Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2005
As a huge fan of Peter Menzel's works, I preordered this book and was incredibly excited for its arrival. Not only was the photography and descriptions of the families brilliant, but Menzel included excerpts from leading nutritionists, scientists, environmentalists, and my own personal heroes among them Michael Pollen. I especially enjoyed the articles entitled Diabesity and Slow Foods. Another brilliant aspect is the pertinent facts about the countries that the familes come from, which include not only geographics, population density, and life expectancies but also number of McDonald's, the % of obese and overweight, and the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.

Menzel and D'Alusio were also keen to write personal experiences in the countries they visited- the shock of seeing Ramen noodles in Papua New Guinea, or eating dugo (my aunt's personal favorite) congealed swine blood in Manilla. Their facts, and photography, along with their personal experiences opened my awareness to many different cultures as did the first 4 books that they have collaborated on before this.

Well done once again
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2005
I first saw these images in a museum in Napa California. They had been enlarged to almost 2'x3' in size and were stunning. I like the book, better, however, because you can look deeper at each culture and the text is fascinating. This is a great book for showing young people the variety of life experienced in different parts of the world. I bought copies for all of my nephews and cousins.
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92 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
My name is Tyrone Demery and i am the younger son from the Revis family.

doing the book was an amazing and lucky experience. You really never understand how much food you really eat until it's ALL layed out on your kitchen counter.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2005
Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio have done it again! As a true fan of all their books, I have savoured every page of the beautiful photography and the insightful descriptions in this book. Just like I did with Material World and Women in the Material World, I have read "Hungry Planet" in one sitting.

Faith's writing makes you feel like you really got to know the families and manages to give us the essence of their lives in a few pages. Pete's pictures make you feel like you went along on the trip with them. I specially liked the recipes for the different foods that are included in the book as well as Peter's field notes which are most revealing and make the book all the more intimate.

What I find most amazing is that our four children (ages 19 through 11) have been fascinated by the book just as much as by the Material World book. I think the format is very appealing to young readers because it is full of tidbits of information that let's us compare our own food choices to those of the rest of the world.

If we could all come away with just one lesson learned from this book, it would be "hara hachi bu", like the Okinawans say, "eat until you are 80% full".

Hungry Planet is an informative and entertaining book, it will make for a good gift for everyone in your Christmas list!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2005
What a phenomenal book. I like to think visitors to my home would flip through this while waiting for me to make them a hearty, slow foods dinner and the photos alone would provide conversation for the whole evening. We have no idea in this country how lucky we are. How wasteful. Every corner of this book is filled with statistics, catchy captions, lists and delightful international family recipes. There are also essays and longer texts detailing individual families and deeper food issues. But even the illiterate could aquire years of knowledge just studying the photos. And, I'll tell you what else, it inspires me to eat a little bit less at every meal.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2005
Aside from beautiful photography and a clean edit (both things we might expect from this pair), I was especially drawn to the family recipes. They connected me to the stories on a more basic historic level, made me look back to the photos for reference, and made me hungry to try them out myself. I think I might have to wait for a trip to St. Lawrence Island to work up the Greenlandic Seal stew, though I'm ready to get on a flight now.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2006
Hungry Planet's photographs, taken in places ranging from a refugee camp in Darfur to a Parisian suburb, illustrate better than any lecture the disparities and diversity of the world's diets. And the subjects' own accounts of how and why they eat what they do offer a refreshing contrast to the prevailing national stereotypes. This book is beautiful enough for a coffee table, but smart enough for the classroom.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2005
The Hungry Planet, What the World Eats, by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio, is an excellent book. I saw the photo exhibit at Copia in Napa in early 2005 and was taken by the wonderful photographs of families from around the world behind a table or blanket on the ground with their week's supply of food. There was also an analysis of the food content and cost. As one who studies the role of food in health and disease, I could see how what was on the table or blanket was related to the health of the family or, more generally, the entire country. There was, for example, the portly Australian family with the mother who had suffered a stroke near age 50 years, sitting behind a table piled high with over 50 pounds of meat plus 4 gallons of dairy products, 4 gallons of sugar-laden drinks, etc., but very few "healthy" foods. It was very easy to see why she was over weight and developed a stroke. The Chinese village family, on the other hand, had only 20 pounds of meat but 47 pounds of fruit and over 50 pounds of vegetables, and they were much thinner. The foreword by Marion Nestle, one of America's leading nutritionists, discussed the ills of overeating easily possible in today's world. The photos, which go way beyond those seen at Copia, showing more about every day life in the cities and villages, and the text, explaining the role of food and agriculture, are excellent. For the scientifically minded, there are data on health and food in the back of the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the role of food in health and disease and life.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2005
This captivating book can be enjoyed on many levels: as a portfolio of lush photography, as a perceptive journalistic analysis of the intersections between politics and nutrition, and as a collection of intimate portrayals of daily lives.

If you are interested in how people live, you will love this book.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
If you are puzzling about what to give your friends, relatives, colleagues, physicians, even your government representatives . . . do the world a favor and order this book for everyone on your list. It's a work that will transform your view of the world, even if you only browse the extraordinary photographs. But, if you read the carefully written text you will learn an astonishing amount about the way our planet is nourished (or not). If you only order one book this year, make it HUNGRY PLANET.

Patricia Ryan Madson, author of IMPROV WISDOM: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up
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