I Was Just Really Very Hungry shares her recent experience with modern French dining. It’s kind of sad:Usually I love learning about other countries’ cuisine, but not this time.
France suffers from the same afflictions as any modern nation - people are too busy, they are in a hurry, there's no time. Most of the people taking their leisurely time at the weekday morning markets are elderly…Oh man. How much longer before we start referring to the Standard American Diet as the Standard Global Diet? For another depressing dietary story, check out Sun Setting on the Mediterranean Diet to learn about the people of Crete:
…There are fast food restaurants everywhere in France - as well as McDonalds and KFC and the like there are also the French chains like Quick and Flunch. And then there are the roadside diners. Granted, roadside diners anywhere generally have a tough time maintaining quality, but still - I encountered one of the worst looking so-called meals I've ever seen at an Autogrill (a roadside restaurant chain) near Lyons on the long drive back home. It was called a Steak Hâche - which translated to 'minced steak' - a.k.a. a hamburger.
Cretans ate mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish. Saturated fat was less than 6 percent of their total fat intake. True, they ate lots of olive oil, but the rest of their diet was exceptionally healthy. They also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often pushing a plow or working other manual farm equipment.1. Kafatos, A., A. Diacatou, G. Voukiklaris, et al. 1997. Heart disease risk-factor status and dietary changes in the Cretan population over the past 30 years: the Seven Countries Study. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 65 (6):1882-86.
Today the people of Crete are fat, just like us. They're still eating a lot of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat, cheese, and fish are their new staples, and their physical activity level has plummeted. Today, heart disease has skyrocketed and more than half the population of both adults and children in Crete is overweight.1