American's meal invention

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Abigail Carroll’s Three squares: The invention of the American meal traces the culture of yank feeding behaviors, practices, changes and shifts experiences to this day. Carroll has majorly attached the form of society to shape of the meal with discussions around national identity, class-consciousness and growth of the buyer practices and culture. Carroll stresses that the American identity is conversant with how, why and what to eat. Relativity is seen from the past simple meals of early colonists and Native Americans and therefore the current trends within the formal habits and dishes.
I concur with Carroll in her arguments about the disparities within the feeding habits long before the nineteenth century and therefore the present times to being attributed to the timing factor which has structurally led to the emergence of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Moreover, their compositions have changed tremendously in line with the current swings. For instance, with the current trends of the technology fast and more innovative processing procedures are being adopted by the food processing plants. Developments of such kind have led to changes in types and compositions of our foods in the market. The timing factor of our meals is subjective to our day to day activities in which we consider meals that will be reliable and palatable with what we ought to be doing in a specific day. Take an example of a busy weekday at work where my breakfast is scheduled at dawn and intended to keep me energized through to my lunch time, in this case my breakfast ought to be a heavy balanced breakfast as opposed to a normal weekend when I spend more time at home so in any case my breakfast doesn’t have to be so heavy because after all am spending the day home so I could grab some junk food before settling for my home-made lunch. Development of schedules in our daily routines has impacted on the transitions experienced in the American feeding culture and the availability of fast processed foods to cater for these routines has eased the process of compliance by the society.

Carroll also argues that the shift in breakfast and lunch was and is greatly emphasized on profitability and efficiency. Carroll says “business incentives drove entrepreneurs to create new products, grain producers to seek more profitable outlets than livestock agriculture for their goods, and middle-class Americans to simplify their morning routine in order to get to work.” The need to invent lighter, colder and quicker foods that can be grabbed from the cafeteria or brought to work in packed paper bags trigger the sense of profit maximization in this ever competitive American markets. Revolutionary, the availability of jobs and elevation of civilians’ lives has to go hand in hand with the elevation of the processes that are matching their daily activities. Our feeding routines will influence how productive we are at the end of the day which calls for more efficiency in the timing and the compositions of the daily foods that we take. I don’t have to go to my house for lunch while I can comfortably take some packed lunch from the cafeteria which saves more time and expense involved if I had to do the former. Additionally, business interest has commercialized the food processing practices. Emergence of the snacking behaviorism has greatly been adopted in the American meals with tremendous inputs in the repackaging and rebranding sectors. As a result, the American homes have been receptive of the snacking culture transforming it from a dubious past practice to a routine activity.

I agree on the aims at which Carroll feels Dinner emerged on, being the strong support of the family reunions at the end of a day’s activity. Colonially, the same set ups were there where the extended family members dined in the midday to refuel the family for the days remainder but that has since evolved to more smaller units of families, supposedly nuclear families dining in prescribed meal settings and the intentions of the modern day dining activities are embodied on the evaluations of the day’s work and even providing an opportunity to parents to monitor and model proper behaviors by their children who probably had a busy day at school. Differences encountered in these two setups is evident to the kind of work transitions experienced from the past to the present times. Traditionally, working was a communal thing encircling the society members at large while the present day working routines are so individual that you find independent form of livelihood comes into play. Exceptions in dining are experienced in platforms involving family friends, however, the intentions and motives are relatively the same.

More intriguing facts are on the forms that our lives have taken in the present day and the factors at play. Domestic management has developed enormously with duties carried at our households simplified. I don’t find any fatiguing activity in the kitchen because when I look around, there is an invention for any kind of meal I want to prepare, crazily, I can even automate cooking processes. Sometimes I don’t have to worry about getting home early because our house help will have it all sorted and before I forget, there is a food timetable she can refer to. I still visit a nutritionist for some feeding advice. Carroll’s discussions point at how our lives are confined to a structured kind of living and she also acknowledges dysfunctions attributed to the current food culture which stipulates the need to encourage better awareness of our history so as to make more informed and cognizant choices in our feeding habits.

In Three squares, contentions about the development of the American meal presents a complete picture of the contemporary American society with a keen study of the changes in the breakfast, lunch and dinner structurally fitted to serve different purposes. It points out how the business world has provoked these changes with food dynamics serving profitability, efficiency and complimentary needs. The social trends that Americans have adopted are a stimulus to the feeding culture they approve on a daily basis. Where and how we convene for meals depicts the social circles that share meal moments together and more importantly the social value that these conventions create in ours lives. More importantly, is the rise of innovative technology that has eased the process of change significantly.


Carroll, A. (2013). Three squares: The invention of the American meal

December 15, 2021

Movies Technology

Subject area:

Feed Invention

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Expertise Invention
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