The top photo shows a family from Guatemala, the second a family in Shingkhey, Bhutan, and the third a family in the USA. They are surrounded by the food that they will eat in the coming week. These photos come from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio and are copyrighted by Peter Menzel. You can see more of these fantastic photos at various places on the web including here and here. Just Google Hungry Planet. Or better yet, buy the book. That's what I did when I first saw these photos on the back page of the Sierra Club magazine. The book is a fascinating read including essays, demographics, recipes, and many more photos from 24 different countries on the subject of food.
The Sierra Club took a look at all that packaging the American food comes in and bemoaned the effects on the environment, both to create the packaging and then dispose of it. My thoughts were, the American food doesn't even look like food! It looks like plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam, etc. It doesn't even look appetizing. We have gotten so used to seeing our food in its processed form that we have forgotten what real food looks like. When I go to the grocery store now I shop the periphery of the store where the produce and meat counters are. I don't even go down the aisles in the middle. That's where all the packaged food is. It just doesn't appeal to me any more.
This morning's LA Times has an article about a family in Pasadena that grows their own food in their backyard showing it can be done even in the big city. My modest garden includes arugula and a variety of herbs--thyme, rosemary, cinnamon basil, lemon balm, and spearmint for tea. But I like to shop at my local farmer's market which will be opening in March for the coming summer season. They are famous for their strawberries and corn, but whatever they have to sell, I buy.