Do you have a favorite food? If we had to guess, we'd bet that a favorite food list for many kids might include pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, french fries, and ice cream. Of course, parents probably wish that list included more things like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts.
Do you think people all around the world have the same favorite foods? Maybe not! When you think of Mexican cuisine, you probably think about things like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and fajitas. Italian favorites would probably include fettuccini alfredo and chicken parmigiano. And what comes to mind if you think about going to a Chinese restaurant? General Tso's chicken, egg rolls, and fried rice might be on the menu.
Do people around the world really eat that differently? Or are there some tried and true favorites shared by many cultures around the globe?
The folks at Oxfam surveyed over 16,000 people in 17 different countries around the world about their favorite foods. They learned a lot, and some of it might surprise you.
The countries surveyed included Australia, Brazil, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, the Netherlands, England, and the United States. Surprisingly, many of the people in these countries reported similar favorite foods.
The top three foods overall were pasta, meat, and rice. If spaghetti and meatballs is your favorite meal, you're in good company around the world! In the United States, the top three were pizza, steak, and chicken. Pakistani parents must be proud, as their favorite food was vegetables.
Oxfam's study also showed that the way people eat around the world is changing rapidly. The two primary causes are increasing food prices and health concerns. In fact, over half of the people surveyed indicated that they're not eating some of the same foods they were eating just two years ago.
With the population of the world now topping seven billion people, worldwide hunger has become an issue that more people are paying attention to. The residents of Kenya surveyed by Oxfam reflect the worldwide trend of increasing hunger. Less than 30% of Kenyans reported regularly having enough to eat.
As it turns out, scarcity is not to blame. Today, the world produces enough food to feed 10 billion people. That's one and a half times the current population. Yet, over one billion people go hungry every single day. Why?
Experts believe that poverty and inequality are to blame. Much of the world, especially in developing countries, lives in poverty. Even though there is plenty of food being produced around the world, many people simply cannot afford to buy it.
Instead of providing food to hungry people, most grain crops produced by large, industrial farms go to feed livestock or to produce biofuels. Many people would like to see the hungry people of the world receive a greater share of this food. Unfortunately, ending world hunger is not an easy task when you consider the fact that solutions will often have to come from the governments of many diverse countries, many of which cannot agree on much!