We are what we eat. But how do our diets actually reflect us? To find out, photographer Gregg Segal has traveled around the world to shoot kids from different cultures surrounded by the stuff they stuff themselves with. Over the course of 3 years, the photographer has visited 9 countries (the USA, India, Malaysia, Germany, France, Italy, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates, and Brazil), documenting his findings in a book called Daily Bread: What Kids Eat Around the World. "I focused on kids because eating habits start young and if you don't get it right when you're 9 or 10, it's going to be a lot harder when you're older," Gregg told Bored Panda.
Kawakanih Yawalapiti, 9, Upper Xingu Region Of Mato Grosso, Brazil
Kawakanih Yawalapiti, 9, Upper Xingu region of Mato Grosso, Brazil, photographed August 19, 2018 in Brasilia. Kawakanih, a member of the Yawalapiti tribe, lives in Xingu National Park, a preserve in the Amazonian Basin of Brazil. The park is encircled by cattle ranches and soy In the past six months alone, 100 million trees have been felled to make room for When she was born, Kawakanih’s mother, Watatakalu, isolated her from those who didn’t speak Arawaki, their native language. Only 7 speakers of the language remained and her mother was afraid Arawaki would go extinct. In fact, Kawakanih is the first child to be raised speaking Arawaki since the 1940’s and her mother says it’s up to Kawakanih and her two siblings to keep the language alive. Kawakanih has also learned her father’s dialect as well as Portuguese. She loves to read history books, especially ones about the Egyptians. Most of her days are spent playing in the river or helping with chores, like harvesting manioc (cassava), making tapioca and fishing. Every couple of months, Kawakanih travels to Canarana for school where she learns computer skills, though no one in her village owns a computer; there is no electricity or running water. To get to the studio in Brasilia, Kawakanih and her mother traveled 31 hours from their village by boat, bus and car. The red paint Kawakanih wears, traditionally made from ground urucum seeds, protects her from bad spirits and energy. A cluster of seedpods are to the left of Kawakanih’s head. Rainforest tribes have used the entire Urucum plant as medicine for centuries. Kawakanih’s diet is very simple, consisting mainly of fish, tapioca, fruit and nuts. It takes five minutes to catch dinner, says Kawakanih. When you’re hungry, you just go to the river with your net.
"Daily Bread grew out of another of my projects on consumption and waste called 7 Days of Garbage," Segal said. "I asked family, friends, neighbors and anyone else I could convince to save their garbage for one week and then lie down and be photographed in it. It's impossible to ignore the problem of consumption and waste when you're lying in it! To me, the most disturbing thing about the garbage I photographed was the packaging that comes with our food. We've grown totally dependent on the industries of eating and cooking and the result has been a massive increase in waste. I began to ask, "How have our diets been impacted by this revolution in the way food is produced and consumed?" It struck me that we don't give enough thought to what's in our food because we're not the ones making it! We've outsourced the most vital ingredient of life, the connective tissue of families and culture. I thought, "What if we keep a journal of everything we eat and drink for one week to bring our focus onto diet & take ownership of the foods we eat?"
Anchal Sahani, 10, Chembur, Mumbai, India
Anchal Sahani, Chembur, Mumbai, India (10 yrs old) photographed March 11, 2017 Anchal lives in a tiny tin shack on a construction site in a suburb of Mumbai with her parents and two siblings. Her father makes less than $5 a day, just enough for her mother to prepare okra & cauliflower curry, lentils and roti from scratch. Anchal would like to return to the farm where she was born in Bihar, go to school like other kids and eventually become a teacher, but she’s kept busy with household chores and looking after her baby brother. When she has time, she dresses up and leaves the construction site to enjoy the fragrance of jasmine and lotus and to watch the neighborhood kids playing cricket and running free. While on her walks, Anchal collects brightly colored chocolate wrappers she finds along the road by the grocery store. Anchal wishes her mother would love her the way she loves her baby brother.
