The US is the sole superpower known to the world. After the Second World War, when Germany was defeated, the world was left with two options, either to become a multi-polar world or to be influenced by a sole power. Given the amount of hard power (military power) and structural power (economic power) the US had, a multi-polar world could not have existed. Following these reasons, US hegemony was established in all forms possible and had been followed since. The world has become influenced by America politically, culturally, socially, and economically. Focusing on the cultural aspect of this hegemonic nature of the US, let’s concentrate on how the US invaded the food industry of India.
The US has had a huge impact on the food industry of our nation. It has been years since burgers and French fries have been replacing pakoras and samosas. The way American corporations have marketed themselves into the world market is quite commendable, however, it is quite alarming too. Chains like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, KFC, Burger King, and so on, are turning the tables in the food world. They are not only food chains, they have become a fashion statement; a fashion statement so affordable and so easily available that its growth has become unstoppable. These chains slowly and steadily entered the Indian (world) market and turned every level in their favor in such a way that the traditional Indian food chains did not realize it until it was too late. The market was over for the Indian food chains as American food chains were the new and the dominant players in the food market.
Today we all would comply westernization and modernization as synonyms. The impact and influence of McDonald’s as an American brand is so huge and so extravagant that very often people prefer using McDonaldization in place of either modernization or westernization. McDonaldization is a term used by sociologist George Ritzer in his book The McDonaldization of Society (1993). He explains that it becomes manifested when a society adopts the characteristics of a fast-food restaurant. McDonaldization is a re-conceptualization of rationalization and scientific management. Where Max Weber used the model of the bureaucracy to represent the direction of this changing society, Ritzer sees the fast-food restaurant as having become a more representative contemporary paradigm (Ritzer, 2004:553). The process of McDonaldization can be summarized as the way in which “the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world.”
Now let’s see some facts about some of the America’s largest food brands and see the influence they have on the entire planet:
Seeing this data, it is assured that the US has a strong hold on the food market of the world. However, people should always be careful about the health issues created by these brands. They have been in light, every now and then, for the ill health that they provoke. The health hazards are not short-term, they are long-term illnesses like heart problems and cancers that prevail in their large consumer base. Yes, the US has already invaded the food market of India as well as the world, but for how long, no one can tell.