Sociology of Food: Meaning and Examples

Food: the term  itself creates a picture of a colourful  tasty and spicy meal;  eating food is a daily dietary habit which equips you with the energy that may be required by an individual to perform his daily activities; but a great chef remarked once, that ”tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are”. In his statement he is trying to judge an individual by his dietary habits.

These words of the great chef, are still prevailing in the society of nineteenth-century, the name of such great chef was Frenchman Alexis Soyer. A person’s eating habits say many things about him. Examples, on the theory above defined, explains the fact very easily; Brahmins are prohibited to use non-vegetarian as a part of their diet but when we take examples of the Bengal then, we get an opportunity to understand the difference in culture and rules of Brahmins residing there. Therefore a non- vegetarian person if claiming his religion as Brahmin, then he is without any doubt, a Brahmin residing in Bengali region. Therefore it can be concluded that people with different personalities, residing in different areas/ regions have different tastes and aspirations. Thus, dietary habits differ with different routines of the different individual. Individual may have different food habits on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, social class, and many other things. By examining such examples we can now conclude about Food habits of a person, as they determine many aspects of an individual’s personality; it can determine, the social group and the society in which a person resides.

The way of defining the food habits and dietary supplements may differ from groups to groups and society to society, also definition and value of a particular foodstuff may differ from society to society. Examples include the intake of drugs(medicine) in India, the preference of Ayurvedic medicines prevails over the other such medicines which are chemically prepared. Ayurvedic medicine includes the use of the natural material as medicine; for example the roots and stem of the Neem tree. Whereas the countries other than India, which may or may not be developed uses such medicines which are manufactured by the use of chemicals, more.

Food habits may be decided by- an individual’s culture, an individual’s goals, an individual’s likes and dislikes, an individual’s society; but whichever reason decides an individual’s dietary habits may apparently be the reason, satisfying the beliefs of society. These social beliefs include different culturally shaped food likes and dislikes. The Jewish and Islamic prohibitions on certain kinds of food consumption is a very criticised example of the barriers of cultural forces on individuals to adopt a particular dietary habit; these prohibitions include dietary foods such as eating pork and many other foods. Every human group decides and choose his own ways of taking and consuming of some foods and restricting even banning outright the eating of others.

Thus above discussion leans upon claiming the above fact true. The food really tells and explains the personality of a person.

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