A Worldwide Day's Worth of Food

What I Eat Around the World in 80 Diets
© Peter Menzel / What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

Namibia, The Pastoralist
Name: Viahondjera Musutua, a Himba tribeswoman
Age: 23; Height: 5' 8"; Weight: 160 pounds
The caloric value of her food this day: 1500 calories*

FIRST MEAL OF THE DAY: Cornmeal porridge, 1.7 lb. with sour whole milk, 11.3 fl. oz.

SECOND MEAL: Cornmeal porridge, 1.8 lb. with sour whole milk, 11.3 fl. oz.

THROUGHOUT THE DAY: Sour whole milk, 26.3 fl. oz. Bird plums (not pictured as she ate what she had picked before the photo was taken), 3.5 oz. Water from nearby river, 12 fl. oz.

A Himba family's wealth is computed in cattle but family members seldom eat a cow or goat themselves, except on special occasions. Viahondjera Musutua's staple foods are milk she ferments herself, for preservation, and corn meal porridge.

* The authors used a typical recent day as a starting point for their interviews with 80 people in 30 countries. They specifically chose not to cover daily caloric averages, as they wanted to include some extreme examples of eating, like one woman's diet on a bingeing day or the small number of calories a herder in Kenya ate during extreme drought. The texts in the book provide the context for the photographs, detailing each person's diet, culture, and circumstance at the moment they were photographed: a snapshot in time. A complete methodology is available in the book.

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