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HOW FOOD BRINGS US TOGETHER

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~Introduction~
What is connection? Connection may have many meanings such as internet connection, computer connections, or other terms. But in this hard time most of us focus on one part of connection, which is how we all share what we have in common to find ways to keep in touch and stay together no matter where we are. We all can help each other out and connect in this hard time. This article will give you the essentials on how food connects and brings us together through sharing recipes, culture, and having good times with family and friends.

~Why We Should Stay Connected~
Some of us may think, why does it even matter that we should all talk to each other and stay in touch? Well, humans need to talk to people and be social in order to stay happy and have a good state of mind. If you stay at home and play video games all day and make no effort to be social, you can get depressed and become sad which isn’t good for your body or your mind. And especially during times like these, if you have no friends or family to talk to, you need to make connections with anyone around you. Psychcentral.com states, “Scientifically, we are well aware that isolation and loneliness can raise stress levels, and physical touch is a powerful stress-reducer. A hug can not only reduce interpersonal conflict, but it can also strengthen our immune response and mental health by flooding our bodies with oxytocin, a “bonding hormone” that makes us feel secure and reduces stress. Additionally, touch can be calming for someone in distress since it offers support and empathy.” This shows that being connected all the time really does matter and because of social distancing it is quite difficult. Staying connected does good things for everyone because we all know we have people there for us and that they support us and we always have someone to talk to if we feel down or need any help in any way. Staying connected with family and friends means that they can help you feel valued and support you to keep doing the things you enjoy. There should never be any negativity around you and if there is, confront it or ignore it and keep being happy.

~How Food Connects Us~
Food connects us in so many ways. Now more than ever, it is important to say connected. It doesn’t even matter what race, nationality, region, or what food you make is, we all connect over it anyhow. Food unites us culturally and emotionally. It brings us happiness, suffices our hunger, and makes great memories to share and cherish forever. Cooking as a family or with friends and loved ones brings us together because we can share our culture, heritage, and family recipes while talking and connecting through common things. Coming together or having a reunion and sharing a meal is the best thing that binds us all together and is one of the most common things all around the world done to connect with people. Being able to make a dish and share that with the people you love is one of the most universal concepts because it’s at the root of our survival.

An example of how food connects us is ice cream. When we go to get ice cream or are eating, we talk about our favorite flavor, how delicious it is, that it is your favorite treat, or maybe a person has the same flavor that you like and that’s something you two have in common. In simple things like this, a common ice cream flavor can create a new friendship and a new connection. We even connect over Halloween candy when we trade our candy or pick the best ones. Family reunions always include homemade food, precious family recipes, and most importantly, lots of fun and games. Most likely you would compare how well you made the recipes, complement each other, and connect over the delicious family food because it is like a potluck where you share all of your homemade food that everyone loves. Even when you smell food like cookies or pasta, it might remind you of times when you and your family made something like that. And even now that applies because when you smell or see something you like, you’ll remember that maybe a friend or someone far away likes this too and that we are still connected through the power of food.

Gathering around the table is also a way that connects people strongly and creates memories. Having food together can help you to know each other better, and you’ll discover new things about them and about your skills too. Preparing food of different cultures and doing it with friends and family is a great way to share your culture and be exposed to different heritages and foods. Food is how we express emotions, show creativity, and create memories.

The kitchen may be known as the heart of the home, but the table is also very important. In our busy, digital lives, eating meals together at the table is usually left alone for meals outside or with friends, or on the go if you are busy. The table is where we gather together as family and friends but, not just to eat, to talk, share, connect, and do many other things. Food gets people to talk, debate, and have many different conversations, and moreover prompts people to ask each other questions which is how we strengthen our relationships. The website MomItForward states, “Gathering around the table is also a way we can show others hospitality, teach children manners, preserve traditions, and create memories; it is one of life’s greatest joys.” Some ways to connect through food are making food special for friends and family, have food at different places like camping trips, picnics or dinner parties, plant a garden, eat together as a family, and prepare meals together.

Food brings us comfort, helps us live longer, prompts us to share our cultures, informs us about food, and most all connects us together. An article from the National Magazine called the Joy of Food states, “Food is more than survival. With it we make friends, court lovers, and count our blessings. The sharing of food has always been part of the human story. From Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv comes evidence of ancient meals prepared at a 300,000-year-old hearth, the oldest ever found, where diners gathered to eat together. Retrieved from the ashes of Vesuvius: a circular loaf of bread with scoring marks, baked to be divided. “To break bread together,” a phrase as old as the Bible, captures the power of a meal to forge relationships, bury anger, provoke laughter. Children make mud pies, have tea parties, trade snacks to make friends, and mimic the rituals of adults. They celebrate with sweets from the time of their first birthday, and the association of food with love will continue throughout life—and in some belief systems, into the afterlife. Consider the cultures that leave delicacies graveside to let the departed know they are not forgotten. And even when times are tough, the urge to celebrate endures. In the Antarctic in 1902, during Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery expedition, the men prepared a fancy meal for Midwinter Day, the shortest day and longest night of the year. Hefty provisions had been brought on board. Forty-five live sheep were slaughtered and hung from the rigging, frozen by the elements until it was time to feast. The cold, the darkness, and the isolation were forgotten for a while. “With such a dinner,” Scott wrote, “we agreed that life in the Antarctic Regions was worth living.” — Victoria Pope” This states so vividly and beautifully how far the food has gone to connect us and how long it has been doing it.

~My Experiences With Food and Connection~
I have had many connections over food with friends and family. One time my family brought overstuffed tortellini pasta for a potluck and my friend loved it and we both connected over how good it was. Most times I connect over food with a large group of our family friends and we all bring food we made for potlucks or picnics or any outings. Moreover, we also connect over the food and what we do together which is the most important thing.

~Conclusion~
Overall, we find food comforting, and joyous which has done us all many good things. It brings us together, helps us share culture and heritage, and helps us learn about other foods. It deepens our understanding of culture and humanity. Like I said before, it doesn’t matter what race, nationality, region, or what food you make is, we all connect over it anyhow. Food is the one language we all have in common, and we connect over it.