Connection through food 1

How can food help us to foster connections

Everybody understands language food and you can use it to build a bridge between yourself and the others

Our everyday life is mostly made of connections: can food help us to foster connections with the others and ourselves?

Sometimes food helps us to take breaks, it can be the pretext to meet a friend.

In how many ways does it really affect our days and how can we use it to improve connections in our life?

Before answering this question, the ways we are connected to the food should be taken into consideration:

  • there is obviously a chemical connection to food: we feed ourselves by introducing food in our body;
  • there is an emotional relationship we have with eating process;
  • finally, there is a social level of food and nowadays this is evident.

How what we eat influences our life

We are what we eat

said once Feuerbach.

Today, we know that it is true. There are many studies about how what we choose to eat influences not only our body, but also our mind.

One of the most famous experiment is the one made by the British doctor Chris van Tulleken.

Briefly, he introduced in his diet, for 30 days, many sugar and fat. 

What he noticed was not only that his body was, obviously, changing. 

He also had some psychological reactions, such us loss of attention, addiction to some kind of food and changes in his neural connections.

Choosing what we eat is important not because of our physical shape: choosing right food helps us to be healthy and to make our body work in a proper way.

When our body works we have a better connection with ourselves.

Listening our body is the first step to know ourselves and to identify our needs.

We have an emotional connection with food

In modern society, we do not eat to feed ourselves. Eating is part of everyday life and the feeding function is, most of the times, given for granted.

Our approach to food is often emotional: we choose the food we eat according our ethics or our mood and sometimes we lose the control of eating.

Think about vegan people who decided to cut from their diets some aliments because of ethical reasons: sometimes food can be part of somebody’s identity.

Think about the comfort food you desperately need, when you have a bad day and you want to feel home.

Think about how many times you do not even notice how much you eat because you are under stress and you fall into the famous emotional hunger.

Taking a moment to reflect on how our personal connection with food works helps to foster the connection with ourselves. It helps us to get to know ourselves better and better.

How food helps us to foster connections with the others

We live with the others: we work together, we need each other to build social relationship, we learn from each other.

It is a beautiful process: staying in a net of people, you exchange something with.

How does food help to build social relationships?

Actually, in many ways!

Food as a hook to engage people

When we meet our friends or date somebody, we generally meet at bars or restaurants, we join community kitchen (link to community kitchen article). Many love stories started with an ice cream.

Food has the power to make the atmosphere informal and to create hooks. Everybody knows something about food, about tastes, simply because everybody eats.

We all have a favourite food, something we do not like, some good or bad memory connected to that dish. We all have personal stories to tell about food and personal stories connect people!

Food as a way to discover something new or someone

This is the era of experiences. 

We understood that learning something through experiences is priceless and unforgettable.

Food is completely into this experiential process.

Have you ever joined a food tour to discover a new city (and its traditional food and stories?

Have you ever joined a cooking class, where local people – and not star chefs – teach how to make that pasta shape or how to prepare that soup?

Have you ever joined a blind-dinner and experienced the food in a different way, with your friends?

Going back to the question at the beginning of the article: yes, definitely food helps to foster connection with ourselves and with the others.

There is more. It is one of the ways we have to learn more: about our personal life, about others and about the world.

It is sensorial, not connected to our rational part, but to the emotional one. And this make food powerful as a tool of discover!

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