“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” -Ernestine Ulmer
Food is necessary for survival. We eat it every day and we see it everywhere. I like all kinds of food *cough* not vegetables *cough*. I am Indian so I usually eat Indian cuisine, but I love Mexican, Italian, Greek, Chinese, everything. Honestly, if I could put professional food eater on my résumé, I would.
So you get it, I live for food, but here’s the thing. There is more to it than I understand. Food is way more powerful than what people give it credit for. The Boston Tea Party was a revolution ignited by food and so was the Salt March by Gandhi. Food, which is often not thought about twice, can have a lot of meaning behind it which people don’t usually see nor understand. It can and does change the world.
So what is it?
Food Is Identity
Food is used to express identity, culture, and origin.
When my parents moved here from India, they had to change everything. It was very scary for them. They had to change the way they interacted with others, the way they dressed, the way they talked, they had to change a lot of things except for one thing. Their food. No matter how their day went, they were always able to come back to their food. It was a part of them which they would never lose. It was the cure to homesickness. When they missed home, they would always have the food. It would remind them of India and their family. The food was one part of them that could never be taken away.
That is the same for many others. When moving anywhere, people are usually forced to change the way they act and they often lose their culture in the process, but the food always stays. The food means so much more to some people than others can see. It often serves as a token to our past.
Food is a pleasure
As I said, I love food, and I am not the only one.
Do you find yourself very often eating takeout food or fast food?
That is not the case in France. France is all about the pleasure behind the food. In France, you take your time to enjoy the food and you are in no rush. In France, food is a pleasure, and it’s not only France. The same thing happens in Italy. Italians are big on food. It’s all about the history of it and the experiences. I think it is important to put a lot of thought into what you are eating and what food means to you.
Food is a community
Food brings people together. It’s facts. Food has a symbolic meaning all across the world. Here is what Ayelet Fishbach at the University of Chicago had to say about food.
I think that food really connects people. Food is about bringing something into the body. And to eat the same food suggests that we are both willing to bring the same thing into our bodies. People just feel closer to people who are eating the same food as they do. And then trust, cooperation, these are just consequences of feeling close to someone.
Just sitting next to each other and eating the same thing together brings people together. Think about how much better the world would be if we all had dinner together.
Food is a savior
Now this is important
The world is dealing with many issues related to food. The biggest one is malnutrition. Food used the right way can end this problem. We can eliminate malnutrition. We just need to rethink the way we look at food. It is very valuable and it shouldn’t be wasted. I struggle with this often, but it is important to try to preserve food and not waste it. There are also many amazing organizations working towards ending food malnutrition and poverty. We should do our best to support these organizations and work together to build a world where no one is hungry and no one has to go to bed without a meal.
Food plays such an important part in life. The thing which many people take for granted actually has so much meaning. I think we should respect food much more than it is respected nowadays. Food deserves more respect. I mean, the entire human race depends on it. We should acknowledge how powerful food is and the beauty of it.
If you want to support the fight to end hunger and poverty go to this link.