A Taste of Culture : Perceptions About American Fast Food in China

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jerry C. Tsao (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/
Christine B. Avenarius

Abstract: This exploratory study examined perceptions about American fast food among urban Beijing residents to explore three major objectives; perceptions about taste preferences and nutrition value the eating relationships of group harmony and sharing dishes and the modern values of fast and convenient food in a clean environment. The 40 semi-structured interviews were completed in the summer of 2011. The informants were selected by age gender and occupation. Younger informants 18 to 30 years old were exposed to American fast food during their childhood and adolescent periods. Older informants over 40 years old did not come into contact with American fast food until they had already established their food consumption patterns.  The findings reveal few differences between younger and older informants because all informants restrict some American fast food consumption for both taste and health reasons. American fast food is only suitable to about half of the informants' taste palatability. They all prefer Chinese cuisine when given the choice. They perceive American fast food to be unhealthy because it uses food adulterants contains high fat content and lacks balance between food groups. Families eating together avoid American fast food restaurants to maintain group harmony. However younger informants enjoy American style fast food because it provides a modern environment to socialize with friends. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Cultural anthropology, Asian studies, Food science, American fast food, Beijing China, Chinese consumption, Culture representation, Modernity, Social Relationships
Convenience foods--China--Beijing
Food preferences--China--Beijing
Food--Sensory evaluation--China--Beijing
Food habits--China--Beijing
Fast food restaurants--China--Beijing

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