What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets


A stunning photographic collection featuring portraits of 80 people from 30 countries and the food they eat in one day.

In this fascinating study of people and their diets, 80 profiles are organized by the total number of calories each person puts away in a day. Featuring a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Massai herdswoman, world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria, an American competitive eater, and more, these compulsively readable personal stories also include demographic ...

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A stunning photographic collection featuring portraits of 80 people from 30 countries and the food they eat in one day.

In this fascinating study of people and their diets, 80 profiles are organized by the total number of calories each person puts away in a day. Featuring a Japanese sumo wrestler, a Massai herdswoman, world-renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adria, an American competitive eater, and more, these compulsively readable personal stories also include demographic particulars, including age, activity level, height, and weight. Essays from Harvard primatologist Richard Wrangham, journalist Michael Pollan, and others discuss the implications of our modern diets for our health and for the planet. This compelling blend of photography and investigative reportage expands our understanding of the complex relationships among individuals, culture, and food.

Winner of the 2011 IACP Jane Grigson Award

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“For the compelling illustrations, the informative dietary descriptions, or the insight between the stories, this book is a must-read for anyone looking for a better knowledge base of what the world eats—and why.”
Today’s Dietitian, 1/1/11

“…fascinating. …A sequel to their equally compelling Hungry Planet. …You’ll find it impossible to not compare the subjects’ daily diets with your own. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to recreate your day’s meals, photograph them and weigh them, just to find out into which chapter you might fall.”
—World Ark, Holiday 2010

“a stunning portrait of the excess, the moderation, and the want that exists today. ...I keep coming back to this book. I read it on my own, taking in the stories of these ‘normal’ people. I read it with my kids—even with my three-year-old—and they pore over the photographs, studying the details, looking for similarities between their lives and those of the kids captured by the lens. And it’s this opportunity to measure your food, your life, with the rest of the world that is profound.”
—The Atlantic’s Food Channel, Top Food Books of 2010, 12/17/10

“a panoramic, provocative window onto 80 different lives and cultures. …The resulting images and revelations are serious food for thought.”
—Parade, 12/12/10

“Bet you can’t read only one page of this fascinating collection.... This husband-wife duo has produced several thought-provoking books. ...This time they address the remarkable diversity of dining worldwide and person by person.” 
—Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/8/10

“The book no one in your family will be willing to put down.”
—AOL Slashfood, 12/7/10

“detailed, gorgeous photographs.... enriching, even riveting.”
—Washington Post, 12/2/10
“perhaps the most interesting food-travel book is neither of those, exactly. ‘What I Eat’ is a brilliant look at what and how the world eats.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune, Best Travel Books of 2010, 11/28/10

“this smart, glowing books sends readers ‘Around the World in 80 Diets.’ Each subject poses with a day’s worth of food and at least a page worth of insight in the life being led, and fed. The variety is boggling.... Fascinating, with a Wendell Berry essay for dessert.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/21/10

“A fascinating, insightful look at what 80 people around the world eat in a typical day.”
Publishers Weekly, The Best Cookbooks of 2010: Winner of Most Fascinating Food Book, 11/8/10

“The photographer/writer team behind Hungry Planet continues its engrossing examination of everyday life.”
—Mother Jones, Oct 2010

What I Eat offers a view we seldom see, or even think to see. In this case the view is what a day’s worth of food looks like in myriad walks of life, from people dwelling in countries all over the world. The foods and their lives are vividly described. …Together, words and images offer a rich, reflective, and sobering study of our fellow dwellers and eaters on this planet.”
Deborah Madison, Culinate.com, 10/8/10

“When was the last time you received a new book, opened it up, and literally didn’t stop looking for two hours? That happened to me recently with What I Eat, the latest creation of Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, who also produced another book I treasure, Hungry Planet. ...a kaleidoscope of faces and settings and...diets. It makes for good readingbut also good discussion. ...A book to savor.”
Culinate.com (book giveaway)

