Tuesday

How Modern Culture Is Changing What We Eat


No matter if you’re a passionate hedonist or you eat just because you want to stay healthy and alive, you can definitely agree that food plays a huge role in our lives, right? If you want to learn something more about this claim and find out how modern culture is changing what we eat, just keep on reading. Here’s what you need to know about this phenomenon:

Food = pleasure?
Even though the majority of people these days live so hectic lives that they often don’t have time to eat a healthy meal, we can freely say that food is still perceived as pleasure by many other people. For example, it is frequently said that the French live to eat, which means that food in France has always been primarily about pleasure. However, things have changed slightly under the influence of modern culture – especially over the last couple of decades, when what has once had a huge role started to lose its importance. Of course, traditional meals and family gatherings are still a thing – particularly during the holiday season, but these certainly don’t take place every day any longer. Special occasions are meant for delicious, complex meals, and that’s it!

Food = status?
Even though it probably seems a bit ridiculous, the fact is that food can be perceived as a symbol of status in modern culture, too. This is mostly because of the enormous influence of social media, where millions of people upload photos of food, look at other people’s photos of food, and even come up with challenges where they order the same thing as people in front of them, without knowing what it actually is. Fasting is also a huge thing nowadays, as well as hiring catering companies to take your important events to a whole new level. This has become a big trend all over the globe – including the US, where a lot of people choose to order catering in NYC during the holiday season or on any other special occasion. If that’s what you’re looking for, go for it and you won’t regret it.

Food = identity?
Have you ever heard a saying which claims that ‘we are what we eat’? Of course you have, and we can freely say that this is a big truth. With that being said, we can also conclude that food is a huge part of people’s identities all around the world, as they are taught to eat specific kinds of food from an early age and stick to them throughout their lives. This is particularly true for cuisines such as Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and French, all of which can be further divided into a number of different regional foods. What’s particularly interesting is the fact that American cuisine gradually becomes similar to the aforementioned ones, as it is a bit more localized rather than globalized. Even though modern culture has changed every aspect of our lives to a certain extent, food definitely resists the temptation and stays one of the most accurate indicators of people’s identities, without a shadow of a doubt!

Food = survival?
Yes, the majority of people enjoy the taste of foods they’re eating and love the way they feel when they eat a certain type of food, but you know what? Not everyone in the world has the same opportunities, unfortunately, which means that there are also people who eat food only to survive. They don’t eat in fine restaurants and drink coffee in popular coffee shops simply because they either don’t have money to do so, or they live in remote parts of the world without even knowing that something like that exists. Instead, they are forced to hunt animals and search for edible foods in order to survive, which seems completely odd and out-of-this-world to millions of people who live in urban environments. This just shows that modern culture can make big changes only where people are exposed to social media and spend a lot of time online!

As you can see, modern culture has significantly changed the way we eat, and it’s the case with the majority of people across the world – except for those who live in isolated parts of the globe. However, no one can diminish its huge influence and the way it impacts all of us, so bear that in mind and you’ll see what we were talking about!

Article by Peter, a lifestyle and travel writer at Men-Ual and Ivania's Mode magazine, living between the UK and Australia.
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