Culinate

Lunch around the world

It varies widely

By
January 28, 2013

Seven years ago, the photography book Hungry Planet became a sensation, with its simple but devastating concept: photographs of families around the world sitting behind a week’s worth of food.

Oxfam America is continuing the idea, with a series of similar photos from such locations as Zimbabwe, Armenia, and Sri Lanka. What’s shocking isn’t so much the diversity of food — ranging from packaged goods in Britain to rice and vegetables in Asia — as the dearth of it. How can the Azerbaijani family of four, for example, survive for an entire week on what they’re displaying on one small table?

Meanwhile, a Washington Post article lauds the Japanese school system for cooking traditional whole foods and having the children participate in serving it as well as eating it. That’s in contrast to at least one New York school district, which recently decided to refuse federal funds because the mandated healthy fare was simply being thrown away.