I wholeheartedly believe that if you're going to eat meat, you should have to visit a slaughterhouse. And if you live in one of the richest industrialized nations in the world, you should have to read this book:
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and his wife Faith D'Luisio is at once remarkable, revolting, and riveting. Primarily a photo essay compiled of different families from around the world standing amongst a week's worth of their food, Hungry Planet forces you to confront the agony and the ecstasy of all that is fit for the pie hole. The sweet side of the book is an intimate look into the simple, every day food rituals of the world. The bitter side of this book shows just what fast and junk food have wrought.
You'll just come away 1.) thinking that you don't eat adequate servings of fruits and vegetables, 2.) feeling like a glutton, and 3.) knowing that if there is a devil, he has high fructose corn syrup coursing through his veins. Yes, Mireille, even French people are getting fat, or at least less healthy. They eat more processed food than ever, including beaucoup de Royales with cheese.
What surprised me the most? Daaaaamn, Kuwait has put on the pounds, neck and neck (and neck) with America and Australia, with 70% of the population overweight and almost HALF the women obese. But at least they're free, right? All in all, the beautiful moments of the book prevail, thanks to Menzel and D'Luisio's empathy and considerate framing.