Tammy over at Food on the Food posted a few links to a three part photo essay Time Magazine ran last year called What the World Eats which was taken from Peter Menzel's Hungry Planet. (Tammy did a much better job linking that). Here are the links: Part I, Part II, Part III.
I found the photo essay mind boggling, astonishing and in some cases down right shocking. I kept flipping back and forth muttering, 'I had no idea, I had no idea, would you look at that? How much? What?'
So I decided to post my own entry. I don't have a photograph with the six people who will be consuming this week but I do have the food. Family of six (Nannie's momma is with us for the next two weeks), Weston, CT, $346.35. Here it is:
(um, edit, there's a half gallon of Connecticut milk missing. Blame Cletus, at least she didn't guzzle it in one sitting. Also, in the interest of complete disclosure, there are no paper or plastic products in this week's trip. We do use them. We use toilet paper, paper towels, plastic wrap, parchment paper, large plastic bags (flour and bread storage, they do get reused until they fall apart), foil, laundry soap, other soaps, shampoos, conditioners, plastic garbage bags, dog food, cat food and beer and wine. A tube of mascara and concealer were also part of that trip but they're not on the table)
I'll give you three guesses why that total is as high as it is. The first two don't count. Anybody want to tell me why a good portion of this country doesn't eat whole foods? Last year, before we swore off processed soups, sauces or store bought bread this pile would have cost about 33% less. If we stopped eating fresh veggies and fruit and switched to canned or frozen we could drop the bill by another 20%. If we stopped eating organic meats it would drop even more. If I didn't buy local produce whenever the option presents itself (maybe 40% of the produce and dairy on this table come from within 400 miles, maybe. Maine and New York are very big states.) Next year, if I actually get my act together, there will be a lot more tomatoes and beans and broccoli and squash and maybe even some potatoes and asparagus in my garden and this table won't look quite the same all year round. Right now it costs $15 for me to make a quart of spaghetti sauce. Without meat.
I am incredibly privileged. This is terrifying to me.