In total, Segal worked with about 60 kids, 52 of whom he included in the book. "I began photographing my son and friends of his from school in my backyard in Altadena, CA. I broadened the piece to include kids from other neighborhoods in Los Angeles and then decided the project would resonate more deeply with a global scope. I needed a producer in each country to find the kids. The goal was to represent a diversity of diets in each location. If the rate of obesity in a given country was 25%, I aimed to reflect this percentage in my small sample of kids."
Davi Ribeiro De Jesus, 12, Brasilia, Brazil
Davi Ribeiro de Jesus, 12, Brasilia, Brazil, photographed August 18, 2018. Davi lives with his dad, step-mom and three siblings in a tidy one-room house in the Santa Luzia favela, a slum at the edge of the largest garbage dump in Latin America. The space is filled by three beds, a sofa, TV, refrigerator, two wardrobes, a cooker and a small table where they share their meals. A mosaic of mats and scraps of plywood cover the dirt floor. Davi has his own shelf where he arranges his clothes, his toy car collection, and his mobile. There’s no garbage collection and the power goes down frequently. When it rains, scattered garbage turns to sludge and oozes into homes, but Jesus keeps Davi and his family safe and happy. They go to a church nearby every Saturday night and Sunday morning. Davi’s dad is looking for work as a digger. He has his own pick, shovel and grubber. Davi’s step-mom handles the cooking. Davi will eat almost anything except bitter legumes though most days he has beans and rice, maybe with a little pork. He can cook fried eggs, porridge and pasta for himself. Sometimes there are treats, like sweet popcorn. He never goes to bed hungry. Davi laughs easily and is crazy about kites. He and his friends, Maxwell, Junior and Romário have kite fights in the favela’s empty lots where bored stray dogs scratch at fleas or sniff around for food. Davi adopted five strays and gave them names: Lassie, Beethoven, Tchutchuquinha, Belinha and Piloto. He also has a chicken and wants a horse. He wants to learn all about cars, motorcycles, helicopters and guns, too. His dad taught him to drive and now he dreams of having a Chevy. He’d like to be a cop when he grows up because it’s better to be a cop than a thief.
The photographer said that one of the biggest challenges working with many of the kids was the language barrier. "In many cases, I had to rely on crew members to translate and interpret for me – and hope they were accurately conveying what I wanted them to." But there were more obstacles Gregg had to overcome, for example, finding the right mix of kids, an experienced crew, equipment and locations that met my needs. " I needed a studio space with access to a kitchen to prepare the food and a ceiling height of at least 13 feet (the camera height needed to be a consistent 12+ feet above the subject). Organization was critical but sometimes lacking. Making sure that all of the kids kept thorough journals of everything they ate so that those meals could be accurately reproduced, for instance. Fortunately, I had competent producers in most countries. Sometimes, the equipment I had access to wasn’t reliable, which was challenging because the lighting for the pictures needs to be consistent, of course. Another major hurdle was money; this was a very expensive project to produce and generating the funds wasn’t easy. Much of the funding came out of my pocket. I could have really used a benefactor or sponsor!"
