Sunday, October 17, 2010

Has the media turned our cultural Caribbean cuisine nation into a fast food federation?

By C. Felix

Trinidad and Tobago was once an island known for its local cuisines which were handed down from generations to generations for centuries from all ethical backgrounds.  
The East Indians brought a range of curry tongue-tingling delicacies while the Africans brought their own delicious creole flavours, making Trinidad and Tobago the taste bud paradise of the world. In other words, Trinbagonians could 'reallll' cook.
However, with fast food influences from abroad being magnified by the dominating media, Trinbagonians are quickly loosing the ‘sweet hand’ we could have proudly boasted of just a few years ago. 
Instead of one spending 40 minutes over a pot to make a healthy tasty beef pelau or dhal, rice and curry fish, we prefer to spend $60 on a medium pizza or $40 on a 4-piece chicken and fries daily, which by the way research has proven are filled with so much unhealthy trans-fats that it slowly clogs your arteries, killing you while you eat.
It cannot be that these fast food are so popular in Trinidad and Tobago because of the ‘fastness’ because if you have ever been to a local fast food outlet, you would definitely see that the lines are extremely long, notice the very unsanitary conditions (particularly in the bathrooms) and the service is unbearably slow which is also accompanied with hoggish customer service representatives.
It's simply because the media have pushed the convenience of fast food so extensively throughout the world that we now wonder how the hell can we live without fast food, which companies spend millions of dollars on monthly advertising  to ensure the messages are delivered and registered.
The speed, the luxury of not cooking, the yummy taste;  all these messages and thousands more like it are being fed to us in all 'forms and fashion' - Internet, billboards, television, posters, banners, etc. All this effort to ensure that you the public are hooked on fast food.
As for me, the fast food brainwash of the dominant media can take a back burner because nothing beats my great-grand-mama's curry crab and dumplings washed down by some sweet homemade passion-fruit punch.
Yeah! 



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What's your opinion?  Do you think the media turned our cultural Caribbean cuisine nation into a fast food federation?



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

its not just the ads but the programs aired on stations, telling us what to eat and most of these show don't talk about local foods. we have programs teaching you how to cook international dishes. We have Wendy Ramhamath on a Sunday, but sometimes i wonder if she is cooking for a local audience or international audience. how come she never cook by a river? or bus ah curry goat around Eid or Divali?

Sieda Paul said...

I dont believe that "the media have pushed the convenience of fast food so extensively throughout the world that we now wonder how the hell can we live without fast food..." do u really think its the media? the fact is after you have had along day starting at 3 an ending at 5 how many people do u think really have the time to go home to cook dumpling and curry crabs or roti with curry chicken??? I'm sure the media didnt have try to convince those people how convenient it is to go and buy Subway or some other fast food...People's busy schedules are what really encourage people to consume more fast food..

Anonymous said...

I agree that the media does make an impact. It may not be a direct message sent but subliminally it does tell us that fast food is the way to solve our problems. Further, I just think that people in trinidad are becoming lazier and I guess the peoliferation of fast food restaurants bolsters this lazy mentality we have developed