Part 1 is here.
The way in which our lives are shaped by environment is something which happens not only on an individual level, but on a cultural level as well. People place the choices one culture makes on a pedestal and deride the proclivities of another, but it's very often the case that the "good" in a great culture or the "bad" in a less refined one have nothing to do with any sensibility of the members of that culture. The choices the culture makes are shaped by factors beyond personal aesthetic taste or sophistication and the individuals involved are neither to be praised nor "blamed".
As an example, we can look at food culture. Food culture is shaped by a variety of factors. Primary among them is available food sources, agricultural options and techniques, and food preservation technology. The first item is often recognized but the last one is probably one of the much bigger shapers of what people grow accustomed to and enjoy eating. Why does Japan have a culture with a lot of raw, super fresh food, dried food and pickled food? It's because refrigeration and newer forms of food preservation technology have not been around for a lot of their long history. Their tastes have ridden the tide of history to the present with small adjustments as each generation passed on the tastes of the former one to its children. There's a solid base of food culture though in what history and environment have yielded which will likely echo for centuries to come.
Conversely, why do Americans favor mushy, overcooked, overly salty or sweet food? It's because a lot of America's short history of food culture includes canning as a food preservation technology and the country is sprawling. There was a need for food that could go the distance during expansion and growth as well as keep it free of spoiling as it is carried from areas it is grown in to areas where it is consumed as a non-indigenous food. The first canning factory in America appeared in the early 1800's and canned food saw America through the Civil War through two world wars and into the present. Canned food meant a great deal to American troops in the past. It is also notorious for being overcooked, preserved in sugary liquids, or preserved in salty brine.
The favored cuisine of most people is built around what they grew up with. We like what we ate as kids for the most part and tend mainly to embrace variations on what we already like. While some people diversify their tastes, they are many people for whom food is not important enough to be worth the investment in time, effort, money and research to sample other more adventurous dishes.
On a massive scale, it's unrealistic to expect an entire culture to transcend its roots in a historically-speaking brief period of time. It's also absurd to go around judging any culture for such choices as they are mired in their culture and aren't responsible for either its general negative or positive aspects. Food, of course, is only one example of this. And there are exceptions, but they tend to be based on large scale disruptions to a culture from wars, occupation, major technological or economic breakthroughs, etc. You don't tend to see wholesale replacement of basic cultural elements such as language, religion, or food.
That is not to say that individuals can't break free (as many do), but the overall shape of a culture as mirrored in overall trends and options is molded by what came before and what is around its people, not by any innate superiority or inferiority of the people who populate a culture. To believe otherwise is to place unwarranted faith in the ability and energy of great numbers of individuals to actively seek and accept change en masse. It's unrealistic to expect people to chase down the best elements of other cultures and seek to actively adopt them as replacements for the "lesser" elements of their cultures. That doesn't make them narrow-minded or unsophisticated as it's natural to live in the environment in which you are surviving comfortably and to enjoy the things which bring easy satisfaction. It just makes them human.