Ademilson Francisco Dos Santos (11) Vão De Almas, Goiás, Brazil
Ademilson Francisco dos Santos (11) Vão de Almas, Goiás, Brazil, photographed August 19, 2018 in Brasilia. Ademilson is from Vão de Almas, a community of 300 families in the Cerrado region of Goiás. Ademilson’s home is 200 kilometers from the nearest town, a journey on mountainous, unpaved roads through valleys and across rivers - an almost impossible trip during the rainy season. There is no TV, electricity or running water. Villagers bathe, wash their clothes and clean their pots and pans in the Capivara River. Ademilson, the youngest of 7 children, goes to school in the morning (an hours walk from home) and in the afternoon, returns to help his father with farming and collecting native plants. The family cultivates a cornucopia of crops: rice, manihot (cassava), sweet potatoes, squash, beans, gherkin, okra, jiló, orange, lemon, watermelon, corn, coffee and sugar cane. They collect a bounty of native fruits, too: buriti, mangaba, mango, jatobá, pequi, caju, and coco indaiá. They produce coconut oil, mamona oil (castor oil) and sesame and peanut paçoca. They farm without the use of machinery, irrigation or pesticides and fertilize with ash from the burning of the bush. Manihot, the brown root in the upper right hand corner of the photograph, is a staple of Ademilson’s diet. His favorite treats are mangoes and paçoca (similar to peanut brittle). There are many kinds of food Ademilson doesn’t eat because they’re not part of his diet and are completely foreign. He tried a hot dog when he went to the city and hated it. He’d never eaten pizza before coming to Braslila to be photographed. In his portrait, Ademilson is holding buriti, a wild palm from the Cerrado rich in carotenoids and antioxidants which indigenous people refer to as the “tree of life” because of its many uses: its wood goes into the construction of homes and handcrafts; leaves are used to cover houses; fibers are used to make textiles and the orange pulp of the fruit is used for food. Even the seeds of the buriti fruit aren’t wasted; they’re cold pressed by natives who use the oil to protect themselves from the sun and soothe sore muscles.
"Recreating all of the kid’s meals was a challenge of course, too! Kids kept a journal of everything they ate for one week. At the end of the week, producers collected the journals, checked to make sure they were complete and then handed them off to the cooks who’d shop for all the ingredients and reproduce all of the meals. I photographed as many as 5 kids a day, so the cooks were responsible for preparing over 100 meals. These were often 14-hour days for the food-preppers. It was demanding and exhausting! Once all the food was prepped and plated, I’d arrange the dishes and other elements in the frame. Sometimes I’d have the luxury of a food stylist to collaborate with, though often it was just me doing the styling."
Meissa Ndiaye, 11, Dakar, Senegal
Meissa Ndiaye, 11, Dakar, Senegal, photographed August 30, 2017. Meissa shares a single room with his dad, mum and brother in the heart of Parcelles Assainies, which means “sanitized plots.” A treeless, sandy suburb of Dakar, Parcelles Assainies was developed in the 1970’s to house the poor overflowing from the city. Meissa lives opposite the futbol stadium and open-air market, hundreds of stalls selling everything from fresh fish to wedding dresses. In late August, tethered goats line the streets before Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice. Meissa, a devout Muslim and student at Quran School, loves goat meat and sweet foods like porridge, though in the week he kept a diary of his meals, he ate very little meat. More often, he filled up on French bread stuffed with spaghetti, peas or fried potatoes. Meissa’s mum and anties prepare his meals though once or twice a week they get take out. Meissa loves futbol most of all and hopes to be a star player like Messi or Ronaldo. If he had enough money, he’d buy a nice little sports car. He wishes his mum and dad, a refrigerator technician, could immigrate to France so that they can earn enough money.
"One of the surprising lessons of Daily Bread is that the best quality diets are often eaten not by the richest but the poorest. In the US, the poor are the biggest consumers of junk food because it’s convenient and cheap. But in Mumbai, it costs $13 for a medium Dominoes pizza, which is way beyond the means of most people. Anchal lives with her family in an 8 X 8 foot aluminum hut. Her father earns less than $5 a day, yet she eats a wholesome diet of okra & cauliflower curries, lentils and roti which Anchal’s mother makes from scratch each day on a single kerosene burner. Shraman, on the other hand, lives in a middle-class Mumbai hi-rise and eats very differently. His family’s extra income means he can afford Dominoes pizza, fried chicken and treats like Snickers bars and Cadbury chocolate."
"In 2015, Cambridge University conducted an exhaustive study ranking diets around the world from most to least nutritional. Remarkably, 9 of the 10 healthiest countries are in Africa. It seems counterintuitive that some of the poorest countries have among the healthiest diets. But when you look closely at what they’re eating, it makes sense: fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, fish, and legumes and very littled meat (which functions more as seasoning) and few empty calories (processed foods)."
