Since I have been in Norway, one of the most reoccurring questions I get from Norwegians are "Do movies accurately depict American life? While that is kind of a crazy question (I almost don't bring up the fact that I lived in Baltimore lest I be lambasted with "The Wire" questions... Though, that's something I'm asked by anyone who has never been Charm City) the other prominent query is totally legitimate.
"What is the most noticeable difference between Norway and America?"
Obviously, the language is the first and foremost, but, most Norwegians speak English (to varying degrees... but that's another blog entry). There are numerous websites that will try and detail the major differences, but, for me, it comes down to food.
In addition to being one of the best Troy McClure shorts from, arguably, the best Simpsons' episode ever (Lisa becomes a Vegetarian... you still don't win friends with salad!), it is a great satire on the American cattle industry. Like all satire, definition-alert, it is grounded in truth (see: pink slime). We, as Americans, will eat anything with proper condiments on it. One of my new teammates, who is also from the states, recently related an antidote about buying burgers back home that were so saturated, they actually ripped through the bag (I won't name the chain that it came from for fear of legal action... *cough* Golden Arches *cough*).
Conversely, here in Norway, the standards for the cattle industry, to quote the rapper/poet, Canibus, "are above precision". The Norwegians only import American animal products that come from a certified EEA facility. More so, prior to their EEA agreement in the early 2000s, Norway was even crazier about their food standards. Up until a decade ago, synthetic coloring was banned (there was no yellow 5 scare!) and roughly 1/4 the additive sweeteners were allowed in foods. Fast forward to today, where everything down to the feed (grass for my cattle!) and welfare (namely, the outdoor time, health monitor, regulation, etc) is extensively outlined in a comprehensive act that is constantly revised to ensure the utmost quality.
I'm not a doctor or a biologist, but I imagine this means the food is probably better for you...
Though, there is a downside... The portions are... uhmm... smaller.
|American Portion (I miss you, Alewife)|
|American Nutrition Facts... I am constantly checking to make sure I'm getting all my Riboflavin!|
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Alt for Norge!