article on western food encroaching on asian culture and life
| Recently I became aware of an ever increasingly topic being broadcast on asian television stations which is the growing popularity of western food, espicially in Korea. I published an article on this subject on a writers site recently, mostly reviewing the ability of the asian chefs and their influence on integrating European with Asian. My goal here is to discuss the after effects of these trends.
Beginning with the easiest to observe, the fast-food chains, these seem to be where the largest attraction is, are growing in numbers faster than one can write about them. For a long time, watching asian television one would see McDonald's at least once during a program, be it drama, romance, documentary, etc then we started seeing, Burger King, and T.G.I. Friday's, then Subway and the list goes on.
Now as we tune in to watch documentaries, or short stories they are becoming news topics worthy of reporting on because they are affecting not only the cultural change in Asian life but the overall health of these once healthy nations with longevity that surpassed anything the west ever thought of. Asian countries have typically been known to produce very brillant minds that were worked in what the west would associate with slave labor standards. You didn't typically see an overweight asian bewteen the ages of one and 50 and even then the cases were usually due to a health issue, not so now.
With the advent of computers, and the ever present hand held games that can be incorprated into the home television, along with the growing need for families to keep up with the cost of living which is requiring more and more mothers to enter the workforce, which causes the children to be left home to fend for themselves, which further leads to yes, the westernization of meal time.
Typically, mothers stayed home and took care of the house, and had breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner on the table when needed twenty-four hours a day. Now the fathers, business individuals, factory workers, sales individuals, white collar, blue collar, peasant, and student can be found in the local Pizza-Hut, Subway, T.G.I. Friday's, etc two, sometimes three days a week for as many or more meals, why? The same reason it started in the west, it tastes good, it's different, it's fast, and it's the new fad! But is this fad destorying not only a way of life but, a life that promised a guaranteed longevity?
Asians seem to be noticably becoming more obese in their teens and twenties with much more health problems such as diabetes, and high blood pressure and one can't help but believe it's stemming from this westernization of their typically once healthy diets. Think about it for a minute. How can a culture brought up on vegetable dishes, interspersed with beef, pork and fish, doled out in small portions over the course of a day, sometimes as many as seven times a day, with a total calorie content of MAYBE 2500 be expected to stay as healthy consuming the heavenly #2 combo of the western fast-food chain that can top-out at no less than 2000 calories, FOR JUST ONE MEAL.
Fortunately, there are watchdog groups in these countries that are bringing this to the forefront and demanding the proper air time on television networks to ensure that the subject is not overlooked. But the big question is can the Asian cultures and traditions overcome the onslaught of western food trends, hopefully they will not only survive they will bring their knowledge to the western world where a change of diet could definately be stood.