You're what you eat (Blog 7)

Simple and Convenient

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There are always two different kinds of American food in my eyes. They are either dish of meat or dish of vegetables, either uncooked or fried and either sweet or plain. My categories for food may be too simple, but I think they are the basic compositions of American food. It is simple and convenient.

When I entered Bucknell’s café the first time, I was amazed, it is not common to have all these kinds of dishes with huge amount of meat inChina, and I just love meat. I thought I was in the paradise as fried chicken is my favorite dish at that time, it was simply because I didn’t have it so frequent in China, and it was on the menu everyday. After several months, I found myself weigh 20 pounds more than I just entered Bucknell, and I was tired of eating meat and desserts everyday. Then I became so curious about how American girls keep in shape under this kind of food situation, then the answer surprised me again, salad and gym. It was unbelievable for me if someone just had salad for lunch or dinner, and it happens here in America. As a typical Chinese, I used to not consume that amount of meat and desserts, and so not to much calories in my dishes, and everything went well without gym.

Then I started to try to cook myself in order to lose weight if possible, and I had to explore Wal-Mart and Weis. I was surprised again. Everything is just so convenient! Is that serious to have egg yolk and egg white separate in liquid? Is that serious to have almost everything frozen in the fridge and all you need is a microwave? Is that serious to have vegetables and fruit cut and packed in a plastic box and even someone has washed them for you? And finally, is it good for people to have food that convenient to consume? I guess no. For example, the frozen food, to keep them not to expire in a long period of time, I assume chemicals must be added, they might not be toxic right now, but in long run, no one can guarantee that.

I found an article with nice pictures and brief introductions of real Chinese dishes:

History and Culture: Chinese Food

6 thoughts on “Simple and Convenient

    • The precut vegetables and fruit. That just seems nuts to me. First, it never looks as tasty as a carrot I cut up. Second, at least at Bucknell, what they charge for like a cup of grapes is OUTRAGEOUS. It is cheaper to buy a twinkie!

  1. Weichen, I can’t imagine the cultur shock you experienced when coming to Lewisburg, PA from China. I know that we “Americanize” Chinese food in the United States to a point at which it’s utterly changed. I’m curious as to how you find the “Chinese food” here, and what you would consider authentic Chinese cuisine. Do you think that Weis and Walmart’s precut vegetables and frozen foods are a result of American’s laziness, our fast paced society, or the fact that many of us do not value food preparation?

    • It is hard to find real Chinese restaurants around Lewisburg, we sometimes drive to Penn State University which is the nearest location with good asian restaurants. Apparently, fortune cookies and sweet sour chicken are those I have never seen in China, and they are considered as icons of Chinese food here. I think what Weis and Walmart do for the food is “creative” for me, as Adri said in her comment “Americans are very busy, either with school or work.” That might be the reason!

  2. Weichen, your experience with American food presents a unique perspective. What are grocery stores like in China? I think a lot of the frozen and prepared foods here in America are a result of our culture. Many Americans are very busy, either with school or work. I have noticed that grocery stores are starting to sell more pre-cut vegetables and frozen food items so customers can easily prepare meals at home rather than go to a fast food restaurant.

    • Typical grocery stores in China just don’t have that much of choices for you, and the packages are not fancy like those here at all. The frozen food in Walmart here can be classified as export food, with unreasonable high price in some high end stores.

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