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Food and Culture: The Best and Worst of Globalization for Travelers

Globalization is a term that has been praised by some and cursed by others over the years but it has become part of our reality today. It is defined as the increasing interaction of people, states, or countries through the growth of the international flow of money, ideas, and culture. Or, in layman’s terms, it means that South African players have a Betway South Africa while UK players have a Betway UK, both of them with the same company behind it. And it has both its upsides and downsides. Today, we’ll take a look at both of these – from a traveller’s point of view.


Back in the day, you had to travel to foreign countries to taste local dishes and fruits. You had to visit South America for fresh, ripe bananas, you had to go to Chile to taste the cactus fruit, and to Thailand to taste rambutan. Today, the global shipping routes will bring exotic foods right to your doorsteps – you can make a truly international fruit basket by simply taking a walk to the supermarket.

But the global availability of foods has its upsides, too. There are areas in the world where apples are not native – yet you can always buy one and eat it if you crave for a familiar taste. Fast food chains have pretty much the same menus and standards all over the world, and they are a safe alternative if the local cuisine is too strong or too unfamiliar for you.

Local cultures

“Layman” travellers will get pretty much what they expect when visiting locations usually frequented by foreign tourists. They will not encounter the real culture of the country they visit, but a diluted version palatable for anyone, with colourful costumes, street musicians, and habits that fit their stereotypes. All major tourist destinations will be filled with street food and trinkets, souvenirs, and other knick-knacks they can take home and place on a shelf. And all of them are made in China.

But the globalization of tourism keeps the above-mentioned “layman” travelers in resorts and well-known tourist destinations, leaving the “rest” of the country for those who are seeking to actually get to know the local culture. With the majority of tourists concentrated in tourist towns, they leave other towns and villages intact, so those who seek a deeper and more meaningful experience can truly experience what they have to offer. They can taste the foods unaltered by the demands of tourists, they can see the locals do their everyday chores, and celebrate their culture as they see fit, without all the spectacular traits tourists want to see.

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