What the World Eats - Nobel Peace Center

Nobel Peace Center


  1. The Qureshi family from Lørenskog, Norway. Pritpal (49), Nasrullah (51) and Nabeela (23). Their son Shan lives and studies in Trondheim.

    Photo: © Peter Menzel / www.menzelphoto.com
  2. The Glad Østensen Family of Gjerdrum – $718,54 per Week Anne (45) Anders (48), Magnus (15), Mille (12) and Amund (8) – one week’s food in June.

    Photo: © Peter Menzel / www.menzelphoto.com
  3. The Ottersland Dahl Family of Gjettum, Bærum – $374.09 per Week Gunhild (45), Tor Erik (39), Olav (6), Håkon (3), and Sverre (1.5) – one week’s food in May.

    Photo: © Peter Menzel / www.menzelphoto.com
  4. The Ayme family of the village Tingo, Ecuador.

    Photo: © Peter Menzel / www.menzelphoto.com
  5. The Cui family of the Weitawu village, Beijing Province, China.

    Photo: © Peter Menzel / www.menzelphoto.com
  6. Photo: Illustration: Melkeveien

What the World Eats

27 Sept 2013–23 Feb 2014

In the Nobel Peace Center’s major new photo exhibition Hungry Planet, we are invited into the kitchens of families around the world, including in Norway, to see how the food we eat affects the global environment and climate.

Photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio, both from the US, are the artists behind the exhibition.

When did you last think about food? Probably not very long ago. People may come in all shapes and sizes, but we have one thing in common: we must have food to survive. But food is more than just fuel for the body. Food is identity, culture and an opportunity for social interaction.

Weekly menues through 13 years
This exhibition shows what families around the world eat in one week. While much is the same, there are also huge differences. Can you find the family that uses 175 teabags in a week? Where does the family that puts muskox and walrus on the dinner table live? Have you discovered many vegetables that you’ve never seen before? Who spends just over $1 a week on food, and who spends more than $700? Why do you think people eat the way they do?

The social aspect surrounding a shared meal is fundamental to human life and is common to all cultures. Our dinner table tells us something about our culture and about the basis of our existence. The food we eat reflects our identity, but meals can also bring people together across cultures. Today the whole world is our breadbasket. Food is transported by sea and road from all over the world, and our meals are becoming increasingly independent of seasons and of where we live.

The first family visited by photographer Peter Menzel and journalist Faith D’Alusio was the Çelik family from Turkey in January 2000. Since then the pair have interviewed and photographed families from all over the world. The last family to be photographed were the Sturms in Germany in June 2013. Three Norwegian families have been portrayed for the exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center.

Peace, food and the environment
Many of the challenges facing the world today involve access to food. Some people have far too much, others far too little. On the second level you can learn more about Nobel Peace Prize winners who have helped people who are struggling to find both enough and the right kind of food. These include The Red Cross, Fridtjof Nansen, Norman Borlaug and Mother Teresa. Would you like to try the Peace Prize laureates’ favourite dishes? Pick up the recipes for Barack Obama’s chili special or Desmond Tutu’s chicken dinner, and serve them at home.

Family guide
Using the family guide, young and old can explore the exhibition together. A map with diverse exercises puts the whole family to work. For instance you will figure out just how many bananas the Ayme family from Ecuador really eats, you get to smell exotic spices, look for the onion, or take useful tips and recipes home. You will receive the family guide with your admission ticket.

Peter Menzel is an American photojournalist who has been working on environmental and science issues since the 1970s. His photographs have been published in Time, New York Times Magazine and National Geographic, and he has published a number of books together with his partner Faith D’Aluisio, a journalist and former TV producer.

This is the first time the exhibition is shown in Norway. The exhibition has been produced by the Nobel Peace Center in collaboration with Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio. It is based on the exhibition Hungry Planet – Mellem køkken og klode conceived by Miljøpunkt Indre By-Christianshavn under the leadership of Jens Hvass PhD.

Watch the exhibition opening from 27 September 2013: