Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What does food mean to you?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (32737points) March 3rd, 2017

Much of life in Hawaii revolves around food. We’re always sharing food at the office. Today is Girl’s Day here and in Japan, so of course, 3 people brought donuts and 1 person brought an entire cooked breakfast to share.

We have a community garden at my building, and even though I don’t participate, they’re always giving me vegetables. When I lived on the Big Island, the neighbor would yell up to me, I’d go out, and he’d always have some kind of fruit to share. It was amazing.

Here food means community, and we share. Food in Hawaii is not just something we have to do to keep our bodies functioning. It’s a way to rejoice. It’s happiness in physical form.

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51 Answers

cinnamonk's avatar

As much as I enjoy food (who doesn’t), to me, eating is just yet another daily chore I need to perform, like showering, exercising, and brushing my teeth.

janbb's avatar

Love and comfort and, at its best, sharing with friends and my family.

canidmajor's avatar

I love food. I love to cook, to feed people (mostly at holidays), to share meals with lots of people, either out or in someone’s home.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Doesn’t mean much to me at all, generally speaking. I do enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and 4th of July food festivities though. But on a daily basis I eat ‘cause I gotta. It’s a pain in the butt sometimes.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III And yet, you talk about it so much. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m hungry a LOT!! But I, personally, think that being hungry doesn’t mean you have to eat right then and there.

cinnamonk's avatar

I’m hungry but don’t want to leave my house and don’t want to make anything. How inconvenient.

cinnamonk's avatar


Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It’s so sad to know there are people who, for whatever reason, take a utilitarian view of food. It’s such a joy to share good food with friends and family! There is so much love that goes into preparing food to share. When I eat, I’m not merely consuming the food. I’m also thanking the cook for their care.

canidmajor's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake, yes, that. Well said. :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I did say that I do love the events that include food. I enjoy sharing what I made and others sharing their creations. I love cooking for a crowd. And sometimes I have foods that just make me melt, like that one Valentine’s day that Rick grilled lobster and steak filets. OMG, that made everything in the world OK.
But as for a day to day love affair, no. I also don’t have to fight myself to stop myself from eating too much, or eating fattening food, or junk food, snacking mindlessly or eating useless desserts.
You may feel “sorry” for me, but I don’t. I have no food hangups and I’m at perfect weight.

@cinnamonk I know how you feel.

flutherother's avatar

It means different things at different times ranging from grabbing a Subway in the middle of a busy day at work to the Christmas dinners my mother used to make.

Sneki95's avatar

All the wonderful things you put in your mouth for personal enjoyment. (and physical necessity)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Subway makes a wonderful broccoli and cheese soup. It’s inexpensive too.

I like shopping for groceries to go camping. I enjoy the planning and the details.

Cruiser's avatar

I love cooking so food is a passion of mine.

I have always appreciated the nourishment aspect of food. I try as often as I can to sit and eat my meal with the purpose of enjoying the food for what I expect it to bring for the health and well being of my body. My wife a long time yoga instructor a few years back became and Ayurvedic practitioner and through her knowledge I have a much greater understanding of the relationship of specific foods, herbs and spices and the significance of each ingredient and in how they chemically interact with each other and also how they influence many aspects of the health and vitality of the body.

But I am envious of your community share and share alike aspect. We do a little of that. I give out excess garden fruits and veggies to neighbors and coworkers. And in my neighborhood us and a neighbor alternate hosting chili, stews, soups and Bar-B-que cook offs. It;s lot of fun because you get to meet their friends and they get to meet my friends and of course all the other neighbors get invited.

Dutchess_III's avatar

When I make things like onion soup, or roast beef with veggies, I make a bunch. Used to be enough to feed the whole family + left overs. Now there’s only 2 of us, so I bag about half of it up and give it to the kids.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^^pardon you

cinnamonk's avatar

I had some raviolis and sausage from Costco. Yay, Costco.

filmfann's avatar

Dark chocolate is my dark mistress.

Coloma's avatar

I’m a total foodie. love cooking, love eating love sharing. I wish I wasn’t quite so food oriented and it takes a lot of effort to keep my weight in check because if something is good, well, just kill me with it. Good thing I never tried heroin.haha
That said though, the eat to live, food neutral , eating is a chore, mindset totally escapes me. I am planning what’s for dinner at breakfast. lol

jca's avatar

I love food but I wouldn’t say every time I eat it’s a spiritual experience.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Next question: what does it take to make eating a spiritual experience?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Being really, really hungry @Hawaii_Jake. Having not eaten in a week. I don’t think any of us here have ever experienced that.

Seek's avatar

Primary question:
For me, food is one of the great joys of life. It’s a way to experience the past (through traditional foods, food history which I find fascinating, and through family recipes), and to really be in the present.

Secondary question:
Tim Tams and hot tea. Once the kettle on the hob is boiling I’m going to pray some more.

Dixon's avatar

I enjoy baking but it’s a daily chore to come up with new meal ideas that will please everyone I feed seven days a week. I spend at least 3 hours a day in kitchen and often times many more. I have a love hate relationship with food I guess.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember those days!

BellaB's avatar

There are some foods I really enjoy, but for the most part I enjoy cooking/baking more than eating.

If I’d known then what I know now, I would have done some kind of cooking program that led to me being a test-kitchen cook. I’d love to be that guy on America’s test kitchen who does the same recipe a dozen different ways to figure out the science behind what makes recipes work/not work.

