Monday, December 10, 2007

Food for Thought

Parties and celebrations abound this time of the year. I'm in the midst of planning the menu for a Winter Solstice Party and received the following in an email. It's a quick and fascinating gastronomic tour of how the worldwide family sets its table and what the relative cost is to do it.

Some stereotypes prevail --- a lot of bread in Italy and beer in Germany, but look at the processed foods in westernized countries. Also take a good look at the family size and the availability & cost of what is eaten in one week. Lastly, enjoy the smiling faces.

Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna. Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

United States: The Revis family of North Carolina. Food expenditure for one week $341.98

Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca. Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily. Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11(think this might be higher with the current exchange rate).

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide. Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07 (oops, not too smiley. Guess they were caught on a bad shopping day).

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo. Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo. Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp. Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village. Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

This is the time of year to count your blessings!

Information and pictures courtesy of:
Yvonne Savio
Common Ground Garden Program Manager
University of California Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County
PO Box 22255
4800 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90022


2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles Community Garden Council
2007 Certificate of Commendation, Los Angeles Unified School District
2006 Certificate of Appreciation, City of Los Angeles
2004 "Feeding the Hungry" Garden Crusader Award, Gardener's Supply Company

Since 1978, the Common Ground Garden program has helped Los Angeles County residents to garden, grow their own food, and healthfully prepare it. Our targeted audience and priority are to serve limited-resource residents and those traditionally underrepresented. By training community volunteers, we empower neighborhoods to create their own solutions. Our Master Gardener volunteers work primarily with community gardens, school gardens, seniors, and homeless and battered women's shelters.

In 2007, 179 Master Gardeners volunteered 8,037 hours serving 64,262 low-income gardeners in Los Angeles County at 31 community gardens, 48 school gardens, 13 shelter gardens, 2 senior gardens, and 14 fairs and farmers markets.


  1. This was quite interesting, and the pictures add a little something.

  2. I enjoyed this post, and the pictures. Though I must say the 375 Euros for a week of food in Germany sounds somewhat inflated. A family of four could eat out every day of the week at a mid-priced restaurant for that money. 375 sounds more realistic for typical monthly costs. Would be much less if they did their shopping at Aldi or Lidl.

  3. P.S. It's a bit late to wish a Merry Christmas, but I hope you had a great time. Best wishes for the New Year. I think you will like the Christmas story I posted ;-)