Umi Oktyari Retnaningsih (Jurusan Ilmu Hubungan Internasional, Universitas Riau, Pekanbaru)
Corresponding E-mail: [email protected]
Food as a basic need for every human being is an effective way to imperialize developing countries like Indonesia by persuading that imperialist’s life styles like food are much prestigious or superior. This study seeks to explore the influence of American diet styles through disinformation to Indonesians who live, visit, and communicate with the writer. Data were collected from participant observation, informal interview, and comments in emails, facebook and telephone conversations of Indonesians I met and interacted with during my doctoral study in Columbus and did gardening. To get detailed data of preferential, healthy and nutritious foods and knowledge of vegetables, the author conducted informal interviews and conversations, observations, and informal documents’ analyses of facebooks comments. The observation, informal interviews, conversations in in the field (garden), telephone conversations, and facebook comments showed that consuming imported and American foods are prestigious regardless the nutrition and health need. Cultural disinformation of “If you eat like us, you are going to be like us” is effective due to many Indonesians are disinterested in and disregarded of local Indonesian foods and vegetables. The research shows cultural imperialism by American corporations through life styles for food is practicable, effective, and long lasting.