Our country has achieved a reputation as being not only powerful, but often meddling in the affairs of other countries against their will. This perception has greatly influenced not only American culture and the culture of countries we are at war with, but it has also had both a negative and positive impact on the food we eat – the example in the video of the veteran who was surprised at the current popularity of sushi is a prime example.
Once it was taboo; now it is commonplace. World War II was a time of rationing, which made availability of some of Americans’ staples scarce. Soldiers who fought in this war, as well as those on the front lines in the Korean and Vietnam wars afterward, were greatly influenced by their experiences as to their choice of food. Prisoners of war were most affected; often they were forced to eat rice or moldy bread and consequently could not stomach that food once they returned home.
Any kind of food that reminded a former soldier of his war experience, no matter how simple or edible, became taboo. Some foods became symbols of these struggles – for instance, the Vietnamese were looked down upon for eating dogs and this just added to their image as morally deficient people by the American soldiers. The current war in Iraq has diminished the popularity of middle Eastern restaurants, much the same as Asian food was not preferred while we were at war with Japan, Vietnam and Korea.
Import embargoes in place during times of war also affected food availability, both for the United States and the warring country. In both cases, people were compelled to rely on native-grown food which merely strengthened their traditional way of eating. Taboos concerning certain foods are hard, but not impossible, to overcome. The fact that Jewish people do not eat pork as shown in the video, although there is little reason not to do so, is a prime example of a food taboo that would be quite difficult to overcome.
Food that we feel is morally wrong to eat is most resistant to breaking taboos. Only faced with a severe shortage of food supplies can one ever imagine the average American family eating dog or horse meat although an old movie, Soylent Green, depicts a future society dining on each other! There are too many options available currently for Americans to feel the need to break a taboo by eating something they have been raised to believe was not “edible”.Sample Essay of Custom-Writing