North American Diets

North American diets have experienced significant shifts over the past several centuries, influenced by indigenous practices, European colonization, waves of immigration, and industrialization. The range of foods consumed has expanded remarkably, reflecting a diverse and rapidly changing culinary landscape.
  • Indigenous Period: Reliance on locally-sourced foods such as maize, beans, squash, wild game, and fish. Use of indigenous herbs and plants.

  • Colonial Period: European settlers bring livestock, grains, and fruits from the Old World. Integration with indigenous foods to create new staples like cornbread and stews.

  • 19th Century: Expansion westward introduces more agricultural products like wheat and cattle. Emergence of canning technology.

  • Early 20th Century: Rise of processed and convenience foods, like canned meats and packaged snacks. Influence of world wars leads to rationing and focus on basics like bread and canned vegetables.

  • Mid to Late 20th Century: Fast food culture emerges, with a focus on hamburgers, fries, and soda. Surge in international cuisines due to immigration, such as Italian, Chinese, and Mexican foods.

  • Late 20th Century to Early 21st Century: Health consciousness grows, leading to trends like low-fat, organic, and gluten-free diets. Introduction of genetically modified foods.

  • 21st Century: Increase in plant-based diets and foods like kale, quinoa, and avocado. Artisanal and locally-sourced foods gain popularity. Emergence of diet trends like Paleo, Keto, and intermittent fasting.

The North American diet is a rich tapestry that reflects its complex history, from the indigenous foods of its original inhabitants to the myriad influences brought by colonization and immigration. Just as in Europe, technological advancements and modern trends continue to shape food choices, making the diet a dynamic and ever-evolving aspect of North American culture.
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For those eating a modern diet, we recommend adding the below vitamins to your daily routine.