processed foods.


  • Haha, I’m glad they didn’t do one on my family. Even though my dad is on a health kick, my stepmom still buys a lot of junk food which I refuse to eat.

    Also, do the people really ingest that much food in one week?

  • I think that, with the exception of the last photo, the others portray about 3 months “rations” at A towers :)). I know them, they’ve been floating around for over 2 years.

    @Phil, i love the “but…” in the last sentence. I’m being sarcastic of course, but…

  • — @ Andra: What the heck are you talking about? What are A towers? 🙂

  • > If by ‘just fine’ you mean they have low immunity, and rarely live over the age of 50.

    Life expectancy is around 50 on the dot, but I expect the standard deviation to be a lot higher than what it is for non-third-world countries. Truth is, there are at a few people who are living comfortably. The variance, however, between rich and poor is astounding.

    The point of my comment was that the Time article was that they were trying to moderately sensationalize the final picture.

  • – @ Alexandra: A Towers – chez moi. As in A’s residence, home, household etc.

  • This is touchingly! Many of us think that we have everything and we want more…Well, I am always thinking about those poor people (like the ones in the photo from Chad) and I don’t think it’s correct! Why do I deserve more than them?


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