February 22. 2015 Globalizing the food industry could lead to obesity and lack of family unity in other countries as it has in the United States, over time. In the 1950’s a family would sit down at nearly the same time each evening for dinner. Today, we are hard-pressed to have everyone in the same room at once for an extended period of time. We owe this, in part, to processed, pre-packaged convenience foods. Globalization of the food industry in other countries will ultimately depict a much different picture of those countries that begins to look more like the fast paced, fast-food lifestyle in the United States. My writing began with an outline of information related to the topic. Upon further research; each of the geographical locations, the effects of globalization on the food industry, and food cultures in each location, the essay developed. My thesis was determined and my topic was expanded as my essay progressed. In conclusion, drawing on the idea of real food as defined by Pollan, the globalization of the food industry in other cultures will, in fact, lead to an unhealthier, disconnected family unit.
Menzel, an award winning photographer, published in “Life, National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine.” and D’Aluisio, an acclaimed writer, editor and lead writer for the Material World book series, have collaborated to explore what foods an average family consumes in one week. Drawing from several different cultures, photos of each family with their weekly consumption of food, paints a diverse picture of each.
In Guatemala, the Mendoza family, a thriving family seated in their courtyard with their servant, seems to enjoy a variety of food items that are most likely purchased on Saturdays when the market is open. They seem to have a balance of grains, fruits, vegetables and chicken. Many celebrations in Guatemala surround food, which is a large part of the culture. All Saints Day is a day of remembrance for loved ones who have passed on and it is customary to enjoy a picnic atop the grave. The agriculture in Guatemala is plentiful and sustainable. Not much globalization of food is needed here but as we can see from the photo, some prepackaged foods have made their way into this culture.
The Patkars, from India, live in a very ornate city where there are many restaurants and where tourists can enjoy street foods, many of which are vegetarian, from the food court. Much of the food industry here has been globalized and has begun to shift toward processed foods. Colas, chips and other convenience foods adorn the table in the living room of the Patkar home. It would appear that mealtime for the Patkars is light and airy, in the comfort of their modest home. The Patkars resemble to be the typical American, middle class family.
As we move to Mali, the Natomos family, shown on the rooftop of their primitive home, surrounded by mostly rice, millet (a type of small-seeded cereal grain), and corn, which are the basic crops in this rural area. Two wives alternate in the preparation of food, grinding grain and preparing breakfast cakes, some of which are sold. Food does not seem to be of any more importance than the sustenance it offers. Mealtime is a ritual that begins with the male head of household partaking in the meal first. The family eats in silence and each knows customarily what is polite. The consumption of meat in this region is a sign of wealth which is not the case with the Natomos family. This may sound constrained to those of us born in the United States, but this family appears to be genuinely happy. Globalization has not yet reached this corner of the earth with the exception of a seasoning cube that can be found in even the most remote village which makes easier the mixing of spices to season foods that would otherwise remain bland and tasteless.
The globalization of pre-seasoned, prepackaged foods also contributes to the problem of obesity