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What the World Eats

September 30, 2010

We always have this problem when we go to Chicago. I get off the plane and start rushing in the direction of those famous hotdogs, the ones with the celery salt and sport peppers and tomatoes and cucumbers — ahh, Chicago. I don’t even need to leave the airport for a great hot dog!

Also, since I don’t drink any sort of caffeine when I fly to keep my anxiety at bay, I must get a coffee before I’m no more than 60 feet from the landing gate. But the problem is that we are getting picked up and need to pick up our bags and meet the people picking us up. And since I am traveling with my husband and it is his family picking us up, he is particularly eager to get outside. Also, we have a child, and the child has needs of his own, blah blah blah.

Last fall when we went, there was yet another distraction: right at the gate, a huge photo essay by this guy named Peter Menzel. I mean, it was a photo essay designed to make me late to the baggage carousel. The exhibit showed photos of people from around the world around their tables, about to eat.

Matthew dragged me away, and I rushed back to see it. And on and on.

Later, Matthew’s sister gave me a book by the same guy. It’s called Material World and has a similar premise: it takes a family from somewhere or other, and shows everything that they have in their domicile. It’s really colorful and fun stuff, but it prompts you think a lot about other people and the way they live, and why, which is basically the most fun thing you can do, I think.

TIME Magazine has published a photo essay called “What the World Eats” about what people eat in a week and how much they spend on food and what their favorite foods or family recipes are. You don’t even have to go to Chicago to see it! This blog is as good as Chicago’s finest airports!

A couple of observations:

1. Photo number 8 (which is the one pictured below) is subtly hilarious. Who can point out the elephant in the room?

2. People who eat sheep spend way less money than other people, weekly, on food.

3. Do you have other observations you’d like to share?

Click the pic, which I am using without copyright, to go to the essay! And buy Peter Menzel’s books so he doesn’t sue me for using his pic! (Peter, we were both born at Hartford Hospital. We both love to know what people are eating for dinner. Don’t sue me!)

What the World Eats

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jen permalink
    September 30, 2010 2:55 pm

    Lots of Coke but only two televisions! I’m glad I don’t live in Chad. Sorry, Chad.

  2. Mark permalink
    September 30, 2010 5:03 pm

    I had one of those very delicious hotdogs for the first time at a baseball game in Chicago a few weeks ago. Vienna Beef is the brand, I think, and according to their iPhone app, which I downloaded in the vain hope that it would lead me to a secret local hotdog repository, you can’t get them anywhere in New York except at the Shake Shack (which only has the skinless variety). If you send them $89+ they will airmail some to you, but, like the idea of standing in line at Shake Shack, that idea seems extreme even to a hotdog extremist. But maybe you can import some the next time you go? NB: I realize Vienna Beef was not the main point of the post. Clearly it was about Chicago airport decorations, so I will also ask, do you fly through the O’Hare terminal with the giant dinosaur, and if so, does the child react with appropriate wonder at the sight of a dinosaur in an airport? Mine did not, when I showed him the picture.

  3. tam permalink
    October 2, 2010 7:47 pm

    mmmmm…pig knuckles.

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