Food Is More Than What We Eat Essay
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The food we consume everyday has more to it than a source of fuel and part of our human essentials. Though we may not realise, food plays a part of many people’s culture, religion and even employment, where food plays a significant role in their everyday lives. Today, food serves a fairly major role in our society. Due to globalisation and other global factors, there has now been a mix and harmonious diversity in cultures around the world and food is one of the main evidence of that.
This can just be seen by walking to your local stores where there are at least two or more food stores/ restaurants from different cultures. This is particularly evident in Australia, as immigrants from across the globe bring with them to Australia their cultures, beliefs and lifestyles to their new homes- with food being one of them. Many of these different cultures are now welcomed, accepted and shared, which provides employment for many people.
This is not only evident in the Western continents, but many other Asian countries, where you would see many restaurants, snacks stores and street stores.
Food is also used to distinguish the ‘classes of certain groups and/or areas. For example, in the city where there are more higher classed people, majority of the restaurants and cuisines tend to be a lot more expensive than those in the outer suburban areas. The functions of food in cultures vary between cultures, but majority of the time plays a significant role. There are different beliefs and morals, religious and food rules/ etiquettes that are associated with food of different cultures.
An example of a food belief/moral would be in China noodles represent longevity, therefore it should not to be broken off or bitten off but put all into your mouth to chew to swallow. Food has not only been applied in beliefs and morals, but also religion. This can be seen in the Buddhism, where vegetarian dietary is preferred for serious believers. Sometimes food etiquette is incorporated into the religious side of food. For example in China it is considered extremely rude and impolite to stick your chopsticks upright in your rice as it is how it appears in funerals and is disrespectful to the elderly.
The use of food in traditions and celebrations is another way to show how food has a deeper meaning that being sustenance. Traditions vary between cultures, but even families and individuals. Everyone has their own ‘style’ that they live with and pass on to their family who if they decide to continue the tradition passes on to future generations. Some of these traditions in terms of culture can be having rice has your main staple for most Asian cultures, while in Australia they have many different staples ranging from bread to grain foods.
Food is also a big role player in celebrations. Many cultures have special foods that are only eaten or mostly eaten on certain days or events. For example in China on Chinese New Year, moon cakes are eaten, while in Australia, citizens have BBQs on Australia Day and eat ANZAC biscuits on ANZAC day. Food has also been a reason for unity of people. People like to eat whether it is at home or in restaurants in groups, where they not only enjoy the food together but can also start up conversations.
For some families during dinner time may be the only time where they sit together and talk about their day. On a larger scale, food and global factors has allowed people of different backgrounds and cultures to accept and understand each other’s cultures. As previously mentioned, where we can now have food that are not from your culture. Because of food being eaten by many cultures, there are modifications to some foods so that more people can eat them. For example, there are now many vegetarian foods such as vegetarian pies and noodles for people with vegetarian diets.