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Gregg Segal makes us think about our diet with his Daily Bread series

Pierre Waterschoot



Gregg segal

Gregg Segal: “In an 8 x 8 aluminum shack on a construction site outside Mumbai, Anchal Sahni sits down to dinner with his family: homemade aloo bhindo (okra and potatoes stewed in curry) and chapati (flatbread) with lentils. Anchal has a healthier diet than many middle-class children in India, who can afford to eat in restaurants. In Mumbai, an average Dominoes pizza costs $13, which is about 3 times what Anchal's father earns per day.

Sensing a sea change in Western attitudes towards food and the effects of junk food, fast food companies have begun to invest heavily in overseas markets where public awareness is not as high – and Big Macs aren't junk food – they're a status symbol.

In 2015, the University of Cambridge conducted a comprehensive study, identifying countries with the healthiest diets in the world. 9 of the top 10 countries are in Africa, where vegetables, fruits, nuts, pulses, cereals are staple foods and meals are home-cooked, a stark contrast to the United States where almost 60% of the calories we eat come from ultra-processed foods and only 1% comes from vegetables.

As globalization changes our relationship to food, I travel the world asking children to keep a diary of everything they eat in a week. Once the week is over, I make a portrait of the child with the food arranged around them. I focus on children because eating habits, which are formed when we are young, last a lifetime and often pave the way for chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer.

Despite growing awareness here in the United States of the harms of eating processed foods, awareness has yet to lead to widespread change. Obesity rates continue to rise. 40 years ago, 1 in 40 children was obese. Today, 10 out of 40 are. Since the advent of corn syrup, the incidence of diabetes has tripled. For the first time in many generations, life expectancy in America is falling and the main culprit is empty calories.

I was encouraged to find regions and communities where slow food will never be replaced by junk food, where home-cooked meals are the foundation of family and culture, where love and pride are felt in the aromas of broths, stews and curries. When the hand that stirs the pot is mom or dad, grandma or grandma, children are healthier. Daily Bread's deeper purpose is to be a catalyst for change and a connection to a growing grassroots community that advances food. " 

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Gregg Segal gross gear
Kawakanih Yawalapiti, 9, Upper Xingu region of Mato Grosso, Brazil, photographed on August 19, 2018 in Brasilia.
Kawakanih, whose surname comes from his tribe, the Yawalapiti, lives in Xingu National Park, a reserve in Brazil's Amazon basin visible from space. The park is surrounded by cattle ranches and soybean crops.

In the past six months alone, nearly 100 million trees have been destroyed by illegal logging and expanding agribusiness. The Yawalapiti and other Xingu tribes collect seeds to preserve species unique to their ecosystem, which lies between rainforest and savannah. The Yawalapiti language is also under threat. When Kawakanih was born, there were only seven Arawaki speakers left. Determined to keep the language from disappearing, Kawakanih's mother, Watatakalu, isolated her daughter from those who did not speak Arawaki.

Kawakanih is the first child to be raised speaking Arawak since the 1940s and his mother says it is now up to her children to keep the language alive. Kawakanih also learned his father's dialect as well as Portuguese. She loves to read history books, especially those about Egyptians. She spends her days playing in the river, fishing, helping with chores, harvesting cassava, making beiju (cassava flatbread), and beading necklaces worn in tribal rituals.

Every two months, Kawakanih travels to Canarana to attend school where she learns computer skills, although no one in her village has 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. Kawakanih's body paint protects her from evil spirits and energy. The black paint is made from jenipapo fruit and the red one is made from ground urucum seeds (a seed pod is to the left of its head). Rainforest tribes have used the entire Urucum plant as medicine for centuries. Kawakanih's diet is very simple, consisting mainly of fish, cassava, porridge, fruits and nuts. "It takes five minutes to catch dinner," says Kawakanih. “When you're hungry, you just go to the river with your net. » Gregg Segal
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Yusuf Abdullah Al Muhairi, 9, Mirdif, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, pictured on August 12, 2018. Yusuf's mother came from Ireland to Dubai to work as a pastry and chocolatier. She married an Emerati and they had a son before separating. Yusuf likes his mother's cooking although he makes scrambled eggs and toast all by himself.

