Monday, January 15, 2007

Sydney's Fast Food

On our recent trip to Australia, we were surprised to see so much fast food, particularly in Sydney. McDonald's and Hungry Jack's, a franchise of Burger King, were everywhere. As you can imagine, when you're traveling out of the country, you'd like to eat something local, something healthy, and most importantly, something you cannot get at home. As you probably well know, I don't even eat fast food when I'm in America, let alone Australia and so I was a bit disappointed to see how prevalent it was. It was also apparent the affect the fast food was having on the health of the population- Sydney was full of overweight Australians. I looked up the data on the World Health Organization's website and found that Australia has overweight and obesity rates comparable to Canada and the UK, none quite as high as the US.

We couldn't take a walk without seeing another corporate giant, Starbucks, and a new competitor, McCafe, taking its share of the coffee market. I had never seen a McCafe before, so when I saw the glass case from the sidewalk filled with sweet treats, I almost walked in to see what they had to offer, then I saw them...the little Ms, all in a row, arch after golden arch signifying this little cafe was no small pastry shop, it was in fact a franchise of the McDonald's corporation. I turned around, declared it was McCafe! and Lou laughed at me for almost being fooled into patronizing my "arch" rival.

Thankfully, we still found a few small, local cafes to have lunches of meat pies and other old fashioned Australian goodies you can’t get in the US. Unfortunately, these small cafes weren’t nearly as busy as those fast food joints.

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