Urban life minimises time for living together. Is eating as a family still a cohesion factor?
On any route towards dietary happiness, it is vital not to lose social and neighbourly relationships and particularly family relationships. Otherwise, we will end up as solitary diners, a far cry from what a good meal should be: a celebration in which people live side by side, communicate and discuss things. That is, where people live.
A meal in good company is a wonderful opportunity for meeting, celebration, exchange, co-existence and happiness. But things are changing rapidly. The home, where the family lived and gathered together to cook and eat has evolved from a meeting point to the dining room or bedrooms, where food is taken from the kitchen on individual trays. In this evolution, something is undoubtedly missing because neighbourhood relations, friendship, co-existence and humour basically arise and exist around a table.
“A meal in good company is a wonderful opportunity for meeting, celebration, exchange, co-existence and happiness”.
Many of those who believe there is a family crisis are convinced that it is due to the fact that nowadays we hardly ever eat together whilst the children take a tray to their bedroom or to the sofa to watch television. Do we no longer speak whilst eating? In the urban world, we don’t have enough time. We do not eat in a relaxed way, chatting and exchanging information, and that makes us feel more and more lonely. In the past, families transmitted experiences (forms and ways of eating and diet) and values compared with an education system that concentrated on passing on knowledge. However, families have become heavily disintegrated due to professional demands and distances to the workplace. Children spend more and more time at school and that is where they receive most messages. In any case, we should be taught to eat and if it cannot be done at home, then it should be at school and then at university.