Ah! Welcome to the United States, Erik! 🙄
Bad food — starchy, sugar-laden, high-salt, bad fats, too many artificial chemicals—is cheaper in the U.S. People who don’t have much money can dine out on junk food much more easily than healthy food. And once they have gotten used to it, that’s what “tastes right” to them.
And then there’s “super-sized” and “all you can eat” in the American restaurant business. “Why pay $30 for a meal that barely covers my plate, when I can go to a buffet for $14.99 and fill my plate several times over?” Well, it’s because the buffet/smorgasbord has awful cuts of meat, lots of simple carbs, wilted veggies, and pans of things that have labels on them because you wouldn’t know what they are otherwise. But hey, “I fed my entire family until we were all stuffed for forty bucks!” That’s the kind of crap that poor Dennett had to deal with when she visited our part of Pennsylvania, and it’s what is still passed off as “real Pennsylvania Dutch cooking!” in the tourist areas. (The good restaurants are in the city.)
The American eater has been trained on cheap food. They either can’t afford good stuff, or they can’t recognize it when they get it. ☹️