Fast Food Globalism

Gary Arndt at EverythingEverywhere has an interesting post on McDonald’s around the world. He writes:

Many people flip out with the idea of western restaurants in non-western countries. They lament “globalism”, which is usually defined as elements of western culture in non-western countries. Whereas non-western cultural elements in western countries is considered “diversity”. It isn’t quite that simple.

Just because you have McDonald’s and Starbucks doesn’t mean a country’s culture has been destroyed, any more than Chinese restaurants destroy American culture. (and it should be noted that there are more Chinese restaurants in the US than there are McDonald’s, Wendys, KFC and Burger King COMBINED). You can add elements from another culture and still keep what is essential to your own.

(Thanks to @ AuthenticCoast for sending the link)

Some random thoughts on fast food while traveling:

* In Bangladesh Dalton told me that the reason Bangladesh didn’t have a McDonald’s was because the country’s meat didn’t meet their quality standards. I’ve since (tried to) become a vegetarian in countries that don’t have a McDonald’s.

* Matador travel recently had a great piece about Burger Kings new ad campaign Whopper virgins. BK travels the world finding people that have never eaten a hamburger and conduct taste tests between their burgers and McDonald’s. Regardless of which the taste tester chooses I would like to see what they think of the burgers a few hours later. Don’t know about you, but if I haven’t eaten fast food in a few months and splurge on a burger my plumbing takes a pretty good punch.

Jenn says:

Arndt makes a good point about celebrating diversity vs. lamenting globalism…I’ve been guilty of cursing McDonald’s before, too, but I also love Chinese food. It’s good to take a step back and look at it from a new perspective.

Kent says:

Imagine if Taco Bell when on a world tour?

Chris Cross says:

Are these Chinese restaurants all run by the same few companies and franchises world-wide. Besides of which this isn’t just a food thing lots of businesses have went global by sending all their factories overseas. Now there is more and more call for one global governance. The pope is calling for it. Also the call for a one world religion. You can all act as if Wall-Mart is the same as some small Chinese one store shop ran by one family all you want to. I however will stop buying from these companies that push for global dominance like Apple and Microsoft.

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