Why is food better in poorer regions

Firstly, do yous agree that this is true?

I find it a very general rule, in Europe anyway, the poorer the area the better the food.


And if so, why?

My theory is that it relates to industrialisation. Developed countries, they are developed because their cultures are focused on efficiency. They are endlessly searching for ways to do things more cheaply.

So you find farms, distributers, shops and restaurants, all trying to minimise their costs quite aggressively. They are not interested in quality. They have no pride in their work.

Poor countries are poor because the focus too much on quality and not enough on finding the cheapest possible way to do things.


Does this explanation extend to other cultural elements apart from food?

@vis4valentine
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I live in Venezuela, and it is a normal thing that when you buy a hamburger from a street vendor, it is HUGE, it includes, meat a shit ton of veggies, eggs, a shit ton of french fries, a drink, and all of that for 1 dollar, now imagine a 5 dollar Burger (yes, we are using dollars in Venezuela), now compare that to a McDonald’s burger and it’s depressing. Same thing with hot dogs, the image of an American hot dog is just bread, sausage, a bit of ketchup, and that’s it. Here, a regular hot dog is overloaded with fries, cheese, veggies, etc. Same thing with “Arepas” we make fun of colombians for preparing “basic arepas” because we stuff ours with whatever you can find. Now imagine all kinds of traditional foods that you can find in different parts of Venezuela, but is always very rich in flavor and loaded with lots of ingredients. Of course, the economic crisis ruined that for a number of years, but we had a little recovery when we adopted the USD, so that gastronomic diversity came back.

@ChinaNumberOne
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venezuela isn’t poor tho

@vis4valentine
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Yes it is. We are rich in resources, but because of rampant political corruption (and socialism dictatorship) the absolute majority of people are poor. Most people don’t even make 500 USD a YEAR.

IngrownMink4
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Venezuela is not socialist tho. Edit: If you don’t agree with my statement, check this and this.

Having said that, I am sorry you are suffering in Venezuela, I hope the situation improves there, but please keep in mind that Chavism has nothing to do with scientific socialism. Chavez himself disassociated himself from that association in his presidency and in his government private property was always allowed (it is mentioned in the constitution). Anyway, I will support your anti-imperialist struggle even if I do not agree with chavism!

@ChinaNumberOne
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saying venezuela is poor is already super stupid, blaming it on socialism just makes you look like a payed cia shill

venezuela is great and you can’t change that

@vis4valentine
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I AM VENEZUELAN!!! I AM living in this country, i know the reality of Venezuela better than you ever will. The majority of Venezuelans are POOR, and yes, the socialist government has a lot to do with it. Shit, I’m tired of people who don’t even know to speak Spanish trying to tell me what happens in Venezuela.

@Lightbritelite
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There’s a question in there, and I’m guessing it’s along the lines of, “why is food in other countries tasty to me when i travel to them?” Or “why are hole in the wall restaurants oftentimes way better than their fancier counterparts?”

I’m guessing it has to do with scale of preparation, pride in work, and, as you say, a heightened recognition of efficiency over quality. I’ve done video gigs at fancy hotel restaurants, and the food is always mediocre. I chalk it up to purchasing from vendors like aramark instead of locally, and having to make a bunch of the same dish at once for hundreds of simultaneous patrons affecting the recipe in less than tasteful ways. I live in the US, and the quality of food varies greatly. Affordability is a big issue, and the big corporate farms dominate, so local produce tends to be a bit pricier to even be competitive.

Or maybe it’s the seasoning.

@roastpotatothief
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Good answer.

Also good point, regions where food is dominated by large scale businesses or chains (can be farms, distributers, shops or restaurants) they do tend to be the worst, just because of the economics driving big companies is different. Maybe that’s the crucial factor.

Maybe it’s correct to treat the whole thing as a simple economics issue. How big are the barriers of entry into the market for a new competitor? Then the answer flows from that. There could be a correlation between poverty and having looser food-industy regulation, and therefore having more competition and finally better quality food. That explanation would answer your two questions too.

I live in a poor country and we have agrochemicals so our food is filled with cancer and too tasty, we literally don’t have like local places where to buy food that’s not shit like there exists in most first world countries so I’d say no.

@roastpotatothief
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What part of the world?

Dessalines
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Its hard to say. A lot of big cities like London, San Francisco, Paris etc have some of the best food in the world, most of it imported, but still spectacular. Meanwhile the street food in any given poorer city in Mexico or Indonesia will also be great. It becomes a quest for something that’s not processed as you say, and more “authentic”, which is becoming increasingly harder to find in late capitalism with its obsession with cost cutting and vertically integrated suppliers.

Restaurants ( or things like bakeries, wineries, breweries ) are one of those things tho that can somewhat avoid that process, because their constant capital costs are smaller than a lot of other industries. You pretty much just need a location and a kitchen ( or a street kitchen ), not a factory with industrial machinery or large tracts of land. Someone making street tacos, can do a much better job than a chain, and have similar or even less costs.

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