08 March 2009

corporate chicken

corporate chicken is a post where i have written my impressions on american food culture.
This is how some americans feel about their food. Art on
Apartment Therapy does not mince words in writing about the same.

"In my opinion,
In order to make a real difference, we have to change American culture.

It's interesting to look at the food cultures of countries that we consider to be poor. Mexico, India, Vietnam, China, Iran for instance. These cuisines happen to be among my favorite to eat. What's interesting to me is that a poor family from one of these places will take a pound of beef or other meat and create a multi-dimensional dish for an entire family. Why? Because they are poor? They cannot afford a giant piece of meat for the family? I don't know. All I know is that through the use of spice blends, fresh herbs, vegetables, rice, noodles, broths, chili peppers, citrus and so on, meat becomes secondary and flavors and textures are more important. And what's more important, is that the family is fed and fed well and fed together.

But I digress.

Americans want more for cheap. We will not stop this quest until something breaks. Even when it breaks, we don't stop, we just try to mend it or throw water on the fire. Broken ozone, broken waistlines, broken economies, broken families, broken borders, broken values.

People are not dependent on cheap meat. They have just been led in the wrong direction and they have become permanently disoriented. As long as there is a meat lover's pizza in every little hamlet, don't fear, you know you're in America. And TGIF! There will be a $10.99 three course meal waiting for you with a 10 oz. mechanically tenderized off-cut of holstein as your main course! Remember, it's not quality, it's quantity! (more bang for the buck!)"

Art posts a 2nd comment onthe same post -

"think it's fair to say that Europe generally has a much different food culture than America. Generally speaking, many of the countries and regions have centuries of food tradition. These traditions are based on regional products. Needless to say, many of these food traditions are based on resourcefulness, using regional products to their full potential.

In America, the drive to assembly line everything has assembly lined our eating. It will be very, very hard to reverse this. It doesn't matter if meat prices go up. They always do during certain times of the year. It doesn't curb demand. Besides, we've figured out ways scientifically alter meat product to make it cheaper.

For example. There is an industrial technique used to extract albumin, a natural glue almost, from muscle tissue. Lean pieces of tenderloin trimming that would otherwise go into ground beef can be glued back together with albumin, formed into a cylinder and then sliced into an 8 or 10 oz. "filet" and be sold for a few dollars. These are often marketed wrapped with bacon in a plastic blister pack in the meat section.

While you and I may be trying to cut back on our red meat consumption and to eat organic grass fed beef, suppliers are constantly figuring out ways to give the masses what they really want--more meat. More meat in their hot pockets, more meat for their hamburger helper, more meat for their favorite fast food burger, taco or toasty sub, more meat for their hot dogs, more meat for their empty food culture."
Here is the paradox. America is the richest country in the world, and yet is a slave to corporate gimmicks ?!

fanatic cook : a blog that prompts you to think about your food buying habits and politics of the plate.
other interesting opinions found at the link on the subject of food.if the editorial team at apartment therapy has objections i will take this down.


Vinod_Sharma said...

And I thought Americans were going veg seriously!

Mavin said...

A large part of India survives with a few rotis, onions, chillies and may be very few vegetables.

They cannot afford meat if you forget that large parts of the country are already vegetarian.

Vegetarianism is probably a good thing to propagate (ignoring religious sanctions. Increasing meat consumption probably diverts much of farmland to cultivate fodder. This could have grown foodgrains, fruits and vegetables for the hungry masses.

The anatomy and politics of hunger is very different.

Indyeah said...

I am all for vegetarianism...and someone please mail this to Dubya after his comment on how India's middle class supposedly gobbles evrything up..

Solilo said...

Meat is a major part of the food hence insufficient. This made an interesting read and actually true too.

Bix said...

"More meat in their hot pockets."


It's true. It's a meat culture here. It's not doing anyone any favors, not even the factories that produce the meat, which used to receive grand favors from their meat production. With corn being diverted to ethanol, grain prices are rising and squeezing their profits ... I think. I'm not a cattleman so I can't attest.

Georg said...

Bonjour Anrosh,

What happens in the USA happens in Europe ten to fifteen years later. That is so since the last war.

Thus obesity has become a national problem in Germany, Great Britain and even here in France.

Sure, food traditions are not forgotten here in France. But more and more people seem to ignore them and favor of something fast and cheap when hungry.

This is a variation of Darwin's law : the survival of the fittest and best adopted. In this special case one must KNOW what is good and what is not. Otherwise, down the drain you go.


Anrosh said...

vinod, some are.

Anrosh said...

vinod, some are.

Anrosh said...

mavin, if we go back to sustainable farming it is good - however romantic an idea it is it does not bring bread and butter to farmers . i think they are the ones who suffer more - organic - a book , makes an interesting read. i think we need such books written in india to raise conscious levels. there should be a channel on agriculture in english and hindi ( IS there one ?)

indyeah - who is dubya?

Solio - . most americans are "led to believe" that meat is necessary and those who do not eat meat is "poor" and who wants to have a feeling that they are "poor".

bix : give it 30 years and we should see the change toward good food habbits. america itself will be surprised!

georg, you always enlighten us with your info on europe. thank you.

corine said...

Did you see that serie of images from the Times a year or so ago where they showed different families from across the world in their eating areas and surrounded with the very food they would eat in a month. It was so enlightening. A family of ten in mongolia had a small stack of rice and tubers in front of them, the american family of 4 had an obscene amount of food (and packaging) surrounding them. I wish I could find that series again for you if you don't know it already.

Bix said...

corine, I blogged about it here:


The photos are by Peter Menzel. It's a great book: "Hungry Planet"

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