Although food is a basic necessity, it is enjoyed and treasured as so much more than that. Throughout history, as documented in many ancient manuscripts like the Bible, food has played a key role in bringing people together. The beauty, complexity, and variety that food brings to the table all give it the unique ability to significantly touch lives in very powerful ways. Food is a gift of tradition, love, and teamwork. It brings unites people in all areas of relationships, whether the partakers are considered family, community members, or coworkers. Take the time to share this gift and create wonderful memories.
From the moment people are born, food becomes a critical family connection. Babies require nourishment and parents spend many years that follow birth providing for their children. As they grow, families gather together to eat and share their thoughts on a daily basis. Of course, mealtime looks different for every family, but food is always one thing that’s universal. An interesting fact is that dinner is taken close to the same time all around the world:
- Norway – 4pm-5pm
- China – 6:30pm – 7:30pm
- Mexico – (small meal) 7pm – 9pm
- UK – (tea or dinner) 6:30pm – 8pm
- Australia – (dusk) 5pm-6pm
Holidays offer a special occasion to jazz up the daily foods families enjoy. They bring out traditions and rekindle special memories. Always in the spotlight is the food with special desserts, delicious appetizers, and the passing down of recipes and methods as families gather to cook and visit in the kitchen.
Much like families, communities also take a special delight in gathering around food. Whether it’s a block party where neighbors bring their special gifts of homemade food or a church social where members share their favorite recipes, communities coming together for barbeques or potlucks create special bonds.
Another way communities come together is to help others. Often, on holidays someone will host a meal and invite those who are alone to come to celebrate with them. What about soup kitchens? What better way to bless someone than with a warm meal! Again, food seems to be a common method for sharing love in a very tangible way. Across the country, whether it’s the Union Rescue Mission in California where they daily serve 3000 hot meals or a small church outreach in Illinois where a few may gather, it’s not hard to find people coming together around food to better the lives of others.
From LA to the East Coast, another way food brings people together is in the workplace. Whether it’s a lunch to celebrate a promotion or a birthday cake to celebrate an individual, taking the time to visit around food is always a welcomed break. Also, food has become a key player in a great out-of-the-box team building activity. Consider how important it is to pull a recipe together in just the right way, let alone an entire meal. What if you had to rely on your coworker to do his part to help you accomplish this task?
Once the team works together and pulls off a wonderful dish or meal, the benefits of working together lend to an added bonus: enjoying the meal you prepared together. It doesn’t matter if you are in sunny California where the food is healthy and fresh, or NYC where it’s sophisticated and rich, there are companies that specialize in these incredible experiences to use food in a unique and productive way.
The timeless effect of sharing a meal with another floods the pages of history. Families throughout the world sharing meals, neighbors, and communities offering their gifts of food, and teammates learning how to rely on each other by creating beautiful dishes are wonderful examples of how food daily fills hearts and lives with love and joy. Make an effort to share the gift of food and change the world one dish at a time.