North Carolina, US, total spent in a week: $341
Thanks to the joys of Twitter, I just ran across this fascinating set of photos from a couple years ago.
The pics are entitled "what do we eat in a week?" and they present families from Germany, the U.S., Poland, Mexico, Italy, Egypt, Ecuador, Bhutan, and Chad standing next to their total weekly food purchases.
It provides a wonderful (and somewhat depressing) snapshot of food choices around the world. While it's only one photo and obviously isn't representative of a nation's diet, what stands out most is the almost total absence of vegetables from the U.S. family's table and the almost total domination of its food dollars by packaged, processed food.
Germany, total spent in a week: $500
The German family is a close second in terms of processed food with lots of soda (but more wine and beer) and ample supplies of processed meat. But even they have a good selection of greens. Not so the U.S. family.
Italy, Total spent in a week: $214
The Italian family has virtually no processed food -- some canned products and a bit of soda. Otherwise it's bread, fruit and veg and meat. As you travel into the developing world, the piles of food get smaller, but the percentage of vegetables increases.
I think, for the most part, the images speak for themselves. But I do think it's worth ending with the family from Chad as a good excuse to think about what "sufficiency" means when it comes to food.
Chad, total spent in a week: $1
'nuff said, don't you think?