Visualizing The Poverty Line Through Food Choices [Pics]

Visualizing The Poverty Line Through Food Choices [Pics]

This photography series demonstrates the food you could purchase with a day's worth of income on the poverty line in various countries around the world.

Kyana Gordon
  • 19 july 2012

Photographer, Stefen Chow and economist Lin Hui-Yi set out to answer the question “What does it mean to be hungry and poor?” with their ongoing series, The Poverty Line. Setting out to visualize poverty in way universally understood – food was the most logical choice. Each photograph represents the amount of food equal to the daily income of someone living on the poverty line of that particular country. The above image of avocados equals 7.52 Australian dollars, or 8.02 U.S. dollars (as of Feb. 23), of avocados.

Using the oft-quoted $1 per person per day U.N. figure as a starting point, the duo calculated their own national figures. For developed countries, they focused primarily on the average daily amount that a person at the poverty line would spend on food whereas for developing countries, they used the average amount that a person at the poverty line earns and spends each day.

It’s important to note the newspaper as the backdrop for each image – giving the viewer a meaningful context for the items of food by placing the items on advertisements and information, making for an interesting juxtaposition. Food for thought. definitely.

The Poverty Line


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