American Beauty

No recipes to share today, and no MSB either – I am on the other side of the world in the good old U.S of A!

Long story short; I am on a university study tour learning about the differences in American and Australian approaches to food and nutrition.

This is the second time I have been to the U.S, first time to the East coast, and I am learning a lot and visiting some fantastic locations such as Wholefoods, Honest-Tea, the National Institute of Health and McCormick.

First impressions:

  • Junk food is cheap! This was no surprise.
  • Serving sizes are big, but not all the time, and more so when dining out (McDonald’s do not do their ‘super size’ anymore) which we were quite disappointed about!
  • The range of products available to consumers is huge, almost overwhelming.
  • Vegetarians/vegans and those with food intolerances are much more well catered for than in Australia.
  • Wholefoods Market is health food heaven! Expensive, but heaven.

Some of the amazing new products I have found so far…

  • vegan tuna – this was something I had never seen before! Appearance wise, very similar, taste wise I actually didn’t love it that much, it was a little oily.
  • tofu shirataki noodles
  • seitan products – it’s really hard to find seitan in Aus but it’s everywhere here! Had a couple of varieties which have been ok..nothing fantastic yet..
  • Daiya dairy products
  • lots and lots of new chocolate and lollies! (think giant gummy bears and chocolate with bacon pieces)
  • beverages; low sugar iced tea – Honest Tea have a good range with very minimal sweeteners.
  • no-egg egg salad
  • lots of exciting salad bars!

I am actually eating a whole lot better over here than what I thought I would be, and would like to dispel the stereotype that America is full of bad food! Firstly, Washington DC is a super active city – lots of runners and fit people! Also, there are plenty of healthy options to turn to if you don’t want a burger and fries.

More importantly, food industry and government are doing so many huge things to combat the obesity epidemic and make an impact on population health. Everyone in the food and nutrition industry in some way or another is doing something to improve, whether it be McCormick’s salt-free seasoning or Honest-Tea’s low sugar beverages or the thousands of amazing research projects going on at NIH – the wheels are in motion! It has been inspiring and uplifting to realise that the outlook of our population health is not as dire as what I once thought. Of course – there are still major problems, conflicts of interest and disparities, but so far I have been impressed.

Stay tuned. Philadelphia and New York comin’ up! x

[To my American readers: would you agree with my first impressions? Has anyone been to Australia before and noticed a difference within the food and nutrition industry? Please share!]


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