Thursday, February 6, 2014


^ In North Carolina, USA, the Revis family spends around $342 per week. ^
I got a nice email comment from an Australian father; when he mentioned his youngster doing the eye-roll, I laughed.  Apparently, dad was trying to talk thoughtfully about consumerism, and must not have said it in a fashion an 8-year old could receive.  Thus, the eye-roll! for a little perspective, lets look at some differences from place to place.  From a delightful photo collection, What the World Eats, published by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, here's a look a some families and the food they buy at the markets and eat each week.  (The authors visited and photographed 30 families in 24 countries.)
^ In Mali, the Natomo family spends around $30 per week.

In western Africa, the children invited me to go with them
to get mangoes.  I thought they meant to a market, but they
took me down the path to a mango tree where they threw
sticks to knock down the fruit.  She's holding one of my
cameras; she and her friends take pictures that I print and
bring back on later trips.
On the fish aisle in Japan
It's not the same everywhere, of course.  Some have grocery stores, some have open-air marketplaces, some have roadside vendors ...

^ In Texas, the Fernandez family spends around $242 per week.

^ In Tingo, Ecuador, the Ayme family spends around $32 per week.

In more difficult areas, a family might subsist on $15 a week total income.  In rural Kenya, a family might subsist primarily on maize meal (corn meal) plus what they might gather or barter.  Good governance and a healthy economy seem to be the key enablers for improvement.
^ In Germany, the Melander family spends around $568 per week.^

It's a broad spectrum along which we find ourselves and everyone else.  We're all deeply thankful that we can provide for our families, of course.  If we want to understand how the world works, it helps to know what life is like for folks like us elsewhere.

Show your kids; in person is best.  Go see, and stay long enough to make some friends.