Hungry Planet


Exhibition explores the nutrition and health of families around the world!

Pocatello, Idaho – How much food do you eat in a day? In a week? If you had to put all your food together on a table for a week, how much space would that take up?

A new photo exhibition opening May 28th at Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH) at Idaho State University (ISU), Hungry Planet: What the World Eats, depicts families from around the world and explores human kind’s oldest social activity: eating.

Photographer Peter Menzel and author Faith D’Aluisio spent time with the families as they farmed, shopped, cooked and ate.  At the end of each visit, they created a portrait of the family surrounded by a week’s worth of their groceries.  The goal of the project and books is to help people see the world in a broader context and provide the means for comparing oneself to others.  

The Hungry Planet: What the World Eats exhibition is an expanded version of Menzel and D’Auisio’s original project, and features fifteen families from twelve countries. Each section shows how the family acquires their food and prepares it according to the related cultural traditions. The centerpiece is a family portrait with members gathered around a still life display of a week’s worth of groceries. The exhibition also offers insights into each country’s nutrition and health along with the impact that poverty, conflict, and globalization may have had.

“Americans often struggle with our relationship to food as we are bombarded with new diets and fads. Eating is the most central and fundamental aspect of human society, the basis of health and social life, yet it is often undervalued in its importance. This exhibit allows us to see our own food practices in global context and to appreciate the variety of households and needs, but also to understand the consequences of food shortages” said ISU Anthropology professor, Kate Reedy, Ph.D.

The photo exhibition has previously displayed at COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts, Napa; Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Exploris Kids Museum, Raleigh; Museum of the African Disapora, San Francisco; and COSI, Columbus.