Diets Around The World

What I Eat: Around The World In 80 Diets” is the title of an extraordinary photobook by photojournalist Peter Menzel. In it, Menzel documents the eating habits of 80 people from various cultures, including a Yemeni camel trader, a Maasai herdswoman, a Spanish professional bullfighter, a Tibetan monk, a Chicago cab driver, a Chinese computer graphics artist, an Arctic hunter, an Indian Hindu sadhu and a Bangladeshi factory seamstress, among others.

And yes, there is also the British mother who goes through an astounding 12,300 calories of pure junk each day (in case you needed a quick pick-me-up today). Here is an assorted collection of Menzel’s work.

1. Shahnaz Begum, a mother of four, outside her home with her microloan-financed cows and her typical day’s worth of food outside her home in the village of Bari Majlish, an hour outside Dhaka.

01 Diets around the world Dhaka

2. Marble Moahi, a mother living with HIV / AIDS, in the family kitchen in Kabakae Village, Ghanzi, Botswana with her typical day’s worth of food and antiretroviral medications. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a typical day in March was 900 kcals. She is 32 years of age; 5 feet, 5 inches tall; and 92 pounds. Despite a decline in new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa, this region of the world remains the most heavily…

02 Diets around the world Botswana

3. Solange Da Silva Correia, a rancher’s wife, with family members in their house overlooking the Solimoes River, with her typical day’s worth of food. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of November was 3400 kcals. She is 49 years of age; 5 feet 2.5 inches tall; and 168 pounds. She and her husband, Francisco (sitting behind her, at right), live outside the village of Caviana with three of their…

03 Diets around the world Solange

4. Coco Simone Finken, a teenage vegetarian who lives in the city of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada with her day’s worth of food. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of October was 1900 kcals. She is 16, 5′ 9.5″ and 130 pounds. The family doesn’t own a car, buys organic food if it’s not too expensive, and grows some of their own vegetables in their front yard.

04 Diets around the world Coco

5. Lan Guihua, a widowed farmer, in front of her home with her typical day’s worth of food in Ganjiagou Village, Sichuan Province, China. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a typical day in June was 1900 kcals. She is 68 years of age; 5 feet, 3 inches tall; and 121 pounds. Her farmhouse is tucked into a bamboo-forested hillside beneath her husband’s grave, and the courtyard opens onto a view of citrus groves and vegetable…

05 Diets around the world Lan

6. Maria Ermelinda Ayme Sichigalo, a farmer and mother of eight with her typical day’s worth of food in her adobe kitchen house in Tingo village, central Andes, Ecuador. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her typical day’s worth of food in the month of September was 3800 kcals. She is 37 years of age; 5 feet, 3 inches tall; and 119 pounds. With no tables or chairs, Ermelinda cooks all the family’s meals while kneeling over the hearth on the earthen…

06 Diets around the world Maria

7. Camel broker Saleh Abdul Fadlallah with his day’s worth of food at the Birqash Camel Market outside Cairo, Egypt. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of April was 3200 kcals. He is 40 years of age; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; and 165 pounds. Contrary to popular belief, camels’ humps don’t store water; they are a reservoir of fatty tissue that minimizes the need for heat-trapping insulation in the rest of their bodies; the dromedary, or Arabian camel, has a single hump, while Asian camels have two. Camels are well suited for desert climes: their long legs and huge, two-toed feet with leathery pads enable them to walk easily in sand, and their eyelids, nostrils, and thick coat protect them from heat and blowing sand. These characteristics, along with their ability to eat thorny vegetation and derive sufficient moisture from tough green herbage, allow camels to survive in very inhospitable terrain.

07 Diets around the world Camel

8. Munna Kailash, a bicycle rickshaw driver, with his typical day’s worth of food outside the small home that he and his wife Meera share with their children in Varanasi?in India’s Uttar Pradesh province. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his typical day’s worth of food in the month of April was 2400 kcals. He is 45 years old; 5 feet, 6 inches; and 106 pounds. When he comes home for lunch he normally drinks a cup of tea, takes a short nap, and then heads back out into the steamy heat to find other patrons to cart from one location to the next, a job he does seven days a week.

08 Diets around the world rickshaw

9. Sitarani Tyaagi, an ascetic Hindu priest, with his typical day’s worth of food at an ashram in Ujjain, India. (From the book What I Eat; Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his typical day’s worth of food in the month of April was 1000 kcals. He is 70 years of age; 5 feet, 6 inches tall; and 103 pounds. Sitarani Tyaagi is one of thousands of ascetic Hindu priests, called Sadhus that walk the country of India and receive food from observant Hindus. Generally, he eats one meal per day and has water for the other two meals. He has a small pot that he carries with him for water. Offer him more food than a plateful, and he will kindly say, “no thanks.”

