Home Thoughts From A Broad

by DavalosMcCormack on March 24, 2009

Some friends of ours recently visited San Francisco from England. We had many conversations during their stay and asked them to write an article about some of their perceptions about America. Vicki Wiles is a nurse and genetic counselor, these are her thoughts.

“We love visiting America. We love the sunshine after England’s grey skies, the proper snow that doesn’t make all the transport grind to a halt and the warm friendly reception we get from you lot. Well ok, sometimes we find the constant “ Have a nice day’s” a bit overwhelming, being reserved English types who take a while to get to know anyone, but we appreciate the sentiment.

One thing we do find daunting though is the food. We (my husband and I ) first came over in 1981, traveling by Greyhound bus from New York to Chicago and then to New Orleans. And since then we’ve been back 6 or 7 times to the East and West coasts, leaving the bit in the middle yet to be explored.

In that time we’ve seen the food portions served in restaurants grow at an alarming rate. It starts as a joke. How many pancakes will there be on one plate and will they be covered in cream as well as syrup? Will the cooked breakfast for one have enough on it to feed a family of five?

But it stops being a joke when, yet again, I am unable to finish what I’ve been given and have to leave half or more of it untouched and having to be thrown away.

Anyone would get overweight if they finished these platefuls regularly, unless they dug holes in the road by hand all day for a living and didn’t eat again until evening.

It makes us wonder why so many of the restaurants and diners in the US have adopted this way of serving food. Is it something to do with the settler mentality that makes eating an enormous meal seem a good idea, just in case you don’t get anything much else for 3 days? No wonder obesity is an increasing problem.

We’ve found that sharing a meal works well. This makes it cheaper for us poor Brits now we get so few dollars to our pounds.

But now we’re back in England after our recent visit to Kevin and Shirley, we’ve realized that the same thing is happening here, because what happens in the US eventually crosses the Atlantic to reach us.

You’ve sent us good things like smoking bans in bars and public places and some excellent TV series but this trend is one we could do without if our increasing obesity rate is anything to go by.

Can’t we go back to smaller portions of good food with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables? Or are we just eating in the wrong restaurants?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

colin wiles March 25, 2009 at 3:17 am

Great article – but our last trip was the 5th visit to the States. On a similar point, we always find it distressing to see the amount of wastge in food establishements – all the stuff that goes into the trash like plastic containers and cutlery and so forth. Isn’t it sensible to encourage a recycling culture? I understand thaat New York is running out of landfill.


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