Friday, April 03, 2009

Global Food Consumption - Maps

These maps are via the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). There are a few more there. (Map 7 - Sugars and Sweeteners - was interesting. China doesn't seem to have a sweet tooth.)

I posted the Meat Map as an accompaniment to the meat discussion. Then I saw the Cereal Map. It surprised me. (Click to enlarge.)



caulfieldkid said...


Do they define "cereals?" I assume we're not talking Captain Crunch here.


Laurel from Simple Spoonful said...

Right. Is corn a cereal?

What about products derived from cereals, like seitan from gluten or the variety of corn derivatives on the market in processed foods? I expected the U.S. to be higher, but perhaps not if you consider that this is percentage of calories and not actual mass in diet. I'm sure we get a huge number of calories from fats and sugars.

I glanced at the original link, but it looks like some digging would be needed to come up with definitions. If you get more info, please share.

Bix said...

Cereals are corn, oats, barley, rice, wheat, quinoa, millet, etc. All the grains. In developing countries, cereals are usually distributed as whole or cracked grains.

The developed countries grind and process the grains until they bear no resemblance to the original, add stuff, put it in a fancy package, and sell it for a lot more than it's worth. Captain Crunch!

Bix said...

By the way, that's what surprised me, how little grain we eat compared to the rest of the world. As you said Laurel, as a % of calories you can see it ... then where do we get the rest of our calories? First map.

In fact, the first map is like a negative of the second map - those countries that eat the most meat eat the least grain/cereal.

Anrosh said...

Can I confess something here -- I did not even know what "cereals" were growing up.

All this started may be around 10-12 years ago in india and people who are upper middle class and above would have all this --

it became fashionable to eat cereals for breakfast. People generally ate flat bread ( rotis for breakfast with vegetables and followed by chai/milk depending they are adults/kids ) of the grain that grew around their region or left overs of the night !

i saw the first box of cereals in this country -- i thought now that is nice and convenient - breakfast out of the box. wished i had this before !

Bix said...

How about that. You remind me why I love blogs, Anrosh. Do you remember any of the boxed cereals from then? (India 10 yrs ago?)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info.

It's almost shocking to me, give the dates, that Americans do not eat more grain. Would be interesting to see how these habits have changed in the past, say, 50 years. Seems we've failed to teach our children well the tenets of good, healthful eating.

About breakies out of a box: The only boxed cereals my dad allowed into my hippiefied childhood were Uncle Sam cereal and oatmeal. Can't say I brought forward a lot of what he thought to be real, but that lesson stuck.

Thanks for another thought provoking blog.

Anrosh said...

bix -- boxed cereal -- i never had them in india -- as i said only the upper middle class and the wealthy were having it-

i guess if they made (honestly there was no cereal brand)

--- now well i think people are having cereals and all -- thinking they should be fashionable with the times !!

Angela and Melinda said...

I'm shocked at the huge number of calories per person consumed in so many countries--no wonder obesity is an epidemic.

Bix said...

Egypt, Libya, Turkey ... all have a higher per capita caloric intake than we do? That's odd. 9 yrs ago, but still.