Every nation has its traditional cuisines, but in today's fast-paced, globalized culture, cheap, fatty Westernized food is crowding out ancient preparations and presentations. Diets define who we are, Time reports, and in the modern world, once-unique food is becoming culturally homogenized. Global influences traditionally enriched flavors and techniques; today, the changes are less beneficial.
A large midday meal in the company of several generations of relatives is a relic of more agrarian times when women stayed home. Children fail to develop a taste for traditional flavors; instead, they want what they see on TV. And worldwide brands are truly everywhere: "I've never seen a village where you couldn't find a Coke," says one researcher. (Read more Spain stories.)