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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Country Travel Life – Made in France?



French Country Travel Life – Made in France?

You would think, right? But so much of  French Country Life(and it’s City cousins’) is imported. And not just the obvious stuff like Music and Movies. While there are, obviously French Supermarket Chains, We have two Giant German “discount” outlets that are not only in France, but all over Western Europe like a cheap suit.

And, as you might expect, their enormous buying power allows them to offer, for example, the same quality of orange juice for 96 cents (the “centime” died with the Franc, folks) – that the French Chains flog at 2.50 euro plus. (Can you say: “Globalization?”)

The result of all this economic “competition” has been for French entrepeneurs to loudly thump their chests (and isn’t that the best way?) proclaiming(and proving) that their products are “Made in France.” A not so subtle appeal to patriotism. Ignoring the obvious fact that budgets and hunger are not. And, equally are not flexible.

You may recall, a few years back, the film: “Supersize Me.” Which documented a young American’s “culinary voyage” of 30 days “dining” exclusively on fast food from a hamburger chain whose mascot is a clown with his first name beginning with ‘R” and the last starting with “Mc” (hint: not Scots or Irish) Aportrait” of (some of) the food “Made in the USA.”

Now, Benjamin Carle, a young French Journalist has attempted a more healthful but complimentary equivalent. Living all aspects of his life (not just the food) from those wonderous things “Made in France” for 10 months.

Our amis at France24.com have the patriotic details:

“On a budget of only 1,800 euros (2,480 US dollars) per month, Carle travelled around the country, immersing himself in a culture with which he says it’s easy to lose touch – especially as a young person in France today.

By turning his camera on his experiment, Carle explores a range of social, cultural, political and economic questions: What are the strengths and weaknesses of French industries? Can the French economy be saved if everyone makes an effort to buy French products? Can France progress scientifically, technologically and culturally without relying on foreign influences and collaboration?

Some of the conclusions he drew from his nine-month stint as an “economic patriot” were bleak.

I feel like in France, we don’t really reinvent ourselves,” Carle told weekly magazine L’Express. “The only products we still manufacture here are those that most characterise us as French…in terms of clothing, for example, it’s sweaters and Breton sailor jerseys [navy and white striped knitted shirts]. The rest, T-shirts and pants, are all designed abroad.”

That said, Carle told L’Express, typical French clothing is hardly out of fashion. “Wearing only French-manufactured clothing could actually become a hipster thing,” he said.

No condoms, but lots of ‘Happy Meals’

Aside from his favourite pair of jeans, other things Carle had to forgo were his cell phone, laptop and condoms, none of which, apparently, are manufactured in France. “But we do make lubricant!” he added in an interview with culture site La Trempe.

Inspired by a call from Socialist politician Arnaud Montebourg, France’s minister for economic renewal, Carle quickly realized that helping renew the economy also meant renewing his ties to his own culture.

In interviews with the press, the young man described how buying only regional French food products (“produits du terroir”, as the French call them) forced him to cook, and in turn inspired him to take his time savouring the meal – a French tradition.

He has also said that he was surprised by the places he was able to find meals that were made exclusively from French products. In Paris’s ethnically diverse Belleville neighbourhood, Carle noted that two spots were reliable in offering 100% French meals: a “banh mi” shop, which prepared the famous Vietnamese sandwiches using baguettes from the bakery next door, French-raised beef, French-grown carrots, and a homemade mayonnaise made from French eggs; and McDonald’s, where the meat and potatoes are all from France.”

Read more HERE


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9 Responses to “French Country Travel Life – Made in France?”

  1. quentin forrester says:

    tough times?..he had to “make do” with ONLY $2400 0 month “travelling around the country” ……financed by?????

  2. garth branster says:

    quentin……re/ “financed by”……his paper? the government?

  3. jack carson says:

    garth, quentin….right on! willing to bet it didn’t come out of
    HIS pocket!

  4. norm flockhart says:

    c’est le vive! – Made in France! (lol!)

  5. yan wong says:

    hey..you’ve either got patrotism or you don’t. no artifical campaigns, surveys, or studies are gonna produce it!

  6. bev ross says:

    you got that right yan! – for me, it’s just a meal ticket for this journalist…riding the coat tails of that minister.

  7. ellie brenner says:

    i think the notion of “pride of workmanship” is twisted here. Excellence in a product should related to how well the product is made and performs it’s function. not WHERE it was made!

  8. fran dennis says:

    ellie..sounds like you’re pushing globalization…

  9. ellie brenner says:

    fran…i’m “pushing” common sense. which would you rather have:
    a) a made in the usa dishwasher that always breaks down. b) or a made in china one that never breaks down?

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