FoodMood is an interactive information visualization project about food and emotion – two basic yet complex components of everyday life. The project aims do gain a better understanding of global food consumption patterns and its impact on the daily emotional well-being of people against the backdrop of countries’ GDP and obesity levels.
Despite an increased awareness of overfishing, the majority of people still know very little about the scale of the destruction being wrought on the oceans. This film presents an unquestionable case for why overfishing needs to end and shows that there is still an opportunity for change. Through reform of the EU‘s Common Fisheries Policy, fisheries ministers and members of the European Parliament can end overfishing. But only if you pressure them.
• Austin, TX, residents spend almost twice ($6,301) the US annual average for dining out.
• In fact, five average Detroit households (the nation’s lowest spenders) can eat on one Austinite’s food budget.
• If Manhattan were its own city, it would be No. 1 for food spending ($13,079) and No. 1 for share of food budget spent on restaurants (59%).
• In Atlanta, dining out accounts for 57% percent of the city’s average total food and drink spending annually, the highest in the US and 28% higher than the US average.
• Denver residents allocate 22 percent of their daily spending to food, more than any other big city in the country.
Our salaries are set. So is our rent. Clothes and other big-ticket items are periodic expenses. But when it comes to food, we get several chances a day to save or splurge. Brian Wansink, the director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, estimates we make 227 decisions about what to eat every day — each of which has a small financial impact. Go out for drinks after work? Buy the Hershey’s chocolate bar or spring for the Lindt? And couldn’t we just order takeout? Because after a day’s worth of food-and-spending decisions, I’m too exhausted to think about cooking.
Those tiny decisions add up. The average American household spent $3,778 on groceries in 2009, and another $2,736 in restaurants and bars. Buried in those averages are millions of individual purchases that reflect appetites, lifestyles and values. People in Denver devoted 22 percent of their daily spending to food and drink, more than any other city in the country. Residents of Atlanta spent a whopping 57 percent of their food budget on dining out – more than anyone else in the country, and about 28 percent more than the national average.
For this report, we looked at food spending overall, then broke it down to grocery spending and restaurant spending. We also filtered by demographic groups and geography. If the average person needs somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day, how did people in Austin spend $12,447 on food and drink last year, while people in Miami spent half as much? What are they buying in Austin? And what aren’t they eating in Miami?
The more we spend, the more we like caviar
The data reflects, generally, what we already suspect about our own behavior: How much we spend on food – like how much we spend on anything — is most directly a result of how much money we have. People making $40,000 to $50,000 spent $5,560 on food in 2009. People making more than $125,000 spent $12,655 — more than double. Did they buy twice as much food? Not likely, says Hayden Stewart, an economist at the US Department of Agriculture: they buy more expensive food. “Better cuts of meat, more organic foods, more gourmet or prepared foods — they all cost more, and when people have the money, they’re often willing to pay.”
After all, once our basic nutritional needs are met, we buy the foods we like, the foods we want, and the food we can afford. In the biggest American cities, how much people spent on food last year ranged from $2,246 (Detroit) to $12,447 (Austin), but regardless of the amount, that money ate up a similar percentage of their daily budget. In most of the cities in our report, the average household devotes between 15 and 20 percent of their daily spending to food. Residents of Wichitaspent $2,793 more on food than people in Memphis did last year, but both cities devoted the exact same proportion (16.65 percent) of their spending to food. In Memphis, it’s a Hershey bar. In Wichita, it’s Lindt. As David Stone, a food expert at the New England Consulting Group says, “it’s the food we want, not the food we need, that makes us happy.”
Here’s the other thing we noticed: Mom was right. Eating out is a budget-buster. According to our data, the people who are spending the most money on food overall devote more money to dining out. In the ten cities with the biggest food budgets, residents spent more than $465 a month at restaurants on average – or more than half of their food budget. In the ten cities with the smallest food budgets, people spent less than $150 a month in restaurants (on average), and considerably less of their food budgets overall.
And as income rises, people spend more money on restaurants. Yes, wealthier people spend more money on groceries too, but their dining out spending increases faster. On groceries, people who earned more than $125,000 spent twice what people earning between $20,000 and $40,000 did — and nearly four times what the lower-income group spent in restaurants.
When you compare the city listings in the above infographic, you’ll see similarities with our omnibus Top-Spending Cities list — and some differences. Austin is No. 1 on both lists, but Dallas, the No. 12 city for overall spending, falls to No. 24 for spending on food. Los Angeles, No. 42 overall, hops up to No. 16 on the Food & Drink chart. (You can dig deeper into our spending data on our site, with our Everybody’s Money tool.)
