Food and Culture

Essay by rahul_sharmaUniversity, Bachelor'sC+, April 2006

download word file, 11 pages 3.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 250 times

Food can be defined as any product, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, intended to be ingested by the humans whether of nutritional value or not. Food is the main source of energy and of nutrition for an individual, and is usually of plant or animal origin. Adequate nutritional intake plays a significant role in the maintenance of health. Appropriate food choice is an essential factor in maintaining body functioning and health.

The selection of foods by human groups is influenced by a numerous of factors. The question as to why one eats, or what one eats, is certainly a complex one. There are many determinants that affect the food choice of an individual. Physiological factors as well as cultural factors, media, socioeconomic factors affects the food choice and consumption and may adversely affect the nutritional well being. Culture however appears to be the major determinant of what we eat.

The concept of food consumption is much more complex, the food that we eat is at the basis of our culture society and our existence. Culture plays one of the most influential roles in the choices and the subsequent selection of foods consumed in certain societies. As culture comes from ones history and tradition, along with the culture comes the set of rules and practices of food choice, which we acquire as we grow up, called cuisine. A culture group provides guidelines regarding acceptable foods, food combinations, eating habits and patterns. People eat according to the learned behaviors regarding etiquette, meal and snack pattern, acceptable food, food combination, and portion sizes. (

Culture has a value system which comes into prominence through traditional values. Dominant values influence all aspects of food related activity as well as the way specific foods are viewed. The substance accepted as food by culture some...