What I Eat

Around the World in 80 Diets

Menzel, Peter

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
What I Eat
"A photographic collection with stories of 80 people and the food they eat over the course of one day, organized by total daily calorie count and including detailed food lists"--Provided by publisher.

Publisher: Napa, Calif. : Material World Books ; Berlekey [Calif.] : Ten Speed Press, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780984074402
Branch Call Number: 394.1209 M5513w 2010
Characteristics: 335 p. :,col. ill., map ;,32 cm
Additional Contributors: D'Aluisio, Faith 1957-


From Library Staff

A photographic collection with stories of 80 people and the food they eat over the course of one day, organized by total daily calorie count and including detailed food lists.

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Mar 09, 2015

An eye-opening book that teaches not only loads of information about health, but also about culture, poverty, and gives some examples about how sometimes privileged countries also seem to eat less healthy.

Oct 30, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Such an interesting book! I loved looking at the different foods people eat, looking at the calories, and their sizes. I was often surprised by the numbers.

Jul 21, 2011
  • ksoles rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What do a Spanish bullfighter, a Japanese bike messenger and an Inuit carver have in common? They all eat. Such is the premise behind Menzel and D'Alusio's fascinating, beautiful book that studies the daily caloric intake of 80 individuals from 30 countries. Each page features a photograph of the profiled subject with a day's worth of food; the authors then list the items eaten and calculate the amount of energy consumed. They also include engaging prose about the person's trade or profession and his/her vital stats and daily routine.

Caloric intakes range from 800-12,300 and weights from under 100-over 400 lbs. But those who consume the most calories don't necessarily show it on the scale; "What I Eat" highlights the effects of activity, climate and food origins on the body. The book does not read like a manifesto; it neither makes judgments nor imparts guilt though it certainly provokes thought. A family of Tibetan yak herders, who spend their days milking yaks for sustenance and collecting dung for fuel, starkly contrasts its American counterpart that survives by shopping at the grocery store and flicking on the electric heat.

Mar 23, 2011

From excess to subsistence - how humans nourish ourselves and all the implications and insights that go with that.

Feb 16, 2011

Photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio have collaborated to produce another thought-provoking and dramatic presentation of how humanity relates to food. Their first effort,
"The Hungry Planet: What the World Eats" (2005) introduced us to thirty families from twenty-four countries. Visually stunning and often surprising, the photographs with accompanying captions and short articles, displayed all the food from one family's weekly consumption arrayed on the dining table. In this new book, Menzel has taken this concept to the level of the individual.

Using daily calorie intake as the organizing principle, Menzel introduces us to eighty people from over thirty countries and more than a dozen different U.S. states. Again, the photography is wonderful--chock full of details that you discover as your eyes roam the pages. Each person is profiled; each life style described. Starting with a subsistence diet of 800 calories per day, a woman in Kenya explains how drought and an end-of-the-month cash shortage reduces her intake to so little. Other times are better for her and her family, but the day she was visited by the authors, it was a mere 800 calories for her. As you work your way through the book to higher and higher calorie counts, you won't find simple connections between weight, income, career and how much someone eats. At the top of the intake chart, a binge eater mom from Great Britian, overweight but not morbidly so, literally and figuratively takes the cake at 12,300 calories!

This is a great book to look at and discuss with your kids, or to pass around the table after sharing a good meal with friends. Accompanying essays by Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry and other noted writers further our understanding of the complex relationship of humanity to the earth's varied but often limited bounty and pose important questions about the future of food.

-Madame Librarian

Nov 26, 2010
  • pokano rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sobering descriptions of what various people from different countries eat in a day. One observation: hardly anyone eats enough fruits and vegetables.

Nov 22, 2010
  • kgillo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a big heavy book with lots of great photographs. It was interesting to see what kind of everyday meals people all over the world eat every day. It might have been nice to see more of the meals in the 'normal' calorie range.


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