Photographer Gregg Segal photographed children from around the world with their food for a week.
In an age where childhood obesity is on the rise and globalization is homogenizing nutrition, photographer Gregg Segal has photographed children around the world with their food for a week. Photographs focusing on children’s diets; draws attention to the themes of class, culture and nutrition.
Segal’s new 120-page book, Daily Bread, features these photos and the stories behind them. Before starting the project, the children were asked to take full notes of everything they ate for a week. These foods were then placed to spread around the child, and Segal took the photos from above. The cultures photographed reveal how different and how similar we have become.
The rich eat worse
This work by Segal is an interesting commentary on the global economy and how the global economy affects eating habits. For example, while low-income families in the US consume more junk food because it is relatively inexpensive, this trend is completely reversed in other countries. In fact, some of the countries with the healthiest diets in the world generally consume fruits, vegetables and nuts. Because processed junk food is considered a luxury in these countries.
My Modern Net, which had the opportunity to interview Segal, shared a few of the photos and stories taken.
We see 11-year-old Meissa Ndiaye from Senegal in this photo taken on August 30, 2017. Ndiaye lives in a single room with her mother, father and brother in Dakar, Senegal. Ndiaye, who goes to Quran School, likes goat meat and sugary foods such as porridge, although she has written very little on her weekly food list. Ndiaye usually eats bread with spaghetti/peas/potatoes in it. Meissa’s mother and aunts usually prepare the meals in the family, which eats out once or twice a week. Meissa, who loves to play football, wants to be a football star like Messi or Ronaldo when she grows up. “If I had a lot of money, I would like to buy a nice sports car.” Says Meissa, she wants her parents to immigrate to France and earn good money there.
We see Yusuf Abdullah Al Muhairi from the United Arab Emirates in the photo taken on August 12, 2018. Yusuf’s mother came to Dubai from Ireland to become a pastry chef. His mother, who married a person living in the UAE, gave birth to a child without breaking up with her husband. Although he can make omelets and toast by himself, Yusuf loves his mother’s cooking. The role models of Yusuf, who loves to read, paint, climb, ride horses and produce science projects, are his mother and Batman. Yusuf dreams of becoming a pilot or police officer in the future. “If I had a lot of money, I would buy a Ferrari.” says. When Yusuf goes to bed at night, he thinks of the times when he and his grandfather built a birdhouse and went fishing in the rivers of Ireland.
We see Kawakanih Yawalapiti in the photo taken in Brazil on August 19, 2018. Kawakanih’s surname comes from the Yawalapiti tribe to which he belongs. Kawakanih lives in the Xingu Indigenous Park (a place established to protect the tribes of the Xingu indigenous peoples). There are pastures and soybean crops around the park. When Kawakanih was born, his mother tongue (Arawaki) was endangered. Her mother, who did not want the language to disappear, distanced Kawakanih from anyone who did not speak Arawaki. Kawakanih is the first child to be raised to learn the Arawaki language since the 1940s. He can also speak Portuguese. He likes to read history books; especially the Egyptian ones. He spends his days playing in the river, fishing, helping with chores, and collecting cassava. He goes to Canarana to go to school every few months. Although there is no electricity or water in the village, he is learning computer skills at school. Kawakanih traveled with her mother for 31 hours to reach the studio where Segal took the photos. Kawakanih, who usually eats fish, cassava, porridge, fruit and snacks, believes that the paint and lines on his body protect him from evil spirits and bad energy.
In the photo taken on March 11, 2017, we see Anchal Sahani, who lives in Mumbai, India. Sahani’s father, who lives in a small cottage with his parents and two siblings, earns less than $5 a day. That’s why his mother can only cook okra, cauliflower, lentils, and roti, a pancake-like food. Sahani, who wants to return to the farm where she lived in Bihar, wants to go to school and become a teacher in the future, just like other children. However, she is responsible for helping with the housework and taking care of her younger brother.
One of the questions posed to Segal during the interview was why she shifted her focus to children in this project. Segal’s response was as follows:
“I focused on children because their eating habits are formed at a young age. If you do not eat properly at the age of 9-10, you will have difficulties in the future. Globalization is having an incredible impact on diets around the world. Let me give an example from the two countries I visited; Arab Emirates and Brazil together. A generation ago, parts of Brazil that were considered poor were malnourished. Today, 57 percent are overweight. In 2014, there were 803,900 diabetes patients in the UAE. This figure corresponds to 20 percent of the population. 30 years ago, diabetes was almost non-existent in that region. We are really at the end. Children are now consuming packaged foods designed to appeal to most children, rather than homemade hot meals or vegetables.”
“What surprised you most about this project?” Segal’s answer to the question was:
“One of the most surprising results of the Daily Bread project was that the best quality diets belonged to the poor, not the rich. Those who consume the most junk food in the US are the poor because it’s cheap and easy to access. Looking at Mumbai, a medium Dominos pizza costs $13. Too expensive for the people there. Anchal, who lives in Mumbai and whose father earns less than $5 a day, eats healthy foods such as lentils, cauliflower and okra, while Shraman, who is a child of a middle-class family and lives in Mumbai, eats very differently. Thanks to his family’s earnings, he can buy snacks like Dominos pizza, fried chicken, Cadbury chocolates or Snickers. Cambridge University conducted a comprehensive study in 2015. They ranked diets around the world from most nutritious to least nutritious. Interestingly, 9 out of the 10 healthiest eating countries originated in Africa. It sounds contradictory when you first hear it, but it makes sense when we look at what they consume; fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, grains, legumes, very little meat and some processed food.
Source: My Modern Met
Photographer Gregg Segal has done a project where he works with children from various countries, from Senegal to the United Arab Emirates, from India to Brazil. He asked each child to write down everything they ate for a week. Later, the children were brought to the studio and all the meals they noted were prepared and placed around the child. Segal also photographed each child with their own diet. The reason for putting children at the focal point of the project is “Eating habits are formed between the ages of 9-10. It will be very difficult to change in the future.” According to Segal, the most striking result of this project is; poor nutrition of the rich than the poor. While it may sound strange at first, it actually makes a lot of sense. For example, Anchal’s mother, whose father earns less than $5 a day, can only cook lentils, okra, cauliflower, while Shraman, who lives in a wealthy family, can eat snacks such as Dominos pizza, Snickers, Cadbury chocolate.