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The ‘American Experience’, food-wise

Would you like ketchup with that?

I’ve been off the radar for a few days due to some food poisoning. Let it be a lesson to you that any sprouts you buy, you should always wash them before consumption. Even if they look ‘ready to eat’.

While I was away, a fellow blogger over at wholisticme.wordpress.com made a comment about my Lamenting the Consumption of ‘the King’ blog. It was my recent experience at Burger King and how I wished that there were healthier options at the theater.

She wrote: “I wanted to treat my daughter, and she chose Burger king (veggie burger) it was awful, we are still talking about it 8 months later. We had just moved to the states and I wanted her to have an Amercan experience, never again for us.

Now, I’m sorry to say I don’t know where she is from originally but the first thought I had upon reading this was, isn’t it sad that for so many cultures the ‘American Experience’ in cuisine is fast food? I know I’m not from the United States but I am Canadian and we have similar dining philosophies. I wonder if people from other countries are shaking their heads at Americans, in general, as they look at us from different cultures based in different culinary traditions. We live up to stereotypes all the time, too.

A few years ago my husband and I went to Disney World in Florida. I’ve been to all the parks but he’d never been to Epcot. I know, I know…not the most interesting of the parks, but he had to experience it at least once, right? Anyways, for those of you who’ve never been, Epcot is the park with the all the different world pavilions. They are built to look like traditional architecture, they serve traditional foods and sell traditional, touristy items. If you want to travel the world but you’re short on time and budget, it’s not too shabby. Canada’s pavilion is like a steakhouse, Japan’s has hibachi, Italy’s is a pasta house and America’s…well, you are looking at your basic burger joint painted red, white and blue. Holy stereotype, Batman! But stereotypes are so often based in truths.

There is a reason that North Americans are so obese, sick and overcrowding the health care system. The amount of processed foods we consume and our portion sizes are way out of whack with the rest of the world.  One of the books I picked up to read during my Year of the Detox is The China Study and I am looking so forward to reading it. It examines the link between diet and disease. Yes, the studies look mainly at numbers from the United States, but Canada is not doing much better than the States as far as processed food consumption goes. It’s hard not to be influenced by your neighbours, but I try to tune out things like ‘The Jersey Shore”.  Even in the last book I read, The Enzyme Factor, Dr. Shinya talks about the detrimental affect that the American diet is having on the health of Japanese people. Import and export occurs all over the world. I think it is upsetting that probably the most major and recognizable culinary contribution North America has made to the world is McDonald’s.

Do you agree? Do you see the stereotypical ‘American’ culinary representation to be fast food? If you are from another country, I’d love to hear your opinion as well!

 

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About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on March 28, 2012, in Experiences, musings, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My take on “American Cuisine” or north american at that. What people tend to forget is that north america (other than first nations) is all based on immgiration throughout history.

    So really, Native cuisine, is actually originally american cuisine. then through colonialization – multi cultures brought their cooking to america.

    So after that, the only “new” and none culturally based thing that was born in America is FAST FOOD. So i think that is how the stereotype came about. Because basically we just brought a variety of different cultures and food associations all to north america. so they are still attached to their original roots. not north america.

  2. I suppose my view on American food is influenced by watching TV progammes! I spent 2 nights in NY a few years ago and we ate very well but it seemed to be mainly Italian so not much different to restaurants in the UK. I do tend to assume most people eat too much fast food as there are so many enormous Americans!

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