Hank Segal, 8, Altadena, Ca
Hank Segal, 8, Altadena, CA, photographed January 30, 2016. Hank lives with his mom, a voice teacher, his father, a photographer and their dog, Django near the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles. Hank and his parents have grown sun gold cherry tomatoes, artichokes, zucchini, spinach, pomegranates, yams, snap peas, watercress, rosemary, thyme, basil, Serrano chili peppers, boysenberries, kyoho grapes, raspberries, rhubarb, and watermelon. Hank has an adventurous palette. While eating a fried Branzino at a Lebanese restaurant, he announced, “I’m gonna’ get all Anthony Bourdain on it!” and popped the fish’s crispy eyeball in his mouth. Usually, Hank and his parents talk politics over dinner or succumb to TV. Hank likes his back scratched and figures he must be part dog because his sense of smell is so keen. He especially likes the aroma of melted butter and garlic. He also likes 80’s music because “they really knew how to use the synth.” Hank’s heroes are Albert Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln because he fixed slavery and has a sweet beard. Hank wants to be a mechanical engineer at NASA when he grows up.
"The revolution in diet and sameness of what kids around the world are eating," the Gregg added. "Ultrprocessed packaged foods, empty calories. The children I met have distinct personalities and diverse hobbies, yet they’re often eating in eerily similar ways. Compare the diets of Paulo from Sicily and Isaiah from Los Angeles. In the past, a Sicilian boy would have grown up eating very different foods from his counterpart in the US, but now their diets are converging. Both Paulo and Isaiah eat French fries, burgers, pizza, pasta and white bread. They live continents apart, but it’s as if the boys’ parents have been shopping at the same global superstore!"
Beryl Oh Jynn, 8, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Beryl Oh Jynn, 8, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, photographed March 25, 2017. Beryl lives in a quiet condominium with her parents and two brothers. She goes to S. J. K. Han Ming Puchong, a national Chinese school walking distance from home. Beryl’s dad is an engineer and her mother runs a day care. Beryl’s earliest memory of food is porridge and cake. Her favorite dish is spaghetti with carbonara sauce. Beryl grows bok choy and spinach in her balcony garden, is not permitted to drink sodas and refuses to eat ginger. She would like to be a cheerleader.
Sira Cissokho (11 Yrs Old) Dakar
Sira Cissokho (11 yrs old) Dakar, photographed August 30, 2017. Sira, one of nine children, is from Tambacounda, about 7 hours north of Dakar. Sira’s father is a musician and her mother is a housewife. Sira doesn’t always get enough to eat. On special occasions, Sira’s mom makes her favorite dish, chicken. Many of the foods Sira and her family eat are grown in their garden, including millet and peanuts. Sira has learned to cook Ngalakh, a Senegalese millet porridge. If she had enough money, Sira would buy her parents a trip to Mecca. Of all her possessions, the thing Sira cherishes most is a bracelet her grandfather passed down to her before he died.
Rosalie Durand, 10, Nice, France
Rosalie Durand, 10, Nice, France, photographed August 18, 2017. Since her parents split up, Rosalie has lived part time with her mom, and part time with her dad, which allows her to see both the Mediterranean Sea and the French Alps from home. She has a healthy diet (which includes lots of fresh fish, like sardines) thanks in part to her father, a restaurateur, who has taught her to make crepes, salads and lentils with sausage, her favorite dish. The only foods she won’t eat are ratatouille, spinach and cucumber. Rosalie gets her sense of style from her mother, a fashion designer, and plans to be an interior designer. Rosalie is into Thai kickboxing, rock climbing, gymnastics and performs magic tricks. She’s a fan of actors Cole Sprouse and Emma Watson and in her free time goes to the cinema. She notices she’s getting older because she has a phone. There’s nothing missing in Rosalie’s life, though she’d like to go to Los Angeles and explore Hollywood Boulevard. If she had enough money, she’d buy a sailboat or maybe even a yacht.
