Eye on France: Something to get your teeth into

Le Monde today launches a new section called L’assiette en tA�te, literally the plate in the head. Despite the title, it’s not a look behind the scenes at French domestic violence. The topic, in fact, is food. A more reasonable translation of L’assiette en tA�te would be Plates first. The idea is to look at what the French eat today, as they struggle through an era in which, Le Monde assures us, culinary certitudes are taking a beating.

In the old days, back in 1960, the French used to spend relatively more on food than they do today. They all bought the same things, in the same corner shop. Eating habits had basically not changed since the Revolution when everyone stuffed themselves with brioche .

We do things differently now, choosing from a much wider range of food types, and making dietary decisions for environmental, aesthetic or medical reasons.

Some statistics to get your teeth into: the average French person consumes 1060kg of food and drink each year, at the rate of 2.9 kilos per day. That costs 3600 euros annually. Meaning that the national food bill comes to 232 billion euros per calendar year.

Three-quarters of that mountain of grub is guzzled at home, the rest being put away in cafes, cantines, restaurants and sandwich merchants.

Two-thirds of French home-cooked food is bought from a supermarket.

Source: Modern Ghana