Pure color – a gorgeous masjid in Iran

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran -- simply stunning! Photo by Omar Jafarnezhad.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran — simply stunning! Photo by Omid Jafarnezhad.

Once in awhile, you come across an image that simply goes beyond words. This is one of those times.


What families around the world eat in a week

Check out this wonderfully thought-provoking piece on global eating habits. Seeing what different families across the globe display as their weekly eats is fantastic and eye-opening — plus, I love seeing all the smiling faces from around the world.

What I found most interesting about this piece is how those families that spent the most on groceries, also seemed to have the least nutrition on offer (I’m looking at you, wall of potato chips and Burger King cups….). Obviously, local economies also factor into what stuff costs — and looking at these photos also raises some familiar and important questions about food and its availability, or lack thereof, in certain communities — but come on, look at that incredible spread you can get in Bhutan for less than four Euro! It’s no wonder they measure their annual productivity in “Gross Domestic Happiness”!

One of the things that confuses me when I talk to a lot of people here is when I hear things like “I can’t afford to eat healthy,” or “fruits and vegetables are too expensive.” I don’t know where they’re shopping, but at my local grocery go-to, I can stock up on enough fresh produce and staples to feed myself for a week, for $30 or less. For the price of a single Big Mac meal from McDonalds (which here in Chicago tops out at over $7 with tax), you could make a meal to feed four people.

And that’s not food snobbery or an exaggeration. It’s actually really easy! I’m extremely happy to be seeing this trend towards taking favorite foods — pizza and I, for example, are pretty involved — and making them better, more nutritious and whole. I love what Michael Pollan said when reading a cheese label in a grocery store: “Oh look, it contains ‘real milk.’ I wonder if we can find fake milk anywhere?” When you can make food taste good without all the junk and the processing… why wouldn’t you?