It’s been said you are what you eat.
And what you eat, how you eat, where, and with whom speaks volumes about your life.
Establish the culture of your family at the table.
Food and Culture Have Always Been Connected
Throughout history and around the world, food and culture have been connected.
For example, Mediterranean cultures brought us diets rich in healthy oils, lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Asian cultures bring rice, noodles and fish to the table and, of course, the Italians and French, well it’s all just great food.
But culture isn’t just about the food we eat.
Culture is also the collection of knowledge and knowings of a particular group of people that ultimately guides behavior.
Engaging in conversation around the table with your friends and family establishes a foundation of culture, a beacon of life.
Just like food and culture are entwined, almost impossible to tease apart, this culture of knowledge and knowing is also woven into the fabric of mealtime.
It emerges through conversation and plain ‘ole time spent at the table.
Establish the Culture of Your Family at the Table
The evening meal is the single most important opportunity you have on a daily basis to establish the culture of your family.
For children this means an understanding of who they are, where they came from, and where they’re going.
For adults it’s a checking and rechecking of those internal beliefs that guide our thoughts, and behavior on any given day, as well as a continual reminder of who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going.
Even for a single person, stopping for a few moments without distractions to feed yourself well, reflect on the day, on the bigger picture of life serves to maintain perspective and balance, especially during trying times.
There Is No Substitute for the Family Table
The experience of culture-making at the table is not the same in a crowded, noisy restaurant.
Nor is it the same with a bucket of fast food being passed around the table.
Mealtime is the defining moment for creating culture in your home.
There is something to be said for its preparation in the home kitchen, and for those long, lingering gatherings that Europeans are known for and that we’ve all experienced at some point on a holiday.
Make a commitment to spending time at the table and live one savory moment at a time.
Culture never tasted so good.