Effects of American Television on the Food We Eat

 , NDTV  |  Updated: August 20, 2014 11:47 IST

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Effects of American Television on the Food We Eat
Dear American television series,

You have turned me into a food snob.

Sincerely,
A girl who wants to devour all that good looking, fancy sounding food.

The day I started following my first American sitcom on television, the thing that hit me like a truck was how exotic and fancy their food was. I'm sure they thought of our food like that too. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

As a teenager I wanted to live in a country far far away and eat pancakes with bacon for breakfast. Hummus for lunch, anyone? Yes, my life revolves around food basically. But these series are raising my expectations to abysmal levels. Every time I see Joey from 'Friends' eating a sandwich I always shout out for one. Then I sit there twiddling my thumbs and waiting for a fat gorgeous mountain of toasted baguette piled high with juicy things. But what do I get? A sookha mara sandwich consisting of floppy white bread and wilted cucumbers, half-heartedly sprinkled with some pepper.

Master Chef is the bane of my existence. Even after eating an entire meal I have to have something to munch on after watching that blasted show. The food looks so delicious, makes me feel hungry all the time and I take comfort in the fact that I'm not alone in this feeling. You do that too, right?

One fine day while I was sitting in a cafe studying a menu I was struck by a sudden realization. Slowly but surely, the food around us is changing. I used to think 'wow, how cool are they? They have such coffee houses like Central Perk where they can just sit and talk!' A few years later we had Barista and Cafe Coffee Day spread all over the country like pimples before an important date.

Apart from coffee there was a change in what people eat too. Breakfasts now contain more of cornflakes and muesli than aaloo paranthas and lassi. Pancake mixtures and frozen waffles are available in supermarkets. Mc Donald's also serves a wide variety of international food as a part of their menu. Food chains like KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Nandos and Dominos have become regular eating out joints. Nachos, jalapeno poppers, chicken wings, cinnamon rolls are being sold at every mall.

Globalization has slowly manifested itself in the form of food. India never had the concept of eating on the go, but now off the shelf cooking (canned foods) has become a rage in India. We usually had proper sit down meals, freshly cooked and served hot. No doubt we still do, but it's becoming more fast lane.

Things we'd only dreamed about and salivated over are now within arm's reach! It's not just food that has changed. The way we talk, the way we dress and our lifestyle has gone through serious upheavals too.



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