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Californian progress

To whoever may be able to enlighten me,

Today a client from Lake Boga, Victoria, Australia, visited me and told me
how shocked she was to see how much California had changed in 8 years,  and
was concerned,  that as Australians,  we would follow suite in 5 years or

She has no idea that I am at all interested in the changes in the
consumption of farm produce,  and the sustainability of rural industry, 
but she was extreemly passionate in her concern for the future of rural
Australia  (and the rest of the world) if we follow suite and end up like

Her main concerns were that "Kitchens appeared to be disappearing from the
Californian home: replaced by a bench and a microwave";  and that..." there
dosn't appear to be any Butcher's or Fruit shops in the humungous shopping
complexes in the suburbs."  She was shocked by the apparent reluctance by
Californians to COOK and prepare fresh food in the kitchen,  and of their
desire to "eat out" instead.

This lady is a typical,  normal,  rural Australian:  not highly educated, 
but she can see oh so clearly,  how the dilution of the natural human
ability,  to grow food and cook it fresh within the home for the people we
care for,  is so RIGHT.

She understood,  and told me how this type of culture would undermine not
only the rural activity and economy that she had grown up with for the past
40 or so years,  but the health of her future generations.   As Australians
we watch the US closely to see what trends will attack our society in the
next 5 or 10 years.  As one such Aussie my client appears very concerned
for the future of her society flooded by fast foods,  no kitchens and the
lost culture of having friends around for a good old home cooked meal.   I
must admit that the last childrens birthday party I went to was,... believe
it or not...,
at Muck Donalds.

Is this portrayal of californian eating habits fair?   Is it what we've got
to look forward to?

Andrew Byrne
Pye Street Veterinary Clinic
8 Splatt Street,
Swan Hill.  3585