Globalization is a phenomenon that will continue to happen as the world expands and the lines between cultures and ideals are broken or assimilated. I see globalization occurring more with food than anything else. I am always hearing about how ‘Americanized’ a country has become or what fast food and other manipulations have occurred. At the same time, globalization seems to take on some localized efforts. These same ‘Americanized’ restaurants are then creating specialized menus related to the local area they are developed in. For example, in the middle east, McDonalds has many vegetarian options to suit the culture of the people living in the area. And countries like Japan and China have more rice, soy sauce, raw fish, etc.. related items to cater to their own cultures.
Living in America, I can also see globalization occurring. My favorite foods happen to be Chinese and Mexican. Although America has localized cuisine within these cultural styles of cooking, I still find that more and more non traditional american restaurants are popping up. It is exciting and fun, cultural cuisines and dishes I have never heard of are now right there for me to try.
On the other hand, some would say that globalization is harming cultures and ideals. This can be the case, when the original culture and ideals are forgotten. However, a majority of the time, these evaluations are just on the surface and related to the localization efforts. Just because a Chinese restaurant down the street serves non traditional Chinese food does not mean that the Chinese culture is lost and will never be known again. It is important to remember your past but moving forward is about assimilation, not forgetfulness.
Andrew Sherman, IMS 416