Yusuf enjoys reading, drawing, climbing, horseback riding and creating science projects. He thinks he will be a pilot or a policeman when he grows up. If he had the money, he would buy a Ferrari. His role models are Batman and his mother. Yusuf wishes for his mother to remarry and for him to have siblings. Lying in bed at night, he thinks back to building a birdhouse with his grandfather, fishing with him in the rivers of Ireland, and going to Warner Brothers with his grandmother. Gregg Segal
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Adveeta Venkatesh, 10, Mumbai, India, pictured March 11, 2017. Adveeta, an only child, lives with her maternal grandmother, who cooks most of her meals, and her parents in a spacious apartment with a balcony overlooking Deonar , a suburb of Bombay. The air is often hazy as fires burn at the Deonar dump, India's oldest and largest landfill, an 18-story, 12 million tonne mountain of waste. Adveeta's mother and father are scientists at a government research center in Mumbai. They go home in time for dinner.

At the table, no one uses gadgets or watches television. Before eating, Adveeta says a prayer of gratitude for the food on her plate. A vegetarian, she loves South Indian cuisine, especially dosas (pancakes made with fermented rice and lentils) served with spicy chutney and yoghurt. 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 also eats more snacks and sweets. "I can't believe Adveeta is eating all this mess!" he commented as the images appeared on my monitor. "I'm going to have to have a talk with his mother!" Adveeta studies acting, performs classical Indian dance, and prefers solving puzzles and riddles to playing with Barbie dolls. She only cried once last year. During a trip to Jakarta and Bali, she contracted chicken pox and was isolated from her cousins. Adveeta plans to become a veterinarian and contribute financially to orphanages and animal shelters. Gregg Segal
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Davi Ribeiro de Jesus, 12, Brasilia, Brazil, pictured August 18, 2018. Davi lives with his father, stepmother and three siblings in a cute one-room house in the Santa Luzia favela, a shantytown on the edge of the largest waste collection center in Latin America. The space is occupied by three beds, a sofa, a television, a refrigerator, two cupboards, a stove and a small table where they share their meals. A mosaic of mats and scrap plywood covers the dirt floor.

Davi has his own shelf where he keeps his clothes, his collection of toy cars and his cell phone. There is no garbage collection and the power drops frequently. When it rains, the scattered trash turns to mud and seeps into homes, but Jesus keeps Davi and his family safe and happy. They go to a nearby church every Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Davi's father is looking for work as a digger. He has his own pickaxe, shovel and weeder.

Davi's mother-in-law takes care of the cooking. Davi eats almost anything except bitter legumes although most of the time he eats 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 wastelands of the favela where bored stray dogs scratch at fleas or sniff 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 also wants to know everything about cars, motorcycles, helicopters and guns. His father taught him to drive and now he dreams of owning a Chevy. He would like to be a cop when he grows up because it's better to be a cop than a thief. Gregg Segal
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Beryl Oh Jynn, 8, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, pictured March 25, 2017. Beryl lives in a quiet condominium with her parents and two brothers. She attends SJK Han Ming Puchong, a Chinese national school within walking distance of her home. Beryl's father is an engineer and her mother runs a daycare. Beryl's earliest food memory is porridge and cake. His favorite dish is spaghetti with carbonara sauce. Beryl grows bok choy and spinach in her balcony garden, is not allowed to drink sodas, and refuses to eat ginger. She would like to be a cheerleader. Gregg Segal
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Joshua Poulain, 12, Nice, France, photographed August 18, 2017. Josh lives with his parents and younger brother in La Colle sur Loup, a seaside resort ten minutes from Nice. From his bedroom window, Josh can see the forest and hills of the Col de Vence and the family garden where they grow tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and onions. Josh's father is a locksmith and his mother is an accountant.

He eats four times a day and his favorite dish is his mother's lasagna. The only foods he dislikes are fish and bananas. There are two rules for meals: no phone, and you can't leave the table until you've cleaned your plate. Josh can cook pasta but prefers to bake cakes with his mother. When he is on vacation, he eats a lot of junk food. Josh's favorite smell is his grandmother's perfume and the only thing missing from his life is his dead cat. Josh wishes he could play basketball like Stephen Curry or Tony Parker. If he had enough money, he would buy a motorcycle. He would like to keep his cuddly toy forever and become a Lego designer one day. One thing characterizes Josh's family: no one leaves the house without saying “I love you”. Gregg Segal
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Carolina Bonet Sanabrais, 5, Los Angeles, California, pictured January 30, 2016. Carolina is raised by both mothers. One is a social worker in clinical oncology, the other, Sofia, is an art historian and does most of the cooking. Carolina's favorite dish is Turron, a Filipino dessert made with jackfruit and banana. Carolina has grown tomatoes, cilantro and has a lime tree in her garden. She collects dead beetles, butterflies, flowers, shells and rocks. She takes scuba lessons at UCLA and teaches other kids to cartwheel. She would like to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Gregg Segal
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Meissa Ndiaye, 11, Dakar, Senegal, photographed August 30, 2017. Meissa shares a single room with her father, mother and brother in the heart of Parcelles Assainies, which means “sanitized plots”. A sandy, treeless suburb of Dakar, the Parcelles Assainies were developed in the 1970s to house the city's overflowing poor. Meissa lives opposite the futbol stadium and open-air market, hundreds of stalls selling everything from fresh fish to wedding dresses.