Adveeta Venkatesh, 10 Years Old, Mumbai, India
Adveeta Venkatesh, 10 years old, Mumbai, India, photographed March 11, 2017. Adveeta, an only child, lives with her maternal granny, who prepares most of her meals, and her parents in a spacious flat with a balcony overlooking Deonar, a suburb of Mumbai. The air is often hazy from fires burning at Deonar dumping ground, India’s oldest and largest landfill, an 18-story, 12 million ton mountain of trash. Adveeta’s mother and father are scientists at a government research center in Mumbai. They make it home in time for dinner. While at the table, no one uses gadgets or watches TV. Before eating, Adveeta says a prayer of gratitude for the food on her plate. A vegetarian, she loves South Indian cuisine, particularly dosas (pancakes made from fermented rice and lentils) served with spicy chutney and yogurt. A few years ago, Adveeta was a picky eater. She didn’t eat 99% of the food she eats now. But as her father discovered during the photo shoot, she’s also eating more snacks and sweets. “I can’t believe Adveeta is eating all that junk!” he commented, as the pictures popped up on my monitor. “I’m going to have to have a talk with her mother!” Adveeta studies drama, performs classical Indian dance and prefers to solve puzzles and riddles than to play with Barbie dolls. She’s only cried once in the last year. While traveling in Jakarta and Bali, she contracted chicken pox and was kept isolated from her cousins. Adveeta plans to be a veterinarian and to contribute extra money to orphanages and animal shelters.
June Grosser, 8, Hamburg, Germany
June Grosser, 8, Hamburg, Germany, photographed August 11, 2017. June’s mom is a fashion photographer, though she hasn’t yet photographed her daughter. June must have observed her mother at work or she’s just a natural model, completely assured in front of the camera. June can sing almost all the songs she hears on the radio – and dance to them. She has no role model. She intends to be her own role model. She’d like a dog, but her parents won’t allow her. She figures if she can make enough money, she may be able to bribe her mother to get one. June’s favorite food is schnitzel. She doesn’t care for curry and truffles and didn’t like broccoli either until now. She is full after meals but hunger returns quickly. At dinner, June doesn’t talk much, but rather listens to her parents discuss politics, elections, and what’s going on in the world. The things she likes most about herself is her hair, her long eyelashes and her imagination, her fantasies. One of her wishes is to fly to the moon, though she’d rather focus on wishes that will be fulfilled. June is reading The Vampire Diaries and as she’s lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep, she often wonders if vampires really exist.
Leona “Nona” Del Grosso Sands, 6, Glendale, Ca
Leona “Nona” Del Grosso Sands, 6, Glendale, CA, photographed January 30, 2016. Nona lives with her mother and Cleo, her beloved cat, in an apartment in Glendale, CA. She can make oatmeal and pancakes and once when her mother was very sick, she fed her. Nona grew a gigantic tomato plant that began to take over everything and is now as big as a tree. Her mother makes her eat vegetables, especially broccoli. Her diet has as many colors as the rainbow, though Nona also has not just a sweet tooth, but many “sugar teeth.” Nona’s role models are her mother, her teachers and Joan Jett. When she goes to sleep at night, Nona sometimes imagines her Nana is an angel watching over her.
Andrea Testa, 9, Catania, Italy
Andrea Testa, 9, Catania, Italy, photographed August 23, 2017 Andrea lives in a single house surrounded by a little garden and lava stones with his parents and 6 year old sister Vittoria. Andrea’s father is an officer in the Italian army and his mother is a housewife who does all the cooking. Andrea’s favorite dish is pasta carbonara with plenty of bacon. He loves the scent of orange blossoms and cherries. He won’t touch cauliflower. If he had enough money, Andrea would buy a drone and a little dog, which he would name “Ettore” (Hector). Andrea performs magic tricks for his family and friends. His hero is Robinson Crusoe. Andrea would like to be a doctor because they make a lot of money.