What I Eat…does not judge. It simply presents. …Images of healthy people and catastrophically unhealthy people — you can’t get them out of your head. Somehow, without instructing you to think harder about the choices you make when you eat, this book makes you do exactly that. The reason: You wonder what your own portrait would look like.”
—Esquire, September 2010 

“Photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio have produced a visual encyclopedia. ...What I Eat doesn’t treat its subjects like docu-drama puppet figures. Instead, Menzel and D’Aluisio make their points gently—by taking readers inside the lives of the people whose diets they document.”
—Energy Times, September 2010

“In their new and even more ambitious What I Eat, …Menzel and D’Aluisio dig deeper into what mealtimes mean to the workers and families who eat them. ...they are alive to the circumstances that make people eat what and when they do. ...fascinating way beyond the food.”
Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, 9/7/10

What I Eat is the sort of coffee table book you have to remove before the guests come over—at least if you want them to leave. The latest photo-journalism book from Menzel and D’Aluisio is as addictive as their equally engaging Hungry Planet. ...It’s all told so vividly, both visually and verbally.”
—LA Weekly, Squid Ink blog, 9/7/10

“a revealing and fascinating glimpse into the lives of 80 people from all walks of life and around the world.”
—Louise McCready, Huffington Post food blog, 9/6/10

“it’s hard to stop looking at it. ...Even if someone isn’t into food, the social, economic, and political implications of the photos are riveting.”
—Chow.com, 8/19/10

“Looking at the photos has the same allure as peeking into somebody else’s grocery cart, with the added bonus that you can stare without getting caught.”
Village Voice, 8/16/10

“The photographs are eye catching...you will be amazed.”
—The Epi-Log on Epicurious.com, 8/13/10

 “As in Hungry Planet, Menzel and D’Aluisio supplement their beautiful photographs with excellent reporting, telling the story of each individual in compassionate but unsentimental prose. ...It’s a book to lose yourself in for hours, a wonderfully involving piece of food journalism.”
Village Voice, 8/2/10

“It’s a fascinating presentation, and readers can certainly draw their own conclusions from the profiles.”
—Lynn Andriani, Publishers Weekly’s “Cooking the Books” e-newsletter

“[a] fascinating photojournalism book. ...The intimate portraits of natives and their food (and calorie counts) are not only a sample of regional cuisines but a look at how diet affects our health and out planet.”
—Conde Nast Traveler 

“Through vivid photographs and descriptions… What I Eat offers a new perspective on nutrition, the relationship between diet and culture, and how globalization has changed how we look at food.”
—USA Weekend

“A commentary on food, health and culture that would communicate across any lines, even without the absorbing text and stunning statistics.”
The Associated Press

"their findings are fascinating."
—NPR.org The Picture Show blog

“[a] coffee table-worthy collection.”
—Washington Post Express

"a gorgeous volume. ...never before have I seen such a broad and graphic demonstration of what real people put in their mouths."
Washington Post

“I spent many delightful hours this week poring over What I Eat, a beautiful (and hefty) book.”
—Washingtonpost.com, The Checkup Blog
"engaging mini-profiles... The text that accompaines the riveting portraits provides enlightening context."
Los Angeles Times

“We’ve had a copy of What I Eat on our desk for a week or so, and it’s all we can do to stop leafing through it and actually do some work.”
—Wall Street Journal Health Blog

“a solid piece of research as well as a portfolio of striking portraits of people posed with their daily intake.”
—Boston Sunday Globe

 “If ever a book was truly food for thought, it is the fascinating new photo-essay volume, ‘What I Eat.’”
—Cincinnati Enquirer

“a remarkably revealing book. ...Fascinating and provocative.”
—Denver Post

"an intimate glimpse at the world around us."
—7x7 magazine
“stunning photographs and compelling text”
—USA Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984074402
  • Publisher: Random House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 267,426
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

PETER MENZEL is an award-winning photojournalist who has been published in Time, National Geographic, and Smithsonian, among others.

FAITH D’ALUISIO is a former TV news producer and the writer for their Material World books, which include Material World: A Global Family Portrait, Women in the Material World, the James Beard Award-winning Man Eating Bugs and Hungry Planet, and What the World Eats.

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