What is it about Americans and food? We love to eat, but we feel 1 about it afterward. We say we want only the best, but we strangely enjoy junk food. We’re 2 with health and weight loss but face an unprecedented epidemic of obesity(肥胖). Perhaps the 3 to this ambivalence(矛盾情结) lies in our history. The first Europeans came to this continent searching for new spices but went in vain. The first cash crop(经济作物) wasn’t eaten but smoked. Then there was Prohibition, intended to prohibit drinking but actually encouraging more 4 ways of doing it.
The immigrant experience, too, has been one of inharmony. Do as Romans do means eating what “real Americans” eat, but our nation’s food has come to be 5 by imports—pizza, say, or hot dogs. And some of the country’s most treasured cooking comes from people who arrived here in shackles.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that food has been a medium for the nation’s defining struggles, whether at the Boston Tea Party or the sitins at southern lunch counters. It is integral to our concepts of health and even morality whether one refrains from alcohol for religious reasons or evades meat for political.
But strong opinions have not brought 7 . Americans are ambivalent about what they put in their mouths. We have become 8 of our foods, especially as we learn more about what they contain.
The 9 in food is still prosperous in the American consciousness. It’s no coincidence, then, that the first Thanksgiving holds the American imagination in such bondage(束缚). It’s what we eat—and how we 10 it with friends, family, and strangers—that help define America as a community today.