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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Foreign fast food just… doesn’t hit the spot

Many restaurants and food companies take traditional dishes from other cultures and adapt them to fit the American appetite, often altering the original recipe and ingredients.
A+Taco+Bell+hard-shell+%E2%80%9CCrunchy+Taco%E2%80%9D+with+ground+beef%2C+lettuce+and+cheddar+cheese.+
WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
A Taco Bell hard-shell “Crunchy Taco” with ground beef, lettuce and cheddar cheese.

Within recent years, there has been a huge increase in restaurants americanizing foreign foods. Some may argue that it brings diversity and innovation to the culinary scene, others see it as a threat to traditional cuisines and cultural appropriation. A lot of these fast food restaurants are liked because of the variety of taste in the meals, however it isn’t as authentic as eating the actual traditional cuisine.

One of the main issues with the americanization of foreign foods is the way in which it is marketed and sold to the public. Many restaurants and food companies take traditional dishes from other cultures and adapt them to fit American tastes, often altering the original recipe and ingredients. Because of this, it doesn’t hold the same expectations.

This can result in a loss of the cultural significance and authenticity of the dish, turning it into a watered-down version of its former self. For example, sushi rolls with cream cheese or burritos with ground beef and cheddar cheese are not true representations of Japanese or Mexican cuisine.

When American companies take traditional dishes from other cultures and profit off of them, without acknowledging or compensating the cultural origins, it perpetuates a cycle of exploitation and erasure. This is particularly problematic when these companies are run by non-minorities, who are often the ones benefiting from the appropriation.

Take Taco Bell as an example. Taco Bell, a fast food chain that serves Tex-Mex cuisine, is not as flavorful as a true Mexican restaurant. The tacos, burritos, and quesadillas at Taco Bell are often filled with bland ingredients and lack the complexity and depth of flavor that is found in traditional Mexican cuisine.

 Founded by Glen Bell in 1962, this fast food chain has over 7,000 locations. Glen Bell was born in California to an English mother and half Swedish, half German father. Funnily, nowhere in his family ancestry does he have hispanic roots.

It is very questionable when American companies, specifically white-owned companies, take traditional dishes from other cultures and profit off of them. To a lot of people, it is taken as compensation for the cultural origins. It isn’t seen as appreciation when the foods made are aimless and a money grab. 

The americanization of foreign foods disregards the cultural significance of traditional dishes. People should be honoring the unique flavors of different cultures and supporting local businesses that specialize in traditional cuisine.

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About the Contributor
Destiny Reveles, Staff Writer
Destiny Reveles is an Opinion writer for The Mirror. She is a senior in her first year in journalism. In her downtime, she loves to play video games with friends and make jewelry. She hopes to attend a four-year college and get a master’s degree in human resources.
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