And when you dig beyond the averages, our data illustrates how vastly different our food-spending decisions can be, even in the same city or neighborhood. The top foodies in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, for example, spent more than $25,000 in restaurants last year, while the neighborhood’s lowest-spending residents paid easily less than $1,000. Where they spent changed, too. Top-spending families ate out at Carnivale and 33 Club; lower-spending families hit Morton’s and Uncle Julio’s. And when they stayed home? The top merchant for people earning more than $125,000 was – wait for it – Whole Foods, while almost everyone else spent more money at mainstream supermarket Jewel-Osco.
None of this may be groundbreaking. But it affirms long-held suspicions: there’s food at every price, for every budget, and what we spend on what we eat has a lot less to do with how hungry we are — or even what we may actually like to eat — than how much money we have. The savings lesson, then, is simpler than clipping coupons or buying in bulk. It’s to remember that, like many consumer goods, there’s almost no end to what you *could* spend on food. And what you *need* to spend, on the other hand, may be less than you think.
About the artists: These data visualizations were created by Benjamin Wiederkehr, Christian Siegrist and Jeremy Stucki, founders of the Swiss design studioInteractive Things.
If you liked it, please vote for us at http://www.thersa.org/film-competition !!!
Based on Michael Pollan’s talk “Food Rules” given at the RSA, this animation was created in the context of the RSA/Nominet Trust film competition. Using a mixture of stop-motion and compositing, our aim and challenge was to convey the topic in a visually interesting way using a variety of different food products. We made a little table top set up at home and worked on this a little over three weeks.
Here are some photos of Food Rules in the making
Childhood obesity has become parents’ number one health concern – ahead of smoking and drug abuse. Because of this we’ve created an infographic about children being targeted by media and advertisers resulting in one in three American children being overweight or obese. In an effort to support the new requirements for nutritional standards unveiled in national school lunch and breakfast programs across our nation by First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on January 25, we have created an infographic, “Targeting Children with Treats.”
Politecnico di Milano
Facoltà del Design
Design della Comunicazione – C1 – III Anno
Laboratorio di Sintesi Finale
“Salute a Costo Zero”
Achille Viggo Calegari
We’d been trying to complete a chart of cocktails for over a year. It’s sorta been Pop Chart Lab’s white whale. This journey started, as every PCL chart does, with a bunch of research dumped into Excel. In December 2010, we compiled a document of nearly 200 cocktails broken down by ingredients.
Then we moved into OmniGraffle. In our first attempt, we grouped the spirits, wines, liqueurs, cordials, etc., and then started drawing lines connecting each ingredient to the appropriate cocktail. We then drew another line connecting the cocktail to the appropriate glass along the bottom of the chart.
We could tell right away this likely wasn’t going to work. The ingredients were taking up way too much space, and every cocktail connecting to a glass at the bottom was creating a huge bottleneck. Just to make sure, though, we started color coding and pushed a little further.
Convinced this wasn’t going to work, we put the idea on the shelf for a few months. In September, we were working on a chart of the ingredients in candy bars, and we ran into a similar problem. The majority of the bars had milk chocolate in them, which meant a lot of lines running to the same place.
Our breakthrough here was putting the chocolates in the center, the candy bars in a ring around the outside, and then the other ingredients at the top and bottom.
We knew this same arrangement could work for the cocktails chart if we put the shared ingredients in the center and the cocktails in a ring around them. In this draft from November, we used Excel to make a pie chart of the spirits and then put that in the center, the liqueurs and bitters on the left, mixers up top, and garnishes on the right.
This was looking promising, but as we filled in more of the chart, it was getting tough to read.
The solution was to move more into the center pie chart. In this next version, all alcoholic ingredients–spirits, wines, bitters, and liqueurs–were moved into the center pie chart, with mixers up above and garnishes down below.
This proved to us that the concept could work, so we moved into working in Illustrator, where it’s easier to draw curved lines than in OmniGraffle. We started with an old-time-y treatment, complete with overly long subtitle. Here it is before we filled in any of the connecting lines.
And here is what it looked after we spent 40 hours drawing lines. If you look closely within this jumble of vectors, you might be able to find the exact moment at which we lost our sanity.
A ridiculous amount of work went into this, but the lines were so dense that we couldn’t even follow them to proofread it. The only solution here would have been to increase the size of poster, and with 1-point lines we were already at a 27×39 poster. To make this legible, we probably would have needed to print it on a 4-foot-by-6-foot piece of paper. So instead, we did the smart thing and ruthlessly culled the list of cocktails down from 175 to 68. We lost a lot of good cocktails (such as the Flaming Homer), but it was worth it to get a more legible poster. We also switched the look from the staid old-time-y style to a Saul Bass-influenced ’60s vibe.
The reduction in cocktails let us do a few other cool things, like include the ratios for each of the ingredients as well as the serving glasses, which made the chart a lot more functional. We also shook up the center pie chart to give it a more kinetic look.