Review: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio

What the World Eats

Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio

160 pages

Pub Year: 2008

Publisher: Tricycle Press

Source: Public Library

In What the World Eats, Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio travel around the world to learn what families from other countries eat in a week. Technology has advanced to the point where most countries can get out-of-season produce whenever they want and brands that are popular in one culture are just as popular in another. With such an abundance of food being produce you would think that world hunger would no longer be an issue but it still is. To make matters worst there are more overfed people in the world than those underfed. By traveling the world to new-to-them countries and those they have visited years ago, the authors observe how mealtime is changing.

What the World Eats was such an unexpected delight. It’s adapted from another book the authors wrote, Hungry Planet: What the Worlds Eats, and fitted for a younger audience. Don’t let that stop you from reading this though. This is a book that adults and children can enjoy. The authors give facts about the 21 countries they visited, stories about the families, and pictures to illustrate exactly how much a family eats. The amount of money each family spends in a week on food is broken down by category. This isn’t a definitive guide just at glance at other countries.

I found the book fascinating and my family did too. Once you look at one picture, you want to know more and the authors did a great job keeping readers curious and turning pages. It was so interesting to compare what a family in rural China eats to a family in urban China or to see the profiles of families living in different parts of the United States.

When you lay out exactly a family eats weekly, you can’t help but start to think about what your own family eats too. Right after I finished this book I had to go to the grocery store. I couldn’t help but think about all the processed foods that I saw throughout the book. There were so many things that I usually buy but I didn’t this past grocery trip. That’s part of the magic of this book.

What the World Eats is a great addition to anyone’s personal library. My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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25 thoughts on “Review: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio

  1. Oh wow. This sounds fabulous, especially for families. What a way to learn about other people, countries, and cultures. I would love to read this and then share it with my niece and nephews. It’s crazy what Americans (in general) throw out each day. It seems almost unreal that starvation is still a major world problem.

    • I think this is a great book to share with your niece and nephews. Not only is it crazy what we throw out but the amount of processed foods that go in our body daily.

  2. I love this book. It could take you days to page through all the interesting information presented here. I keep meaning to purchase it for my school library; students would love paging through it and admiring the beautiful photos.

  3. This sounds so interesting! I’m always interested in what people in other countries consider “normal” food and then how that’s reinterpreted in other countries. Spaghetti, for example–every country has their own version, it seems like.

    I will definitely have to ask for this one at my library. :)

  4. What a great book — food is so integral to culture, I think, that by learning how a group eats, you learn alot about the country in general.
    I’m curious as to how you found this one in the library — was it perusing the cookbook section?

    • Book Girl, I definitely agree with you. Looking at this book made me think a lot about the way Americans eat in general compared to other countries. I found this book in the non-fiction section for kids.

  5. I saw a gallery of about 15 photos from this book and agree it is fascinating. Putting all the food you eat together is quite scary and it encouraged me to eat a few more greens….for a day or two at least!

  6. I would love this! I was so excited the last time we were in Chicago, and we stayed in one of those hotels that gives you free breakfast, but this one had two breakfast areas, one with American breakfast and one with Korean breakfast. I just love to see how other people eat!

  7. When I first saw the title of the book, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. I’m so glad to hear it’s as good as I hoped. Eating is something all humans have in common. It defines us and links us. I can’t wait to read this one.

  8. I love this book! I like how it takes something we take for granted and with pictures, graphs and well written text shows how varied our eating and shopping habits are. I place this book all over the media center and although teachers are fascinated, few students are. I’m not sure why, but I keep displaying the book!

  9. I’m not sure what this says about me, but I think I would rather read this one than the one for adults. :) This sounds really interesting.

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  11. I have heard of this book, and think they even featured a bit about this on the web too. I find this topic and the way it’s presented so interesting, and would love to get a chance to look at this book. This was a great review, and has made me really curious about picking up my own copy and checking it out. Thanks!

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