Italian cuisine far more flavorful, healthy than American cuisine | Opinion

I recently visited Italy over spring break, and eating a lot of food in America usually makes me feel so disgusting and bloated. However, Italian food, no matter how much I ate, never made me feel out of sorts. Surprisingly enough, I did not gain any weight in Italy, despite consuming double the amount of food and wine that I usually intake.

The food in Italy never gave me bad stomach aches like food does here in America. It seems the quality of even the cold cuts and the desserts were far more wholesome and healthy, rather than being filled with preservatives. The food was so much easier to digest after consuming it, and the food tasted much fresher than American food.

In Italy, the bread did not taste like sugar, like American bread. Also, the food tasted richer in flavor, even the considerably bland Italian food tasted delicious. I ate bland flatbread with only olive oil spread on it, and it tasted far superior to the very flavorful Olive Garden Unlimited Breadsticks. Why? All the food in Italy is made from scratch, using whole, organic ingredients.

Furthermore, Italians place emphasis on the quality of their food sources, that being organic and least processed. This gives the food a richer taste and it supports local farmers and food producers within the specific region: olives, grapes, rosemary, cheese, meats, breads, etc. It should be noted that even the cold cuts in Italy tasted very fresh and without fillers within it. Unlike the American versions of the Italian cold cuts, the American ones tasted like plastic in comparison to the authentic versions.

it also should be noted that the flavors of Italian food are well balanced, the food is not too salty, sweet, or sour; as in, the average American would find Italian food pleasing to the American palate. Americans should take a hint from the Italians, utilize the flavors to compliment what already exists, rather than adding in sugar or salt within the food items.

Here is what I realized about the inferiority of American food: it seems to me that our meal preparation is expected to be expedient and convenient to cater to our fast-paced, workaholic lives. Therefore, we as Americans do not emphasize meal preparation in our daily lives as do many of our European counterparts. Due to this, the expediency of the American diet has a higher content of preservatives and sodium, in order to prepare a fast and convenient meal. Disclaimer, that I am not looking down on Americans who cannot afford to eat healthy meals or are not educated on the topics of healthy diets. Something has to give, it is either our time spent to make a healthier meal or it is time cut from our life expectancy to eat unhealthy, convenient food.

What is fascinating about the Italian diet is the ability for households to prepare meals from scratch everyday. Let us make it the American norm to prepare homemade meals. By doing so, it saves us the cash that would have gone to salty restaurant food, and it gives us time to spend with family or friends. The Italian way of preparing food requires more labor time, but it yields tasty meals to be enjoyed by people in the household, may it be family, friends or roommates. We should take note of the Italian way of cooking and eating because it will not only be more flavorful, it will be made healthier and fully enjoyed by others.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.

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