Food plays a very important role in the development of civilizations and cultures. The cultures that were able to come up with abundant food supply were able to raise large populations that aided in them being able to control large empires. The less sufficient populations were easily conquered by the others. It is clear that food played an important role in all of this. Yet, as the world turns, there is less and less emphases being placed on being able to control food supply as countries all over the world are able to trade with each other for food items.
Dominance is no longer hinged on the amount of food but in other matters. The role of food is not being understated but rather just reduced in rank as other important matters take precedence pursuant to the fact that food supply has more or less been secured especially in the developed countries and cultures. 1. The ancient cultures of the world such as the early Native Americans, Incas, Mayas, Egyptians, etc. , all ate what was available from the land around them. For example, each early Native American tribes had a specific diet based on the geography of the region of the United States they were located in.
Culture, however, did have an impact on how and why many early civilizations ate the foods that they ate. Some early Native American tribes ate buffalo because it was not only a source of food, but also a source of clothing and shelter. Culture in some instances has affected what certain religions can and cannot eat. For example, Muslims and Jews cannot eat pork, while Hindus cannot eat meat. In the US, freedom and equality has allowed many different cultures to practices what they wish. Many different types of food cultures are evident throughout the United States.
US society, though, has changed some of those practices and made them more practical and efficient to fit society’s needs. For example, instead of spending all day cooking for a certain religious holiday, a family can go out and buy the foods they need already cooked and ready to eat. This is something that does not often occur in other parts of the world, but fits in with the convenience of US society. It is interesting to point out, however, that while it is argued that culture plays a big role, religion perhaps exerts a bigger role.
The abundance of meats and pork in those regions would have made these ideal foods that were convenient and could sustain the growing population much easier than alternative foods that were often tied up with rituals. Perhaps, the better perspective would be that food is connected to culture and not to necessity or geography. 2. Food began as fuel for the body in its simplest form, but has transformed into an important part of culture and religion. I think culture and geographical location play a very important part in the foods that we eat.
Foods beginnings were very natural, but the changes in the way we harvest, grow and prepare foods have changed food to a very unnatural process. It does seem as though food has always played an important part in the culture and religion of society. Food in the United States seems to be on a path to becoming less important in the religious and cultural values as we have so many different cultures that are being combined into one society. I feel that the informality of meals in today’s society is changing the way that we look at food as a part of our daily lives.
Meals were times for family in the past and now, it seems like we are always in hurry and trying to eat when we can, rather than making it a social or cultural event. The change that food has had in culture over the years can be attributed to its abundance. As so aptly pointed out, food has become less important and less part of society as a cultural event because of the abundance. In a country that has no problem with food supply, the United States, by ensuring a steady supply of food, has diminished its cultural and social impact. 3.
I believe that geography had a lot to do with what people ate historically. Because traveling was so much more difficult, it was impossible to go around at the rate we can so they were stuck in the region that they lived. I think a lot of food customs were built that way. Back then though, I believe that it was “natural” because they hunted and gathered wild plants and animals instead of raising them how we do now. Historically, all of an animal was used. Every edible part was eaten and all the non-edible parts were used in some capacity.
I think that idea paired with the animals being wild made it natural. Nowadays, I totally agree that it is an unnatural, but essential process. We do need the food to survive and with the population of the world, there is no chance all the wild animals would be enough to eat off of and to preserve. I do believe that the foods we eat has everything to do with the culture we were brought up in. Watching the video Bugs for Breakfast totally proves this point. Eating is just as much important to cultures as the special traditions.
Heck, most traditions involve eating traditional food. There is no way to separate food and culture. We don’t eat for just necessity like the past. We eat for pleasure. Food is appreciated differently these days according to the difficulty that we have had acquiring it. Hunter gatherer communities made sure that every part of the kill was used because there was no guarantee when the next kill would be. Yet, as man learned how to domesticate and raise food, the priorities became difficult and man now had a luxury to refuse the parts that they don’t want.
Courtney from Study Moose
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