I recently got a circular e-mail from a friend that pictured a variety of native foods that could be purchased around Beijing. The e-mail ended with a note about how the food was disgusting and the sender would rather stay home and watch the Olympics because the food was better here. Food items included such things as snake, silkworm, an assortment of bugs and beetles, dog meat soup, dried seahorse, and other such things that one would expect to be consumed by Andrew Zimmern. So these are native foods. If we are faced with worldwide hunger, I am going to guess that the Chinese will survive longer than we will here in America.
My point is that Americans are so damn elitist. It isn't that the food is "better" here, it is just that we don't see the junk and garbage that goes into making most of it. If you really picked apart the typical American diet, the contents of what is consumed would probably be more shocking and disgusting than dung beetles. While the items featured on this e-mail were certainly not common American foods, I could argue that they are healthy and certainly packed with plenty of protein. Infinitely better for you than a fast food meal or processed food purchased to heat and eat from the grocery store.
So the cultural elitists who think that our American diet is so awesome (I look around at most Americans and can see this isn't so), can stay home and eat their pork rinds and drink their Coke and watch the Olympics on T.V. I am one American who wishes that she could actually be there. If not to watch all of the events, then to be somewhere truly different and unique and know that I wasn't going to see the same strip malls and resturants in every single town.
I also have an inside scoop because I have a friend who is living in Beijing for two years because of work. She tells me that there are strange foods, but it isn't all that hard to get tasty Chinese food that would suit an American palette. I remain wishing to be Beijing bound at the first opportunity I have to go.