Why diets differ around the world (part 1)


The kinds of food that people eat vary from one country to another and even within countries. In some countries, for example, the people eat much meat. In some other countries, meat is served only on special occasions. People who are vegetarians eat no meat at all. Many people like certain foods that other people find very unappetizing. The Chinese use the nests of birds called swifts to make bird’s-nest soup. The birds build the nests with their saliva.

People of various cultures also prepare foods differently. In many cases, the fuel resources and cooking equipment available determine how foods are prepared. Thus, some people cook foods over an open fire. Others may use a microwave oven. Still others may eat most of their foods raw. Some people add fiery spices to their dishes. Others prefer little seasoning. Some people eat natural or unprocessed foods. Others eat foods that have been highly processed.

Diets differ for a number of reasons, including geographic reasons, economic reasons, religious reasons and customs. But differences in diet are not as great as they once were. The growth of tourism and the development of modern transportation and communication systems have led to an exchange of foods and eating habits among people throughout the world.

Geographic reasons. The location, climate, and physical features of a region help determine what the people of that region eat. In general, people who live on islands or along seacoasts depend heavily on foods from the ocean. People who live far from the sea rely mainly on livestock or grains for food. People of tropical areas can grow a variety of fruits and vegetables the year around. People who live in cool regions, which have a short growing season, depend on such crops as grains or potatoes. Terrain and soil also help determine what crops the people of a region can grow. For example, corn grows best on level, open fields with rich, well-drained soil. Rice grows in lowlands areas where the soil holds water well.

Although geography still strongly influences what people in many parts of the world eat, its importance has declined – especially in industrial countries. The development of faster transportation and of modern methods of food preservation enables many people to eat foods produced in distant lands. For example, people in numerous countries enjoy bananas from Ecuador, olives and oranges from Spain, dairy products from New Zealand, and sardines from Norway. In addition, many farmers have learned how to grow crops in unfavorable areas.


New words

Vary, nest, swift, saliva, fuel, fiery, terrain, well-drained soil, unfavorable, enable, decline




The following sentences are direct speech. Rewrite the sentences using reported speech.

My mother said to me, “Eat a lot of meat”.

“Do not cook foods over an open fire”, I said to Azat.

“Do not make me eat raw food”, my sister said to the doctor.

People in numerous countries enjoy bananas from Ecuador


2. Here are some things that Sarah said to you:

1) I have never been to the United States

2) I don’t have any brothers or sisters

3) I can’t drive

4) I don’t like fish

5) Jane has a very well-paid job

6) I am working tomorrow evening

7) Jane is a friend of mine

8) Dave is lazy

But later Sarah says something different to you. What do you say?

Sarah You
Dave works very hard But you said he was lazy
Let’s have fish for dinner  
I’m going to buy a car  
Jane is always short of money  
My sister lives in Paris  
I think New York is a great place  
Let’s go out tomorrow evening  
I have never spoken to Jane  



3. Complete the sentences with say or tell (in the correct form). Use only one word each time

1) Ann said goodbye to me and left

2) … us about your holiday. Did you have a nice time?

3) Don’t just stand there. … something.

4) I wonder where sue is. She … she would be here at 8 o’clock

5) Dan … me that he was bored with his job

6) The doctor … that I should rest for at least a week

7) Don’t … anybody what I … . It’s a secret just between us

8) Did she … you what happened? No, she didn’t … anything to me

9) Gary couldn’t help me. He … me to ask Caroline

10) Gary couldn’t help me. He … to ask Caroline


The following sentences are direct speech

1) Don’t wait for me if I’m late

2) Mind your own business

3) Don’t worry, Sue

4) Please slow down!

5) Can you open your bag, please?

6) Could you get a newspaper?

7) Hurry up!

8) Will you marry me?

9) Do you think you could give me a hand, Tom?

Now choose one of these to complete each of the sentences below. Use reported speech.

1) Bill was taking a long time to get ready, so I told him to hurry up

2) Sarah was driving too fast, so I asked ……………………………

3) Sue was nervous about the situation. I told ………………………

4) I couldn’t move the piano alone, so I …………………………….

5) The customs officer looked at me suspiciously and ……………..

6) Tom was going to the shop, so I …………………………………

7) The man started asking me personal questions, so I …………….

8) John was very much in love with Mary, so he ………………….

9) I didn’t want to delay Helen, so I ……………………………….


Reported Speech

The past simple (did/saw/knew etc.) can usually stay the same in reported speech, or you can change it to the past perfect (had done / had seen / had known etc.):

direct Paul said: 'I woke up feeling ill, so I didn't go to work.'

Reported Paul said (that) he woke up feeling ill, so he didn't go to work. or Paul said (that) he had woken up feeling ill, so he hadn't gone to work.


It is not always necessary to change the verb in reported speech. If you report something and the situation hasn't changed, you do not need to change the verb to the past: direct Paul said, 'My new job is very interesting.' reported

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