Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Confronting Having and Not Having

Often I hear various kinds of facts and figures to make sense of affluence and poverty at the international level. But this series of photographs of families in a variety of countries, along with their weekly food intake and its cost, makes the comparison more real than most. These images capture not only size of the intake but also its nutritional value.

For Aussies reading this, the dollar amounts are American. Currently $US1 = $A1.136 or $A1 = $US0.88.

Italy : The Manzo family of Sicily - Food Expenditure for one week is 214.36 Euros or $260.11

Germany : The Melander family of Bargteheide - Food Expenditure for one week is 375.39 Euros or $500.97

US : The Revis family of North Carolina - Food Expenditure for one week is $341.98

Mexico : The Casales family of Cuernavaca - Food Expenditure for one week is 1,862.78 Pesos or $189.09

Poland : The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeriorna - Food Expenditure for one week is 582 Zlotys or $151.27

Egypt : The Ahmed family of Cairo - Food Expenditure for one week is 387.85 Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador : The Ayme family of Tingo - Food Expenditure for one week is $31.55

Butan : The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village- Food Expenditure for one week is 224.93 Ngultrum or $5.03

Chad : The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp - Food Expenditure for one week is 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

That a family in Chad is only able to spend $1.23 a week on food is quite shattering!

Pictures of people, particularly in the context of their families, make such inequities of wealth real and palpable!


  1. It seemed the poorer countries (and sometimes the larger families), the more fruits and vegetables they ate. I noticed that the US family had an awfully lot of junk food.

  2. hey rick - you right 0 it's one of those paradoxes! take care. only pity is that the poorest family can't afford more of the better food they eat. be in touch.

  3. what a revealing piece, thanks for that, i've passed it on to my friends and will try to include a reference to it on my blog (if i can work out how; i'm new to blogging!)

  4. Hey victor. All it takes is a bit of patience and someone helping you out who knows a bit about making web pages.
    That was one of your best posts, Nick, and you have a great blog. That Ecuador family stunned me with the $31 a week, till I scrolled down to the family in Chad. Its a damn shame that there are people in this world that have to struggle so hard to survive, while others (particulary in America - not all families sadly) have an over abundance of food to the point where so many have become morbidly obese.

    Couldn't help but wonder at the smiles that the families for the camera, even in their hardship.

  5. Very cool! This really put things into perspective. Great site!

  6. yeah greg, i noticed the families smiling in adversity - it seems more powerful in terms of developing empathy - i think, sadly, that people are hardened to images of misery from the print and electronic media. and families in the way they are presented make viewers think - 'hey they are just like us - but they only have $1.30 a week for the whole family's food shopping! take care. nick

  7. Once again, we feel ashamed at our disgusting greed.

    Shame on us whingeing Westerners.

  8. hey lucky john. yeah, and it gets worse the further down the list of countries you go!

  9. hey guys, just found where the background data for this post came from. 'Hungry Planet: What the World Eats' by Peter Menzel (Author), Faith D'Aluisio (Author), Ten Speed Press (2005).