The Hungry Planet: What we learn from what the world eats.
I am a firm believer that one key to co-existing in this increasingly messy world is empathy. I also believe that few things can teach us more about our neighbors than simply peeking into their kitchen windows. What people eat, what food is available to them, what they cook, how they eat, even the smallest things in our larder can tell a huge story.
I recently came across a book to feed just that part of my curiosity. It's called Hungry Planet. Aaron from Ten Speed Press in Berkeley gave it to me when he came to dinner a couple of months ago. From the first minute I opened up the first page, I was hooked.
What is appealing to me in this book is similar to what draws me to food blogs. It is endlessly fascinating to get a glimpse into the kitchen windows of people you don't even know. But by its very nature, blogging is exclusive to people who have access to technology. The Hungry Planet expands my horizon to cover those far flung corners of the globe that blogging could not reach.
In the book, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio take us on a tour of the world's tables by inviting us into more than 30 homes in 40 countries, from Mongolia to the deep heart of Africa. Each chapter features a family and their food provision for the week, revealing many fascinating stories about globalization, the changing nature of families and cultures, and exposing problems of economic inequality and urban migration.
What does a portrait of you and your family's week worth of food look like? And what stories does it tell about you?