Saturday, January 11, 2014

Market's effect on the Thai diet

     Thailand is a place where escape from your world is inevitable.  You enter a place where big name, world wide stores are not very prevalent.  Sure there is an occasional fast food restaurant or clothing brand I recognize, but these have not been seen nearly as much as I expected.  Instead, people get many of their household goods, food, clothing, along with most anything else you can think of at markets.  These are held, it seems, every day and evening throughout the cities that I have visited thus far in Thailand. There is a market open at nearly all hours of the day in Chiang Mai and Bangkok.  Although I can't say for certain, I would bet Chiang Rai is the same way.  Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, freshly packaged meat, and freshly prepared entrees are a huge part of these daily markets.
     Since so many people visit these markets nearly daily and eat such healthy, fresh and never frozen or preserved foods, weight does not seem to be much of an issue for Thai people.  The portions given out at restaurants and food stands at the markets seem to be half of the size that I am used to in the United States.  However, when I finish the meal and wait five minutes, I am pleasantly satisfied with how full I am and that I did not over eat, per usual for me in the United States.  I have heard that seventy to eighty percent of weight loss and weight stability starts with a healthy balanced diet with the other part consisting of good exercise.  I also learned from the chef in our cooking class that people who live in apartments, which is a lot of people in the cities of Thailand, are not allowed to cook in their buildings due to the smell it will produce.  This makes markets a necessity for many people who don't have much money and it allows them to have the most important thing in life,their  health.

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