Yusuf Abdullah Al Muhairi, 9, Mirdif, Dubai, Uae
Yusuf Abdullah Al Muhairi, 9, Mirdif, Dubai, UAE, photographed August 12, 2018. Yusuf’s mom came to Dubai from Ireland to work as a pastry chef and chocolatier. She married an Emerati man and they had one son before separating. Yusuf loves his mum’s cooking though he makes scrambled eggs and toast all on his own. Yusuf likes to read, draw, climb, ride horses and create science projects. He thinks he’ll either be a pilot or police officer when he grows up. If he had the money, he’d buy a Ferrari. His role models are Batman and his mother. Yusuf wishes for his mum to get married again and that he’ll have brothers and sisters. Lying in bed at night, he thinks back to building a birdhouse with his granddad, fishing with him in the rivers in Ireland and going to Warner Brothers with his grandmom.
Tharkish Sri Ganesh (10) And Mierra Sri Varrsha (8), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tharkish Sri Ganesh (10) and Mierra Sri Varrsha, (8) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, photographed March 26, 2017. Tharkish and Mierra’s roots in Malaysia begin with their great-grandfather who migrated from South India to build a better future, but only found work as a rubber tapper before being conscripted by the Japanese to build the “Death Railway” from Siam to Burma in 1943. Tharkish and Mierra live with their mom and dad in a public housing project in Bukit Jalil, a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. Their apartment block is full of friends and noisy in a good way. Their dad works as a gaffer in film production and their mom is a homemaker and does most of the cooking though on weekends they eat KFC, Pizza Hut or Chinese takeout. Mierra dislikes the pungent smell of meat and traces of blood. She prefers candies and chocolates. Her earliest memory of food is rice porridge, her comfort food whenever she falls sick. Tharkish’s favorite food is Puttu, steamed ground rice layered with coconut and topped with bananas and palm sugar. Tharkish doesn’t like onions because they taste weird and leave a funny smell in his mouth. His first taste was Urad Dal Porridge, an Indian baby food made with dal, rice, coconut, cardamon and jaggery (concentrated date palm sap). Mierra says her diet is healthy because her mom avoids foods with preservatives, additives and msg, though after her Daily Bread portrait, she still thinks she could eat less processed food. Mierra loves to read and play badminton and snakes and ladders while her brother is into chess, carom and surfing the internet. Mierra strives to be the top student in her class and wants to be a doctor while Tharkish will be happy with a top 3 finish after examinations and pictures himself an IT engineer.
Siti Khaliesah Nataliea Muhamad Khairizal, 9, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Siti Khaliesah Nataliea Muhamad Khairizal, 9, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, photographed March 26, 2017, Siti lives in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur with her father, a car salesman, her mother, a housewife and her 4 siblings. Mum does all the cooking and sets the rules for the table: recite the Du’a, no water before meals and no chatting during meals though it’s very seldom that the whole family sits down to dinner together because everyone’s so busy. Siti’s favorite dish is spaghetti carbonara and she’s crazy about the scent of fried instant noodles. She goes to a Chinese school where she learns Mandarin, plays the Melodian and practices Taekwando. When she falls asleep at night, Siti wishes her dad would put some money under her pillow. She collects coins of all kinds and foreign currencies. Once she saves enough money, Siti’s going to buy an IPad.
Greta Moeller,7, Hamburg, Germany
Greta Moeller, Hamburg, Germany, 7, photographed August 11, 2017 Greta lives with her mother and younger sister in Hamburg, but spends quite a bit of time with her grandparents, too. On the path to her grandparents home is a great big chestnut tree and in autumn, Greta searches in the foliage for chestnuts with her little sister. Greta’s favorite food is fish sticks with mashed potatoes and applesauce. She can’t stand rice pudding. One thing Greta is really good at is snapping her fingers, both hands at the same time. At night, while falling asleep, Greta thinks mostly about her mother, who is usually in the next room watching TV.
