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Eating American

For a nation “On the Go”, there’s nothing better than Fast Food. The USA invented “fast-food”, but have you heard the results?

Diabetes is almost an epidemic in America, partly because Americans eat too much high calorie food containing the worst types of carbohydrates. Visitors returning from the USA say they gained weight because they too are eating fast (and “fat”) food in American franchise restaurants.

Although the U.S. is the home of fast-food, there are still restaurants with food prepared and eaten like you would at home, and, believe it or not, you can find some of the healthiest food in the world in the USA, if you know where to look or how to cook it.

Not all fast food restaurants are bad, and not all non-fast food restaurants are always healthy; but franchise restaurant menus are based on marketing, not necessarily nutrition. The strategy for these chain restaurants is based on “the brand”: Big Macs, and The Whopper; but they are consistent. Every McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King looks and tastes the same in Europe and Asia as they do in the USA. There are no surprises; you know exactly what you’re going to get in Chicago, L.A., Lisbon or Tokyo.

That because they all have exactly same menu: the edible icons of American efficiency and salesmanship: at the price of variety and individualism. What we gain in efficiency, we lose the adventure, and often the risks, of trying new, exotic and basically foreign fare.

Americans rarely invade and occupy other nations with troops and tanks any more, but Colonel Sanders, Big Macs and the Golden Arches are occupying foreign territory and stomachs almost as much as Americans. And for the hungry expat not yet accustomed to chop sticks and dried fish, that’s a blessing.