Sri Lanka has very interesting dietary habits. I don’t mean the food itself, which is always various curry dishes with rice, noodles, or pancakes. Rather I am referring to people’s attitudes towards food. For example:
Everyone always asks me where I eat. At the office in the morning, the first questions are “How are you? Where did you eat last night? Where are you buying your lunch?” No one ever seems curious as to what I eat, only where I got it. I can only assume that certain restaurants provide haute cuisine while others induce food poisoning, and hopefully someone will clue me in soon as to which restaurants are which.
All of the fruit is labelled according to country of origin in large bold font, as though the country is a brand name and of crucial importance in a shopper’s produce decisions. At the supermarket, I don’t just buy grapes. No, no, no. I buy only the best South African grapes. Pomegranates from Pakistan, strawberries from Chile, oranges from Australia — I travel around the world during my lunch break. It even forces me to make political decisions: should I buy the apples from the US or China? US patriotism or Chinese domination in the world economy?
I know some people who are very particular about what they eat — no funny sauces, strange organs or animal body parts, or unusual animals. I am not one of them. But it turns out I do like to know from which country my produce originates. Who knew?
You can bet I will be starting a petition to the USDA as soon as I return to the States.
Posted By Madeline England
Posted Jul 20th, 2007