Globalization Cuts Both Ways

From Cool News of the Day

    “We hear about the spread of U.S. popular culture, making Europe, to its horror, more American. But the influence works the other way, too,” says Matthew. “At many levels, we have more in common now, as the local goes global.” The “culinary Babel,” as Matthew (Kaminksi) calls it, isn’t just a French-American thing, either: “The average German now drinks 123 liters of bottled water a year, and ‘only’ 117 of beer.

    “In Poland and Russia, the cradle of the really hard stuff, beer is up and vodka down. In the U.S., vodka is hot.” However, Matthew does not think that such stats mean that consumption patterns will result in “confusion and conformity … Try a Bavarian weisswurst without a jug of cold Augstiner,” he writes. “Polish herrings, delicious with onions and sour cream, are indigestible without a couple of shots of Zubrowka,” he adds. And that’s to the good, he says, because ultimately, the conformity of tastes will create more choices: “A finicky global consumeriat will demand much more,” he concludes. Plenty of room for improvement, too. Matthew says he’s noticed that his local wine shop in Paris now stocks Gallo, but “in an America of super-everything stores, wine selection can be spotty.”

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.