I ran across this photo gallery on the NY Times website yesterday and it’s fascinating. It’s based on a collection of stories and photos collected by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio for the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. It documents the meals of people all around the world with the calorie counts. It has everyone from a farmer in Ecuador to a ride supervisor at the Mall of America in Minnesota.
I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by what other folks eat (past and present), especially people in nonwesternized cultures. When I get bored with what I’m eating, I like to switch it up and experiment with dishes from other countries. We can learn alot from cultures that are healthier than we are. As I looked at these photos I was struck by a few things.
1. The subjects from the most advanced countries are eating the most processed foods convenience foods, including lots of sugar.
2. The highest calorie counts tend to be from folks eating the least processed diets, yet they’re the thinnest in the group.
3. Breakfast outside of the U.S. looks very different – no processed cereals, bagels, or fast food. Alot of the breakfasts would be more of a lunch or dinner for many Americans.
4. Other parts of the world tend to eat a less meat centric diet. They definitely have a different balance of proteins and carbs.
I could be completely imagining this, but it seems as though people from the US have more food hangups than most of the world, yet we’re the fattest and most unhealthy. Is it just me?