Sunday, March 9, 2008

Adventure Dining Books: The Hungry Planet

German family (top) displays one weeks food.
Ecuadorian family's weekly food supply (bottom).

For those of us who are nosey, Peter Menzel's books allow us to take our nosiness to global extremes. His book Material World permits us to view the possessions of "average" families around the world. It was the subject of a documentary shown on PBS many years ago and continues to sell on over 13 years after its release.

His newest book Hungry Planet, allows us to see what the world eats. Families from countries such as Cuba, India, Britain, Mongolia, and Chad, display one weeks worth of food for the family. Included are country statistics on population, caloric intake, life expectancy, number of McDonald's restaurants, and the cost of a Big Mac. Another interesting feature is the inclusion of family recipes. We have Bhutanese Mushroom, Cheese, and Pork; Dried Goat Meat Soup from Chad; Cuban rice and beans; Potato Soup from Ecuador; Roulades of Beef from Germany; and Seal Stew from Greenland. Recipe notes such as in this recipe from Mali: Broth made from Sumbala (spice made from nere tree pods), indicate that I won't be cooking Malinese for dinner any time soon.

The beautifully photographed (as are all of his books) Hungry Planet is highly recommended, not just for the cultural information that it provides but also because it is an opportunity for personal re-evaluation of one's own eating habits from a global perspective.


Admin said...

this is a nice review. more power to your blog! Keep em rollin'

from Philippines: I say "Mabuhay" to you.. Long live!

DineometerDeb said...

Thanks for your kind words. They are appreciated.

footiam said...

Some of us just have too much too eat, don't you think?

DineometerDeb said...

In this book there is also a picture of an Sudanese refugee family's food supply. It is a huge contrast to what we American's eat.