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

Ecuador, The Mountain Farmer
Name: Maria Ermelinda Ayme Sichigalo
Age: 37; Height: 5' 3"; Weight: 119 pounds
Caloric value of food this day: 3800 calories

BREAKFAST: Empanadas (fried turnovers) filled with cheese, 8.1 oz. Chapo (toasted barley and wheat flours, mixed with instant coffee, panela [hard brown sugar], and hot water), 7.5 oz. Panela mixed with hot water, 6.4 fl. oz.

LUNCH: Barley flour, added to water to make barley flour soup, 10.6 oz. Boiled potatoes with carrots and green beans, 1.4 lb.

DINNER: Salad of lettuce, potato, and carrot, 15.2 oz. Green plantain, 3.5 oz. Yellow plantain, 7.8 oz.

SNACKS AND OTHER: Roasted potatoes, 1.4 lb. Machica (toasted barley and wheat flours), added to hot water and eaten throughout the day, 4.6 oz. Water from a nearby spring, for cooking, 2.1 qt.

A subsistence farmer and mother of eight, Maria Ermelinda Ayme Sichigalo prepares all of the family's meals while kneeling on an earthen floor, cooking over an open fire of sticks and straw. The hard manual labor of farming and shepherding at an elevation above 11,000 feet, as well as cooking and caring for the children, requires a substantial number of calories. Her family doesn't eat the animals they raise — only sell them to buy what they don't grow or have on hand.

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