Change Your Perspective To Change Your Diet

November 5, 2010   6 Comments

Try to envision 80 people's daily food from around the world. What are they eating?

What I Eat Review Menzel D'Alusio

The photo above is of Katherine Navas, a high school student in Venezuela. Her table consisted of 4000 calories on the day it was recorded by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Alusio in "What I Eat: Around The World in 80 Diets".

Before I talk about the book, I am going to share my own travel-eating experience.

In 2003, I had the privilege of visiting rural China and spending some time in a farm house. You know the concept - "Farm to Table"? Well, they have it DOWN in rural China.

We stopped in a farm house as we were bicycling around rice paddies. There as a sign out front in English that said, "Restaurant"", so my husband and I decided to give it a try.

The farmer didn't speak English so he just showed us the produce that he had picked that morning. By pointing and gesticulating we managed to convince him of our likes and dislikes and also stopped him from butchering a chicken (I'll take mine shrink-wrapped please :)

The meal was tasty, vegetarian, fun, and (obviously) incredibly fresh. I thought about what I eat at home and I realized that this farmer was eating much healthier even though he lacked my material resources. It was a BIG eye opener.

Faith and Peter also visit a farmer in rural China (who butchers a chicken for them) and they record her daily food intake. Vegetables, rice, a little meat, tea - this farmer looks healthy!

Well, I no longer have the money or the time to visit other countries. Fortunately, Peter and Faith will take me to amazing places through their book (and I don't have to leave my chair).

Want to know what a Spanish bull fighter eats? how about a Chinese acrobrat? or a coal miner? They include many different countries (including the U.S.) and many different professions.

The calories range from 900-12300 and the photos and stories of these people are just fascinating. The Venezuelan young woman above lives in a dangerous barrio in Caracas. As I read her story and look at her photo, I want to learn more about her life. Her story ends before I am satisfied I have learned enough.

These stories have impact and, I hope, they will force you to reflect on what YOU eat every day. I have decided to shoot some photos of a day of my intake and share it with all of you. It will be difficult not to self-edit my food for a day, but I think it is a great exercise that will help me LOOK at what I eat.

Peter and Faith also have another great book out called, "Hungry Planet: What The World Eats". In it the photo-chronicle 30 families in 24 countries. The family portraits included a week worths of food purchases. Again, it is fascinating and instructive.

Check these books out and then come back and report how they have changed you.

Please share your stories about changing your diet when your perspective changed.

What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

$40.00   $28.97 Buy on

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Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

$24.99   $15.49 Buy on

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Those are good books. And to paraphrase Michael Pollan ... American's have devised the one diet that is known to cause disease.

For my book, I take a lot of pictures of food. And, everyone loves pizza ... so here's an incredibly healthy pizza -

Ken Leebow

OH, wow, that book sounds so interesting. I've also taken to traveling through books. Hehe. I LOVE reading books about peoples international travels and stuff, so I'll for sure be checking this out. Obviously nutrition is of interest to me too. Thanks Snack Girl!

Would love to read the first book. I use to travel to Holland a lot for business and would eat a variety of different food, including bread and granola and I would always come back a little lighter. I think a large part is the additives and other stuff we put in our foods, eating clean and natural really makes a difference!

Wow, I want to read this book. I think Americans need to really look at all the junk we eat and the amount of food intake compared to other countries. I think this book will be a real eye opener for me and those that read it.

This is fascinating! I like to think I eat pretty healthy generally, but then there are those times when I zone out and don't realize what I'm putting in my mouth (usually somewhere between 8pm and midnight. Ug) Need. Camera. Now.

Wow! What a fascinating topic for a book. Travel AND food. Two of my favorite things.

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