Food not only touches upon but probably is at the origin of many cultural practices of societies around the world. To this day, even in 'modern' societies the way families and friends connect every day or on special occasions defines key aspects of any given culture.
Hence we believe food is not only a very appropriate way to discover any culture; it might well be the best and ultimately only way to decipher a culture.
In addition to promoting more cultural understanding, we promote bringing as many things as possible to the table: more taste, more people, more variety. Each of those ultimately will bring more enjoyment.
Environments change and there are constantly people moving. This has impacted our diet at a fundamental level (e.g our liking of sweet) or at mundane levels (e.g restaurant landscape in Paris). People’s movement is multiform: immigration, exploration, tourism; but it is also about bringing food to where it is consumed e.g in towns or by the army during wars. Our approach to food has to be open to people’s movements.
From landscape to health, from our happiness to sometimes others poverty. Understanding these consequences should help us make better choice for our local communities but also for the world at large. If politics is defined as the way power and wealth are distributed, the choices we make on how we feed ourselves might be the most potent political acts we have the opportunity to make. Everyday.
So, at the end, we must recognize our meals come from people who have travelled in space and time, and hence always be open to share our meals with others; we should also be ready to share some stories that define us, our culture. All of this helps address fundamental human needs and will make any meal more enjoyable.
While we share, we must respect the specifics of the taste of others as well as our own taste.
As we do so, we must realize that the choices we make about what we eat not only reflect our culture and our individual taste, but also impact others immensely. Finally, we must remember our knowledge of what is good to eat – or what it good to think – will never be final; in the face of that uncertainty, variety seems a good hedging strategy …