Chapter 1: Introduction

1955 US

 “My family wasn’t wealthy, but we enjoyed a decent standard of living in that Kodachrome world that was 1950s America. … Our meals were quite basic. Breakfast was a ready-to-eat cereal. … Lunch consisted of a sandwich, macaroni and cheese, soup, or pasta. …We drank milk for lunch but often had water with dinner, and the evening meal was frequently chicken or pot roast alongside potatoes, spaghetti, and homemade sauce.”

Today

 “Linda is old enough to be allowed to eat off campus once a week—she usually chooses McDonald’s. The school cafeteria has several fast-food companies bring in the food for lunches; she likes the Pizza Hut foods best. Scott’s school has a cafeteria where meals are prepared. His most frequent meal is French fries and cheeseburgers.”

Traditional World

 The meals that the Garcias eat in the United States are very different from the meals they ate in Mexico. When Ana and Cesar first came to the United States, they ate rice, beans, and tortillas. But with added income and more shopping opportunities, their diet has changed and the children constantly push their parents to let them eat the foods they see on TV.

Today

 After Ana and Cesar married and moved to Los Angeles, they had many neighborhood tiendas to choose from but they also found that at Wal-Mart they could buy very cheaply the same refrescos the tiendassold and even buy tortillas and inexpensive meat there. The biggest dietary change they made was from drinking water in Mexico to drinking sweetened drinks and beer here.