At the end of August, tethered goats line the streets before Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice. Meissa, a devout Muslim and student at Quran school, loves goat meat and sweet foods like porridge, although in the week he kept a diary of his meals, he ate very little meat. Most often, he stocked up on French bread stuffed with spaghetti, peas, or fried potatoes. Meissa's mother and anties prepare her meals, although once or twice a week they are taken away. Meissa loves futbol above all else and hopes to be a star like Messi or Ronaldo. If he had enough money, he would buy a nice little sports car. He wants his mother and father, a refrigeration technician, to be able to immigrate to France to earn enough money. Gregg Segal
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Nino Khaburzania, 6, West Hollywood, California, pictured March 19, 2016. Nino lives in a West Hollywood apartment surrounded by tall palm trees with his younger sister, mother, an ultrasound technician, and father, a chess player . Nino's diet is a mix of traditional Georgian dishes (his grandmother Tisiana's specialty) and American staples: khachapuri (cheese-filled bread), gomi (cornmeal with sulguni cheese), mchadi (cornbread ), pizza, bean and cheese nachos and cheese quesadillas.

She also likes Chinese chow mein noodles and orange chicken at Panda Express, Happy Meals at McDonald's, Double Doubles at In-N-Out Burgers, sandwiches at Subway, pancakes at I-Hop, chocolate frappuccinos at Starbucks and just about anything from The Cheesecake Factory. Nino's hobbies include collecting LOL surprise dolls, drawing, singing and dancing as Jojo Siwa, his favorite YouTube personality. Nino would like to be a very famous actress and a very famous person. If she had money, she would buy books and toys for children in need. Gregg Segal
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Chetan Menge, 10, Deonar, India. Pictured March 12, 2017. Chetan and his family of four live in a one-room apartment in Deonar, outside Mumbai. Chetan's father is a night watchman and his mother owns a beauty salon. The family takes their meals in front of the small TV which is the centerpiece of their little house and when they are not talking about their favorite TV programs, they are talking about their village and their farm with its beautiful banana plantations. They do not pray before meals, but simply bow down to the food on their plates and join their palms in namaste.

Usually, Chetan is not full when he has finished eating; he always wants a little more, especially dessert. Chetan's father berates his son for three things: 1) making noise with his mouth while eating 2) playing drums on his mother's pots and pans and 3) not sitting up straight when he eats. Chetan used to hate onions, but now he crushes them with his hands and eats them raw with chicken.

For fun, Chetan invents stories of comic characters to tell his friends. He admits that he is sometimes mischievous and laughs out loud at his friend's misadventures. Recently, he went by train to another district with 100 rupees in his pocket. When a neighbor saw Chetan hanging out at a local food stall, he called his mother, who was furious and scolded Chetan well. Chetan is known to be kind to animals. He misses his most beloved tomcat, Mannya and another stray, both of whom died due to unforeseen events. If he had more money, Chetan would give to the homeless and feed the poor. He wishes his mother didn't have to work so hard. Chetan is working on his studies and would like to be a rocket scientist like Abul Kalam Azad, the former president of India. Gregg Segal
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Amelia Torrisi, 12, Trecastagni, Sicily, pictured August 23, 2017. Amelia is from Trecastagni (“three chestnut trees”), an old Sicilian village in the hills below Mount Etna, an active volcano that erupted again in the spring last. She lives with her mother (an actress) her father (a masseur) and her 5-year-old sister in a house with a small vegetable garden where they grow tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.

The soil is very fertile thanks to volcanic ash, which contains minerals that help plants thrive. Amelia mainly eats fresh fruits and vegetables and meat or fish once a week. They rarely eat out; almost everything is homemade and Amelia helps prepare meals like vegetable pasta. Sometimes, when she goes out with friends, she eats a sandwich, which she says is the only unhealthy item in her diet. Amelia loves to read and cherishes her books. She would like to study medicine and if she has enough money one day she will buy a grand piano and help her parents when they are old. Gregg Segal

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