Recently, I've enjoyed the company of friends visiting from
I suspect that I wasn't expecting to be too surprised by observed differences, other than prices, since our countries are relatively equally robust. However, it was the robustness of a different sort that my friends, and therefore I, observed most frequently.
To start, size. First was People Size. When I was on assignment in
My friends echoed this sentiment on a few occasions, not menacingly, but rather as an observation. They simply had not seen people of the size and girth in
Next was Portion sizes. Less is More has probably never been as meaningful before as it is today, in terms of food and drink portions. There are over 200 countries in the world are balancing on a knife's edge in their efforts to fight food shortages, but you'd never know that traveling cross country.
We were trying to eat healthy food - meaning real, unprocessed food, actual fiber, and a minimum of artificial ingredients or preservatives proved difficult at best. This is hard on a road trip, to say the least. And, my Norwegian girlfriend is 4 months along in her pregnancy, and has begun to watch everything she eats much more closely now than before. (I remember a time in
The most significant example is our stop in
Even at a few very nice restaurants, veggies that came with a meal were often just scooped out of the birds’eye frozen baggie, nuked, and served a bit blanched and tasteless. Fortunately, the main servings at nicer restaurants had more of a grip on realistic portion sizes than what you find at most national chains (excluding fast-food and the ‘super sizing’ phenomenon therein). Even so, they could not always be counted on to accurately befit their menu descriptions. On more than one occasion, orders for something containing chicken breast were often delivered with fried chicken breast. On one stop at a grocery for car-worthy snacks, we found it difficult to find a simple granola bar type snack that didn’t have noteworthy amounts of added sugar or other additives. And, surprisingly, they were often quite low in fiber – none more than 10 grams, and none that we could find with a 100% DV of fiber.
So, it was with renewed focus on good, healthy eating that I returned from my trip with the Norwegians. I’m all the better for remembering that what looks healthy on the outside may still be scheisse wrapped in a well-design.