While Japan searched the world seas in order to safeguard the supply of tuna, on the demand side there was also a development with far-reaching global consequences. In short, everyone wants to eat well. In the growth economy that characterised the final decades of the twentieth century in the economically developed world, food culture gained in status. Eating and cooking became a global hype. Not only did food cultures fuse, but traditional divisions also became blurred: on the one hand fast food was winning culinary ground, while on the other the higher eating culture was becoming democratised. Like haute couture, the walls around haute cuisine were being broken down. An extensive middle class turned out to want to obtain products which had previously been labelled luxury goods for the ‘happy few’. It was often more a question of status than of taste, but that didn’t matter: everyone now had the right to show their status, in the kitchen and on the table too. Exclusive products such as caviar, foie gras and truffles were no longer reserved for a privileged elite.
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