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. http://www.bravenewtraveler.com/2008/12/27/whopper-virgins-how-burger-king-looks-at-people-worldwide/