Surprising Photos of Family Life Around the World

What does a typical American family consume in a week, compared with a family in Chad? Or Japan? Or Kuwait?

These are the most compelling photos I have ever seen comparing daily life for families around the world. Drawn from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, the photos below show food expenditures for one week for a typical family in countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, China, Mongolia and Ecuador.

I am sharing these surprising photos because of the link between physical poverty and information poverty.

According to the Asian Development Bank, if farmers had equal access to knowledge of advanced farming techniques, crop yields would grow, reducing hunger. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have quantified the effects of preventable illnesses such as malaria on families’ earning power and on children’s ability to finish school. In Nigeria, environmental damage happens in communities that have no access to legal texts in their own language to explain their rights to clean land for growing food.

I believe we are making strides in reducing information poverty, but for now, here is how different families around the world live. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

USA: $342 spent on food per week

Japan: $317 per week

UK: $253 per week

Italy: $260 per week

Kuwait: $221 per week

Mexico: $189 per week

China: $155 per week

Poland: $151 per week

Egypt: $68 per week

Ecuador: $32 per week

Mongolia: $40 per week

Chad: $2 per week