Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Open Letter to Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio

Subject: We Are Going To Live Your Book

Mr. Menzel and Ms. D'Aluisio,
Good morning! Until yesterday I had never heard of "Hungry Planet." While eating my lunch yesterday I typed in a Google search for "Food the World Eats," and most of the results dealt with your book. I found it fascinating. I forwarded a link to my wife of one of the photo essays on your book, and she (a registered dietitian) found it fascinating. In fact, your book scores a dead-on bullseye on our shared interest in eating less "American" and more healthy.

So last night over dinner (Hamburger Helper and canned asparagus, by the way) we talked about it with our kids, and we decided that we are going to try an experiment over the next year -- we are going to pick 26 countries and put them in a hat; we will draw a country from the hat and spend a week researching the culture, the recipies, the ingredients; then for the next week we are going to eat like they eat -- breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then we will draw another country, and continue.

We are a more-or-less normal American family. We live in northern Michigan. I am an I.T. nerd and graduate student and my wife is, as I said, a registered dietitian. We have four kids: a nine-year-old son, seven-year-old daughter, and twin three-year-old girls. We eat fast food, pre-packaged junk and lots of beef, and we spend about $400 for two weeks of groceries.

Over the course of our experiment, I will probably blog about the progress, and my son is excited to use his Christmas-present camcorder to record our attempts at shopping and cooking. The kids are on-board with this -- more so after we gave them a back-door of peanut-butter sandwiches if the meals are utterly inedible to their young, American palates.

But, I wanted to send this e-mail to the both of you (which you may or may not read) to let you know that your work has inspired one American family to broaden their horizons and try what will hopefully be a fun and enriching experiment.

Nick, Angel, Gable, Evelyn, Elouise and Allison Shadoff

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