World's favorite food is pasta

Friday 17 June 2011 00:00

A new survey carried out in 17 countries has found that pasta is the world's favorite food.

That's according to UK-based aid group Oxfam, which released the findings of their global survey Wednesday.

As part of a report studying the way rising food prices have impacted the way people around the world eat, Oxfam asked 16,000 respondents in counties like Australia, Brazil, Ghana , India, the Philippines, South Africa, the UK and the US to name their favorite food.

The top 10 foods were pasta, meat, rice, pizza, chicken, fish and seafood, vegetables, Chinese food, Italian food and Mexican food.

In addition to highlighting the world's favorite foods, the report also found that more than half of respondents said they're not eating the same food they did two years ago - when the global food crisis hit - due either to rising food costs or health reasons.

But nowhere is this concern starker than in Kenya, where 76 percent of respondents said they've changed their diet because of the cost of food.

Conversely, while 55 percent of Americans also said they're not eating the same foods they did two years ago, the main reason was for health concerns.

Similarly, in India where the economy is growing at steady clip, attracting Western fare and multi-national fast-food outlets, the majority of Indian respondents also said they've changed their diet because of health reasons.

Though Indians, Spaniards, and Mexicans remained faithful to their national cuisines naming their respective gastronomy or national dish as their favorite foods, pizza and Chinese food also dominated the list, illustrating the reach of globalization.

Women are also disproportionately affected by rising food prices because they're responsible for feeding their families, the report said.

Another interesting result of the public opinion poll is that Aussies, it seems, have a strong sweet tooth: that country was the only one to name a sweet - chocolate - as their favorite food.

Meanwhile, according to the International Pasta Organization, while Italians are the undisputed champions of both consuming and producing pasta, Venezuelans also like to carbo-load, as they consume 12 kg of pasta per capita a year. Italians eat more than double that amount, at 26 kg.

Second only to Italy, which produces 3.2 million tons of pasta a year, is the US, which churns out 2.5 million tons.

The latest report from their Grow campaign was published to coincide with an international meeting of agriculture ministers from G20 countries who will be meeting in Paris next week to discuss the global food cost crisis.

Last month, Oxfam also released a doomsday report about the state of global food security, predicting that the price of food staples like maize will double in the next 20 years, mostly due to climate change. Those hardest hit would be the world's poor in developing countries.

Download the complete report here to see the top foods by country.

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