09 Diets around the world Sitarani

10. Millie Mitra, an education consultant and homeopathy devotee, with her typical day’s worth of food and a glass of urine at her home in Benson Town, Bangalore, India. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her typical day’s worth of food in December was 2100 kcals. She is 45 years of age; 5 feet, 1.5 inches tall; and 123 pounds. Millie’s quest for health includes yoga, a vegan diet, and topical applications of her own urine, as well as a daily glassful. She has practiced Shivambu (sometimes spelled Sivambu), which is the drinking of one’s own first morning urine 200 cc in her practice as a curative and preventative measure, for over 15 years. Millie applies urine to her skin as well, for the same reasons. Her husband Abhik has tried Shivambu and she helped her children to practice it when they were young, but currently only Millie practices urine therapy in her family.

10 Diets around the world Millie

11. Riccardo Casagrande, a Roman Catholic friar and gastronome, in the San Marcello al Corso church dining hall in Rome, Italy, with his typical day’s worth of food. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his typical day’s worth of food on a day in July was 4000 kcals. He is 63 years of age; 5 feet, 8.5 inches tall; and 140 pounds. For over 20 years he has overseen the kitchen, the rooftop garden, and the basement wine cellar for the friars and priests living in the church complex near Rome’s Spanish Steps. Between stints saying mass in the beautiful San Marcello al Corso in Rome, he is in charge of his fellow brothers’ wine cellar, and oversees the cooks. Traditional Italian food is served family style in the brothers’ large dining room.

11 Diets around the world friar

12. Takeuchi Masato, a professional sumo wrestler whose ring name is Miyabiyama (meaning “Graceful Mountain”), with his day’s worth of food in the team’s practice ring in Nagoya, Japan. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.)

12 Diets around the world sumo

13. Noolkisaruni Tarakuai, the third of four wives of a Maasai chief with her day’s worth of food outside her house in a Maasai village compound near Narok, Kenya. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her typical day’s worth of food on a day in the month of January was 800 kcals. She is 38 years of age: 5 feet, 5 inches tall; and 103 pounds. Noolkisaruni has her own house for sleeping and a windowless cooking house with earth and dung chinked into the walls. Maasai wealth is derived from the cattle owned, the land, and the number of children born to support the family business: cattle and goats. She is photographed here with her day’s worth of food: largely maize meal and milk. The fallen tree on which her food rests was knocked down by a marauding wild elephant.

13 Diets around the world Maasai

14. The head monk at his partially rebuilt monastery with his typical day’s worth of food in the Tibetan Plateau. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his day’s worth of food in June was 4,900 kcals. He is 45 years of age; 5 feet, 5 inches tall; and 158 pounds.

14 Diets around the world monk

15. Saada Haidar, a housewife, with her typical day’s worth of food at her home in the city of Sanaa, Yemen. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food in the month of April was 2700 kcals. She is 27 years of age; 4 feet, 11 inches tall; and 98 pounds. In public, Saada and most Yemeni women cover themselves for modesty, in accordance with tradition.

16 Diets around the world housewife

16. Truck drivers enjoy a mid-morning meal of sheep meat, potato, onion, tomato, and flat bread in a rustic restaurant stall at the Birqash Camel Market outside Cairo, Egypt, where Saleh Abdul Fadlallah works as a broker. (Abdul Fadlallah is featured in the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.)

17 Diets around the world drivers

17. Nguyên Van Thuan, a war veteran, with his wife in their studio apartment with his typical day’s worth of food. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.)

18 Diets around the world Thuan

18. Mariel Booth, a professional model and New York University student, at the Ten Ton Studio in Brooklyn with her typical day’s worth of food. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a day in the month of October was 2400 kcals. She is 23 years of age; 5 feet, 9.5 inches tall; and 135 pounds. At a healthier weight than when modeling full-time, she feels good but laments that she’s making much less money.

19 Diets around the world model

19. Jill McTighe, a mother and school aide, enjoys dinner with her husband Earl Gillespie and their children at their home in Willesden, London, United Kingdom. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of her day’s worth of food on a “bingeing” day in the month of September was 12,300 kcals. The calorie total is not a daily caloric average. Jill is 31 years old; 5 feet, 5 inches tall; and 230 pounds. Honest about her food addiction replacing a drug habit, Jill joked about being a chocoholic as she enthusiastically downed a piece of chocolate cake at the end of the photo session. Her weight has yo-yoed over the years and at the time of the picture she was near her heaviest; walking her children to school every day was the sole reason she didn’t weigh more. She says this photo experience was a catalyst for beginning a healthier diet for herself and her family.

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