Asian Media and Entertainment Reinforce a Backward Meat-Loving Culture

The News Lens
Date: 2019/10/28
By: Xiaochen Su

Photo Credit: CNA

While the West is promoting to reduce meat consumption out of concerns over climate change, animal abuse, and personal health, Asia’s meat consumption is on the rise.

In East Asia, one of most frequently produced TV programs is food travel shows. The hit Taiwanese food travel show “Super Taste” (食尚玩家), for instance, has been running since 2007 with more than 1,100 episodes documenting the best foods around the world. Also running weekly since 2007, “Himitsu no Kenmin Show” (カミングアウトバラエティ!! 秘密のケンミンSHOW), is a Japanese program that introduces regional cuisines largely unknown to the rest of the country.

In these shows, celebrity hosts scour their home countries and around the world for top-of-the-line foods, projecting their visual deliciousness to envious viewers through high-definition videos of the dishes just as they come out to the dining table.

Whether it is Taiwan, Japan, or South Korea, these food shows have one thing in common — meat. Among all the beautiful ingredients presented to the audience, red meat remains front and center. The juicy sights of the red-and-white layers of raw beef sizzling on the frying pan and the freshly cut fish fillet glistening on the chopping board dominate the screen. Brand-name meat continues to represent the highest culinary luxury that true gourmands should aspire to in East Asia.

However, across the Pacific Ocean, the meat-dominated perception of “good food” has been rapidly shifting in the past few years. Media attention garnered by the rise of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, two meat-substitute producers, shows that among a younger generation of Americans, a shift away from meat is no longer just for health, but also for moral issues like environmental protection and animal rights. Eschewing the consumption of meat, then, has become an expression of social progressivism.    [FULL  STORY]

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