Frank Fadel Agbomenou, 8, Dakar, Senegal
Frank Fadel Agbomenou, 8, Dakar, Senegal, photographed August 30, 2017. Frank lives with his older brother and father, a Human Resources Manager in an apartment in a posh neighborhood of Dakar. Frank would like to see his dad and mum together again but he doesn’t think that wish will be fulfilled. Frank cried a couple weeks ago; his mum told him she would take him to the beach but then changed her mind. She’s busy, working as a caterer for parties and fancy hotel events. There is almost nothing Frank doesn’t like to eat. He eats lots of peanuts from the peanut tree on his terrace. He’s especially fond of fish and the family cook knows how to prepare it just right. Frank is an excellent dancer and has mastered summersaults though he prefers watching TV and playing games on his Play Station. The thing that makes him laugh the hardest is when his cousin Coco falls down. Frank dreams of buying a flashy sports car and traveling to Paris. When he grows up, he wants to be a gynecologist.
Isaiah Dedrick, Long Beach, Ca
Isaiah Dedrick, Long Beach, CA, (16 at time of photo) photographed March 20, 2016. Isaiah was raised by his mother and grandmother, who does most of the cooking at home. One day, Isaiah would like to have enough space to grow his own garden. Isaiah’s favorite food is orange chicken and fried rice and he loves the smell of apples sautéed with cinnamon. His mom doesn’t permit him to drink soda and after this photo shoot, Isaiah decided to eliminate snacks from his diet. Isaiah’s wish is that no one will go hungry in the world. He plays the drums and the flute and is studying acting. He’d like to be as funny as Eddie Murphy or Tyler Perry and be able to fly like Superman.
Cooper Norman, 12 (10 At Time Of Shoot), Altadena, Ca, USA
Cooper Norman, 12 (10 at time of shoot), Altadena, CA, USA. Photographed January 30, 2016. Cooper lives in the foothills of Altadena, California with his mom, a school administrator and dad, a human resources manager. Other than the cries of wild parrots and peacocks, his neighborhood is quiet, peaceful, and untraveled. At 4, Cooper began taking karate classes and at 5, he took up classical guitar. He got into bow ties, too, which he wears for his guitar recitals. Cooper last wore this suit to a wedding in Palm Springs. The bride’s uncle was so impressed with Cooper’s table manners that he invited him out for dim sum. At Odyssey Charter School, Cooper plants all sorts of fruits and vegetables. He thinks of himself as an adventurous eater, willing to try almost anything, though Thai food (his mother’s home country) is his favorite. His earliest memory of food is eating Cheerios in his stroller. Cooper plans to be a neurosurgeon when he grows up and, if he has enough money, will buy a teleporter, so he can visit his family in Thailand more often.
John Hintze, 7, Hamburg, Germany
John Hintze, 7, Hamburg, Germany, photographed August 11, 2017. John lives with his parents in a large apartment with a garden in a quiet suburb of Hamburg with more trees than cars. John describes himself as an omnivore. He’s fond of eating breakfast in bed. His parents bring him a tray of Musli and toast every morning before school. John loves his grandma’s roast, Chinese curry with cashew nuts and Orange Fanta, though he’s only allowed to drink Fanta on weekends. During the week there is only water. He used to like mushrooms, but not anymore. Once, with his friend Henry, he made a fruit plate with a sushi knife. “I have not yet harvested something to eat, but I could do that. First we’d have to plant something.” John collects minerals like purple azurite, is learning Thai kickboxing, sailing and is an accomplished swimmer. He would like to be an underwater archeologist. His dad has already found and brought back great things from the sea. Once, when he and his dad were snorkeling, a curious octopus approached them – which was both scary and fantastic. When he falls asleep at night, John paints a mental picture of what will happen tomorrow. He hopes his parents will never die.
