This week, I learned a lot more about Chilean food , which, is a big part of ones culture. In my last blog I talked about the food regulations and laws on the amount of sugar, calories, and fats that all food products must have entering into Chile. They are only allowed to have a certain amount in them and if they have over a certain amount they are required to put extra stickers on them that says “alto en azúcares“, “alto en grasas saturadas”, “alto en calorias”, or “high in sodio” (translation: “high in sugar, high in fat, high in calories, or high in sodium”). Normally, when Chileans see all three of these labels it is a reg flag and makes them not want to buy the product. Seeing this all of the time makes me conscious about the things I am eating.
One cool thing that I did this weekend was visit the Faria (very similar to a farmer’s market in the U.S). This is where most Chileans buy their fruits and vegetables because the prices is less expensive and fresh. It was an eye-opening experience to see so much fresh food! It reminds me of my mom’s garden, and makes me want to grow my own things like she does. It really makes me want to start getting my produce from the farmer’s markets in the U.S. and support local family businesses that sell their fresh vegetables and fruits. After we left the Faria, we went to the Lider Supermarket where the fruits and vegetables were double the price compared to the Faria.
Also, not only do they put labels on food items that are high in certain things, my host mom told that they passed a law that states that certain commercials cannot be shown in Chile because it will make kids want that food item. Theses laws were passed to keep certain foods out of schools. Apparently, there were too many obese children and the government wanted to help end this crisis. I could not imagine the United States doing anything remotely as cool or caring for its citizens.
How Chilean Food Differs From the U.S.A
One, Eating healthy cost more in the United States is by far the biggest difference I have seen. Two, for the first week my host mom made breakfast and dinner, with no meat. I quickly found out that it was not normal to eat meat in the mornings, and it is not unusual to not have meat for dinner. Three, one thing they will have with each and every meal is bread (PAN!). Chilean’s LOVE BREAD. They also have a salad with every dinner. I will say it has been hard finding a good tasty juice here, and soda that has sugar in it. If I want soda with sugar, I have to ask for that, or I will get it without sugar which is good because I have become accustomed to the taste. Chile is truly changing the way I eat and how I value food.
SN: I have not had a bad meal since I have been here. Here are some more pictures of the dishes I have tried since being here: