‘No, I can eat whatever I want now, I’m taking a double dose of those pills right now.’ She got my interest, the woman who spoke these words on the bus. I turned around, and saw her: not the fittest person I’ve ever seen, to put it gently. This was one of those moments you think: ‘Only in America...’. And yes, I am in Canada, and yes, Canadians claim to be, and are to a certain extent, different than Americans. But, if it comes to food, they are much the same.
Canada’s culinary pride is poutine: French fries with gravy and cheese. And however disgusting it may sound, everybody goes and gets it after a night out. It's even cheaper than a beer.
Then, when you want to go for a good breakfast to kill the hangover the nexy morning, you’ll get what our American neighbours would give you: French toast, with loads of butter, bacon, eggs, pancakes, with loads of butter. And of course the delicious addition of Canada’s other culinary pride: half a bottle of maple syrup.
That’s not all, kebab is promoted as health food. On campus, probably the healthiest food you can get is Asian wok, and that's twice as expensive as a burger. I know that fast-food is cheap in Europe as well, and that it’s easier (that’s why it’s called ‘fast-food’). But here, it is extremely more convenient to eat unhealthy. If you want to cook something healthy, you have to go to the supermarket, which is not around the corner, like the Albert Heijn, but takes a bus ride or a 25 minute walk, and you don't want that in -25 degrees Celsius. And if you’ve made it there, you have to choose between cheap, unhealthy products, or expensive vegetables. A package of bacon is cheaper ($2.50) than one red pepper (3 dollars).
No, let’s just stay inside, and order a pizza. Five dollars; most likely cheaper than a healthy, home-made meal. And way more convenient.
Name: Floortje Rawee (21)
Study: second-year UCM-student
Goes to: Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada
From: 3 January until the end of May