Alexandra (9, Left) And Jessica (8, Right) Lewis, Altadena, Ca, USA
Alexandra (9, left) and Jessica (8, right) Lewis, Altadena, CA, USA. Photographed February 21, 2016. Alex and Jessica live in the foothills of Altadena with their daddy and papa who are engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA field center in La Canada, California. Their yard is filled with food: blackberry bushes, grape vines, and fruit trees - fig, peach, pomegranate, guava, mulberry, jujubes, and banana. They have chickens, too, and eat their eggs almost every day. Jessica loves sweets and pizza with ham and is repelled by beans, peppers, sushi, and chocolate. She’s good at drawing and daydreaming and on weekends the whole family roller-skates at Moonlight Rollerway. Jessica is the richest person on her street besides their neighbor Mary Anne. When she grows up, she wants to be an author and university professor. Alex makes Hot Pockets, pizza rolls, and quesadillas herself, but her favorite dish is macaroni and cheese. She refuses to eat Brussels sprouts or soggy leftover broccoli. She collects rocks and shells and is saving up for an xbox 360 and Nintendo Switch. Alex makes people laugh without even trying because she’s a spaz, she says. Her long-range goal is to get a PhD and have an outstanding career. After the photo shoot, Alex and Jessica took much of the leftover food home to feed their chickens.
Paolo Mendolaro, 9, Belpaso, Sicily
Paolo Mendolaro, 9, Belpaso, Sicily, photographed August 23, 2017. Paolo and his family of four live in an apartment in Belpasso, a tiny medieval village on the east coast of Sicily founded in 1305. When he steps outside his apartment, Paolo sees the center square and Mother Church of Belpasso with its lava stone staircase and bell tower. Paolo’s mom works full time for a cosmetics company, but makes time to prepare homemade meals for her family like Sicilian Cannolo and Pasta alla Norma. Once a week, they buy a roast chicken or go out for pizza, which Paolo loves most of all. Paolo has learned to make his own pizza and pasta as well as biscuits and big donuts. His grandfather had an overflowing garden and Paolo helped harvest eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers, olives, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, peas and fava beans. During the week that Paolo kept his journal for Daily Bread, he’d been going to the beach with his family and didn’t follow as healthy a diet as usual; they often ate fast food. Paolo keeps his parents in his prayers. For his mother, he wishes for a dryer machine and a new truck for his father, a carpenter. If he had enough money, Paolo would buy a Play Station 4, a giant Lego set and, at minimum, a one-week holiday for the whole family.
Henrico Valias Sant`anna De Souza Dantas, 10, Brasilia, Brazil
Henrico Valias Sant`anna de Souza Dantas, 10, Brasilia, Brazil, photographed August 18, 2018. Henrico lives in a posh suburb of Brasilia with his mom, a film producer and advertising executive, and his two siblings. Henrico’s mom, grandma and maid do the day to day cooking, though Henrico likes to invent his own snacks. His favorite dish is Feijoada, a Brazilian stew of black beans and pork, served with a side of white rice, "farofa" (fried cassava flour), and collard greens. Henrico likes dessert, too: chocolate soufflé; Toblerone and Talento bars; anything with Nutella, “brigadeiro,” a ball of baked condensed milk and chocolate; buttered toast sprinkled with Nescau powder, a treat his uncle invented; and one of his own creations - steak covered with sliced banana. Henrico has mastered video games like Little Big Planet, Lego Marvel and Escape 3. He listens to Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and Gato Galatico, watches Iron Fist and The Flash on Netflix and is a Star Wars fan. From participating in Daily Bread, Henrico discovered that he eats a wide variety of food. He has no idea what he wants to do when he becomes an adult. There is nothing missing in his life. He is perfectly content.
Daria Joy Cullen, 6, Pasadena, California
Daria Joy Cullen, 6, Pasadena, California, photographed February 21, 2016. Daria loves bacon, pasta, popcorn slathered with butter, milk chocolate and other sweets, particularly mint chocolate chip ice-cream. She won’t eat fruits and vegetables of any kind, even as a toddler, not even mashed bananas or apple sauce. Her pediatrician is concerned about Daria’s low weight and limited diet and her parents are concerned she may have an overactive gag reflex. Daria’s role model is her big sister, who can make friends and play the violin effortlessly. For fun, Daria entertains her friends, impersonating a monkey. When she grows up, Daria would like to be a dog trainer. If she had enough money, she’d buy a horse and a pug.