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Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Families Spend on Food Around The World

As we continue to validate what it will cost us to sail around the world, I found a very interesting series of photos and articles on how much families spend on food per week in different places around the world. The information is pulled from a book titled Hungry Planet: What The World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio.

The weekly food spend runs quite a gamut: $1.23 USD to $500.07 USD. From bags of lentils and rice for a week, to big steak packages and bottles of beer for a week.

The photos in the book are outstanding. You see families with their entire weekly food outlay right in front of them, in their homes, in their place of eating. Some have live chickens, some have defiant teenagers, some have TVs in their dining rooms, some have 3 generations living off the weekly food, and more. None of which we have, yet.

Flipping through the pictures, it is neat to see so many cans and bottles of Coca-Cola in the photos .... a product from right here in Atlanta, Ga.

The amount of fresh vegetables, from family to family, was also neat. It is encouraging to see how many had good, raw foods.

As you might guess, the more first world the nation of the family, the more that packaged food showed up in the photos.

The family food favorites is fun to peruse too. You find Polar Bear, Pig's Knuckles, Mutton Dumplings, Marge Brown's Quandong, Sheep Soup, and other neat stuff.

Here is a summary of the spend data for 1 week of food per family (family size varies starting at 4 people and going up) in USD:
  • $1.23 Chad, Breidjing Camp
  • $5.03 Bhutan, Shingkhey Village
  • $26.39 Mali, Kouakourou
  • $31.55 Ecuador, Tingo
  • $39.27 India, Ujjain
  • $40.02 Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar
  • $68.53 Egypt, Cairo
  • $75.70 Guatemala, Todos Santos
  • $145.88 Turkey, Istanbul
  • $151.27 Poland, Konstancin-Jeziorna
  • $155.06 China, Beijing
  • $189.09 Mexico, Cuernavaca
  • $221.45 Kuwait, Kuwait City
  • $253.15 Great Britain, Cllingbourne Ducis
  • $260.11 Italy, Sicily
  • $277.12 Greenland, Cap Hope
  • $317.25 Japan, Kondaira City
  • $341.98 USA, North Carolina
  • $345.00 Canada, Iqaluit-Nunavut Territory
  • $376.45 Australia, River View
  • $419.95 France, Montreuil
  • $465.84 Luxembourge, Erpeldange
  • $500.07 Germany, Bargteheide


  1. That's amazing. I once saw an email that had a slide show of pictures of families and the food they purchased for a week and the amount they spent. What fascinated me was the color of the food they had purchased. The 3rd world countries who have to live on lentils and rice, of course don't have a very colorful choice of food. But the tables from Great Britain and the US, had color, it just came from the wrappers for the junk food. Unlike the French and Italians who had tables loaded with fresh vegetables.

    I may have to purchase this book for our school's library. Thanks!

  2. Really $340 per week in the US. That seems outrageous, even for a family of four!

  3. No... that's about right for our family, back in the day when we had two teens at home and I cooked every night.

  4. @jomamma: I agree that we eat too much junk and processed foods in the US. When people talk about losing weight, I offer up a diet that I thought up. It's called "Can the can." It's a very easy diet to follow, don't eat anything from a can. Harder said than done for most Americans!

    @Travis and Maggie: I agree that the $340 per week seems outrageous, since that is over half of our family's average monthly food spend run rate. I haven't read the book yet, but I think that jomamma is right. The US family total must include two teen.

  5. I like that 'can the can' Val. We don't eat out of cans that much. But we do eat beef... lots and lots of beef. We live in Texas and it's what's for dinner and sometimes for lunch tool.

  6. @jomamma: We love beef, too! Beef will be a special treat on the boat. BTW: Bill and I got married in San Angelo, TX 19 years ago on March 22. Texas has a special place in our hearts.

  7. San Angelo is sooo pretty. I grew up in Odessa. The complete opposite.

  8. @jomamma: We took a day trip to Odessa to see the meteor crater.

  9. LOL, quiet a sight isn't it?

  10. @jomamma: LOL, yes it was! ;)

  11. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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