A hungry planet

Published April 19, 2009 · Estimated reading time: 1 minute · Share your thoughts
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A friend shared this collection in Time a while back, but I stumbled upon them again today. The pictures are by photographer Peter Menzel and are part of the book “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats“.

Bhutan, Shingkhey Village
Bhutan, Shingkhey Village — $5.0
Family recipe: Mushroom, cheese and pork


Before coming to university, I never really thought about food beyond ‘what’s for dinner?’ but since coming here I have to admit my perspective on food has really begun to transform. Aside from learning that I will never make it as a chef, through friends I’ve become exposed to the politics of food, from the meat industry to global food production. I’ve had to research on the Green Revolution and learn in class about agricultural genomics. I’ve gotten to know about the current food crisis, food and women’s rights and even food and homelessness in lectures and conferences.

I am really fascinated by these pictures because they capture a truly colourful cross-section of cultures, juxtaposing some startling differences between what we eat, and how much we [are able to] spend on our food. But I think what is even more striking is the nuanced story that the foods set on the table tell about each family, painting a unifying narrative of the human condition and our basic needs– needs that make us human. It seems as though food ties into every aspect of health, environment, economics and justice in a very subtle yet important way. After all this, it has become a tiny bit harder for me to look at the dinner plate the same way.

*Picture source. The exhibition is on display at Montréal Science Centre until May 3rd.

Permanent linkMarzieh Ghiasi