I’m not a big fan of eating with other people. Going out for group meals does not turn my crank – though I do like eating at outdoor fairs and the like.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I love Fair food. Throw caution to the wind. Pork pulled sandwiches. FUNNEL CAKES!!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Seek My daughter is studying nutritional anthropology.

Kardamom's avatar

Life, family, love, joy.

Brian1946's avatar

I can see why some people love food.

Food will never leave you for another plate and break your heart.

Paying for food is legal in all 50 states, not just parts of Nevada.

Some of it is sexually satisfying, especially pickle bread that’s made with dill dough.

Mariah's avatar

I have a weird relationship with food. During some times of my life, food was strongly linked with pain. During those times I didn’t want to eat, because I felt that any decision I made with what to eat or how much or when was always the wrong decision. It felt like I any decision I made would just worsen my problems. So it became a big, scary responsibility that I just didn’t want to do anymore, and enjoying it was completely out of the question.

At one point I got the burden lifted from my shoulders for two months, which was a really fucking weird experience. I went on IV nutrition. You don’t realize how much of your life is built around eating until you just don’t eat anymore. I wouldn’t notice it had gotten late because I hadn’t eaten dinner and in my subconscious it just doesn’t get late until after you’ve eaten dinner. That kind of thing. My family tried to eat away from me, because they thought it’d be cruel if I smelled their food, but I wanted to smell it. Smelling became a replacement for eating for awhile. It’s better to at least get a sniff than it is to get nothing. Luckily I wasn’t exactly hungry, though. My body was receiving the nutrition it needed, which prevented the sensation of extreme hunger. But at some level it is just very confusing to have nothing pass your lips, and to have a totally empty digestive tract, for 60 days.

After that experience was over, as you might imagine, I appreciated food very very much. In some ways it was the first time I ever appreciated it, really.

Nowadays I have days where it just feels like a responsibility and other days where I appreciate it very much. I recently have subscribed to Soylent for the tough days, and it is a life-changer. I am no longer doing harm to my body by skipping meals or eating junk on the days that I can’t face cooking. But I can’t imagine doing what some people do, and stopping consuming anything else besides Soylent, because there is still the part of me that occasionally gets great pleasure from food, and I think that’s the way it should be.

Seek's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake – that’s awesome!

I don’t have any fancy titles but I do have a running project where I’m trying to recreate a loaf of bread that was found in a seventh century rubbish tip.

AshlynM's avatar

Knowing I have access to food almost every day, I can sometimes just take the time to actually enjoy my favorites. But mostly it’s just something I have to eat.

Strauss's avatar

For me food is a passion…from the garden to the table. Growing up in a fairly traditional situation, the evening meal was the time of day when the whole family sat down together, in gratitude and love, to share not only the nutritional value of the food, but the real sense of family. We shared our day, our feelings and even our differences. The TV was turned off, the phone was not answered until the meal was finished.

I grew up convinced that my dad’s favorite piece of chicken was the neck, and that beef kidney stew was a delicacy.

When I was about 11 or 12, my father fashioned a large rotisserie spit to use over an open fire. We would have roast lamb, and/or maybe a small pig for large gatherings of aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, and of course neighbors were always welcome.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just got one volume of five called “Women’s Institute Library of Cookery.” 1924. Paging through it. Awesome. This volume deals with breads. Glancing through it, it consistently calls for “2 tbls fat.” Doesn’t say what kind of fat. Just fat.
I have a cook book from 1934, too. Nary a word about chocolate chips.

Response moderated
sone's avatar

Something I wish didn’t exist

Kardamom's avatar

@sone Why don’t you want food to exist? It sustains life and a lot of it is delicious.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I kind of get his comment. It’s annoying to me to have to eat.

Coloma's avatar

You food indifferent types just baffle me. From she who is grilling steak and peppers right now and looking forward to my dinner and dessert tonight with great anticipation. haha

Kardamom's avatar

I don’t get it either. Food gives me so much pleasure.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We know. Food gives me pleasure when I’m hungry, but not, like, orgasmic pleasure. I don’t spend half a day planning ahead what I’m going to eat that night.
I don’t get people who eat breakfast and then say, “OK, what’s for dinner?” How can you be thinking of dinner when you you just ate? That baffles me.

Mariah's avatar

Appetite is so physiological. I’m usually pretty indifferent to food, but when I used to have to take steroids, they turned me into that person who’s planning their next meal while eating the current one. The pull was SO strong. And I gained a pound a day for a month. I’m glad I’ve had that experience. I can totally see how people become overweight.

canidmajor's avatar

I like thinking about food, even if I’m not hungry. I like planning meals, reading cookbooks, making up recipes. I like trying new ingredients in things. I like figuring out how flavors will combine, how textures develop. The whole food thing is a great joy for me.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, I’m in @canidmajor food camp. Food is one of the great joys of life for many.
I even get off on choosing the best flavors of cat food for my cats. Lamb with clam sauce anyone? lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m with my daughter. I have the fixins for a roast with onions (which she STILL doesn’t like so I cut them thick so she or I can see them easily and pick them out and put them in my bowl!) taters, carrots and tomatoes. That and French bread for dipping in the juice….well, as my son once said, it’ll cure what ails ya!

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