Are Americans the Real Snob?




I started reading this book a few days ago and have been really intrigued by it. Like many parents, I picked up some books in desperation of trying to understand how to get my little Hayden (who is about to turn 2) to eat everything, or at least to try… so far, it’s been an uphill battle.

Now, I’m not about to go into a book review, but I do have to say that after reading a few short chapters, a lot of it is making sense and I’m applying some of it to Hayden, which seems to be kind of working. So, I would highly suggest you to pick one up if you are up against a picky eater!

Aside from picking up tips on how to get my kid to eat like the French, there was this little section in the book that intrigued me even more. It was an argument about the food culture between the French and the Americans. (Yes, I’m going a little off the tangent today but I think you will find this interesting too.)

Let’s admit it ~ we all think the French are a bit snobby. They are so formal with everything. On any given meal, you will not find them dining without a table cloth or fancy utensils. And this is not just for the rich; all the common people do the same. And when it comes to food, almost every family eats local fresh food…like what we actually get served in fine dining.

So basically, the French are saying that providing fresh food to the people and eating well is the general baseline of French culture. This belief is adopted across the board on families, education system, and the government. Regardless of what economic class people are in, accessing to fresh food and cultivating the art of eating is a crucial part of being French. These values are taught to everyone as early as infancy.

On the contrary, as the French argues, Americans are the snobby ones! Fresh food are only accessible to the middle and upper class. The lower class citizens have no access to good food nor are they educated on them. This is very visible in our school system where  public schools offer kids poor choices for lunch, leading our kids to making bad food choices outside of school, as well as obesity and other health problems. Having been to public school myself, I remember my options were pizza, corn dogs, tater tots, and artificially flavored jello. And if I felt multicultural, I can get myself a beef or chicken flavored Cup-O-Noodles or a microwaved piroshki. Yes, this was in San Francisco. Not somewhere in the midwest. Whereas, in French schools, you will find beet salads, local farmed fish and fresh fruit for dessert.

In a way, this argument does have a point. And quite honestly, I’m not sure how to counter the argument, which leads me to think – are we the real snobs? Do we only reserve the good food for the elite? Is that why I’m so afraid to send my daughter to a public school? Why is it eating healthy and providing fresh food to my family in America cost so much? I’d love to hear what you think?

(Images via Shop Sweet Things)