American Food Trucks and Thai Street Markets

The food trucks and street food semi permanent establishments in major American cities like New York mirror the small scale food retailing system of Thailand and other areas of southeast Asia.  These food carts give life and tradition to these southeast Asian societies and fends off the intrusion of the “industrial palate” described by Gisèle Yasmeen to be the increasing consumption of mass produced and processed food products in the mainstream diet.  Yasmeen addresses the decreasing role of the small scale food establishments in markets like the Thai floating market and Chinese street markets against the increasing frequency of convenience stores.  In the American market, I have found that these street foods and food trucks are undermining the purchase of meals at convenience stores due to the convenience, variety, and made to order foods that are available.