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Exploring the Role of Food in Shaping Personal and Group Identities

Food is much more than you think. The way we eat and what we eat affects us every day. Food plays an enormous role in sociology too, because it can help with understanding the history, the culture, and the nation itself.

Food can represent identity. For instance: in Asian countries, you are most likely to try spicy, well-cooked, and salty food. A great example is noodles. It's a dish that can be used in Asian countries only and now it's become the association with the Asian culture. And we can come up with an endless list of examples. Chocolate from Belgium, beer from the Czech Republic, borscht from Russia, baked and spicy potato from Belarus, and pasta from Italy.

How individual food choices can reflect personal values and culture? Firstly, the background does matter. We all know that people tend to use things that they're familiar with. So, they're most likely to choose the national food.

Secondly, the traditions. It can usually be seen in big families when they have certain preferences in dishes. The particular food can be eaten for generations, and people might be used to it. Thirdly, the religion must matter. In some religions individuals can't eat certain food, so it must affect their vision as well. Fourthly, there's a big trend in protecting the environment. A lot of people now refuse to eat meat to help nature and to help animals. And last but not least is the allergies or diseases. We all know that in some conditions people can't normally eat certain food, so they have to cut it down regardless of their preferences or tastes.

Daigle, K. (2020, November 17). Food and Identity: The Social and Cultural Significance of Food - Kate Daigle Counseling. Kate Daigle Counseling.


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