Fast Food, Junk Food (4/10)

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Pronunciation: \ə-ˌmer-ə-ˈkä-nə, -ˌmər-, -ˌme-rə-, -ˈka-nə\
Function: noun plural
Date: 1841

1: Materials concerning or characteristic of America, its civilization, or its culture ; broadly : things typical of America
2: American culture

In this series, I’d like to explore various aspect of life in North America. Each topic will be illustrated by a black and white picture.

Beavertails House

Beavertails House

Snacks, sodas, take-outs, pastries, desserts, appetizers, food stalls, fast food… you would never go hungry in North America provided you have some spare change in your pocket.

Food is everywhere. It is advertised on TV and on billboards and chances are that there are franchised coffee shops at every corner. Malls have their food courts, gas stations usually sell snack bars, chips and even donuts, vending machines are ubiquitous and yes, there are Mcdonalds inside Wal Mart.

It seems that each daily activity requires a food stop. Three meals a day — are you kidding? I’m hungry, now!

As if constant eating wasn’t bad enough, food is getting fatter and fatter. Nutritional values are appealing. Weird combinations are popular, such as bacon and donut, peanut butter and jelly, fried chicken and pizza — a true nutritionist nightmare. But junk food is cheap and easy to store in the fridge, or conveniently picked up on your way from work. Eating healthy requires choosing fresh ingredients, paying a premium for low fat products and — gasp — cooking.

Fortunately, North America is also a multicultural land and immigrants brought various dishes from home. Going out to eat often means eating Chinese, Italian, Indian, Greek etc. food. Otherwise, feel free to grab some poutine. Do you want some wings and a 20 ounces Coke with that?

Picture: a Beavertails house in the Byward Market, Ottawa


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Since when is peanut butter and jelly a strange combination? LOL, I practically live off of it-and if you think about it, it’s not quite as bad as most foods. Providing you don’t slather on the jelly (which I don’t).

  2. LOL nutritional nightmare!! You must be getting ready to leave… When are you leaving? Are you going to blog while on the road? (I sure hope so…. 🙂 )

  3. Yes, I’m dreading it. But like you said, there are so many other options too, and I’m looking forward to seeing how immigration has affected food since I’ve last lived in Toronto. 🙂 Never had beavertails before!

  4. Beavertails….poutine…they’re all food that I eat once in a blue moon. I’m more a fan of exotic food. I wish there was more food stands in Canada like in Taiwan…it’s more convinient. 🙂

  5. Peanut butter & Jelly is an American classic! I don’t think there’s an American out there that didn’t grow up on it. Now, peanut butter and Fluff (that marshmallow spread) some people might find gross, but being from the Northeast, I grew up on Fluffernutters too!

  6. I am pure Indian when it comes to food………..Full of spice 🙂 so food in NA become difficult for me….too sweet and too plain to have 🙁

    Ya but when my sweet tooth aches then I need sweet and then NA saves me……ha ha ha 😉

  7. I prefer crunchy peanut butter and banana which is actually fairly healthy. Maybe it is an acquired taste for Europeans, but it is the stuff of life for kids growing up in the USA.

    While you are right about high fat fast food, there is a trend toward healthier eating. Even McDonald’s now offers chef salads and grilled chicken sandwiches.

  8. Peanut butter and jelly is one of North America’s best comfort food combos. I’m a twenty-something and I still enjoy eating PB & J sandwiches for lunch!

  9. Asians eat junk food too, but not at the same amount as North Americans.

    Most people blame the obesity problem on the quality of food, but I suspect quantity is an important factor too. McDonald’s in Malaysia never serves Supersize coke.

  10. I have to agree on your post. Plenty of North Americans just have no control on eating, they eat whenever they feel the slightest hint of hunger, and therefore abandon the three-meal division.

    Speaking of weird combinations, I myself can think of a few more, of which I myself enjoy. I enjoy eating Prosciutto ham with medjool dates. I also like having blue cheese on fried bread. And somehow, M&M’s go well with seafood pasta. Don’t ask me why.

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