What People Eat Around the World


If I asked you to think about your weekly groceries (either for you or your family), what would the typical haul look like? Would it look something like the photo above? Would it include fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of whole grains?

For most Americans, the answer would be no. Instead, the standard American diet (SAD) includes a lot of plastic, a lot of packaging, unrecognizable ingredients and chemicals, and obscene amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. But a really creative and insightful photo blog on Imgur is making people think about what they eat in relation to the rest of the world.

Featuring families from countries such as Mexico, Bhutan, India, Mali, and Chad, the photos feature families with a spread of their typical weekly groceries. They are incredibly telling, especially when many of the photos include the familiar 2 liter bottles of fizzy soda. There are also many appearances of Tony the Tiger. Some of the photos show families eating a primarily plant-based diet with a lot of color and variety.

So think back to your groceries. What would be included in your photo? How does it look now? How would you like it to look in 3 months? 6 months? One year?

For those of you doing Eat to Live, McDougall or some other plant -strong diet, sometimes you may feel that vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains are too limited. In a hyperpalatable food environment, it is easy to begin to feel that you are “missing out” on the fun stuff. This is when you should definitely return to these photos and realize how fortunate you really are. After all, most of us are able to afford to eat a relatively healthy diet once we get our priorities straight.

However, not everyone in the US is so lucky to have accessible, affordable produce nearby. Those that live in “food deserts” may have difficulty in obtaining many of the foods recommended by Eat to Live, the Ornish Spectrum plan, or by Dr. John McDougall, which results in more SAD choices. Next time you give to a food pantry or a shelter, consider giving frozen bags of vegetables (many have freezers and can accommodate), bags of beans, brown rice, or quinoa, or raw nuts and seeds. Food for thought! ~Amanda Rae

There are scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases; in countries where people eat a pound or more of vegetables and fruits a day, the rate of cancer is half what is in the United States.― Michael Pollan

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