We grow up eating the food of our cultures. It is a part of who we really are. Many of us associate food from our childhood with warm feelings and good memories and it connects us to our families, keeping for us a rare, personal meaning. In times of frustration and stress, food from our family often becomes the comfort food we as adults seek, Food reminds us of our culture and heritage, each nation has a traditional dish or food culture, food tastes are determined by dominant culture values, tradition is passed down from generation to generation. It functions also as an expression of cultural identity. Immigrants bring the food of their countries with them wherever they go and cooking traditional food is a way of preserving their culture when they move to new places, people also connect to their cultural or ethnic group through similar food patterns. The ingredients, preparation methods, preservation techniques and food types consumed at various meals vary across cultures, that’s how and culture retains its identity, the place where people live or grow up has a huge impact on their food choices and taste. Nations or countries are also associated with certain kinds of food. For example, many people associate Italy with pizza and pasta, although Italians eat many other kinds of food, and types of pasta dishes vary across Italy.
On the other hand, some food practices are due to religious beliefs, Muslims all over the world fast during Ramadan, throughout this month, they fast during daylight hours, eating and drinking before dawn and after sunset, orthodox Jews follow the kosher diet, also many followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism are vegetarians, The absence of meat in these cultures results from the desire to avoid hurting other living creatures. The role of conversation even varies from place to place during mealtime. Many families believe that mealtime is a good time to talk about family and friends, conversation during a meal is appropriate among other families but conversation topics are limited.
Furthermore, some kind of food are common between a certain class or a group of people, as David Foster Wallace cited in his book “Consider the Lobster”, “Up until sometime in the 1800s, though, lobster was literally low-class food, eaten only by the poor and institutionalized.” Lobster was so common and cheap among the poor in the past, lobsters were so abundant in the early days. “Even in the harsh penal environment of early America, some colonies had laws against feeding lobsters to inmates more than once a week because it was thought to be cruel and unusual, like making people eat rats. Now, of course, lobster is posh, a delicacy, only a step or two down from caviar” (Wallace, 2), It wasn’t always like this. If today’s lobster wears a suit and an expensive Rolex, 80 years ago he would be wearing a uniform and picking up your garbage, lobsters were called “cockroaches of the sea.” It went from being a complete crap to a fine dinner that the elite eat. But Wallace is not talking about the life transfer of the lobster, he is talking about the suffer and the pain lobsters feel when they are boiling, he is wondering why we kill lobsters in such a cruel way, although humans have been eating animals since the beginning of nature Eating meat just recently has become socially unacceptable, at least for those who take the time to think about it. Vegetarianism is more common than ever and animal rights, the fringiest of fringe movements until only a few years ago, are rapidly entering the mainstream of culture “I’m not completely sure why this should be happening now, given that humans have been eating animals for tens of thousands of years without much ethical heartburn.” (Pollan, 3). At first people used to justify their eating of animals, now as people become more civilized, they started to care about animals’ feelings and pain and make laws to protect them.