Culture of Sharing Food and Eating Together
May 14, 2021
Sharing food and eating together is a social, cultural, and nourishing experience that transcends language barriers. It builds connections between people through food and the communication it fosters through eating. Food is the most tangible element of culture and society and it helps us relate to each other and gain an understanding of our roots. I think this is why home-cooked meals are a great source of warmth and feelings of belongingness.
Sharing food shows a level of trust and openness. It shows a person's willingness to give up some resources and desire to build closeness with someone. One psychological aspect of eating food is comfort. When someone is stressed out, sad, feeling down most of us indulge in food. This is in part because we associate food with love as most have generally grown up to think of nourishment from our parents. This created a strong connection and association between food and affection.
Eating communally is then a generally accepted form of promoting bonding between family, friends, colleagues, and even rivals. In research conducted by Cornell University and University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2018, it is found that communal eating helps people cooperate.
According to the study, whether friends or strangers, people who ate food that is served once to a group were likely to be less competitive and work better together. It creates an environment where people have the opportunity to attend to other people's needs and assess another one's movements like how much food or drink they need. This then becomes a clue as to how, when, and how much to attend to the other’s need.
They have conducted three separate experiments to see how food affects how people behave and how they come up with decisions. In one experiment, the participants are separated into two groups. The simulation was about a union labor group demanding higher pay via going on strike and the management negotiating for lower pay and fewer days of strike.
The researchers told the participants that the topic of the research was to find out if hunger will influence the participant's decision. They told them that the winner will get a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. In a bid to test the real hypothesis of the experiment, however, each group was given either a shared bowl of tortilla chips and salsa. That, or their portions of the snack before each simulated negotiation begins.
One of the objectives of the experiment is also how many negotiations in the simulation are needed before the parties reach a decision. This simulation also adds that the longer the negotiations take, the more costly it would be to the management due to the ongoing strikes. The simulated negotiations continued until the offer of the management outweighs the labor union’s bid. At the end of the experiment, it has been found that the participants who ate from a shared bowl of food had their strike days fewer than the other control group.
Other benefits of eating with others are higher emotional IQ and communication skills. We tend to open up and are forced to at least make small talks while eating. For those who are introverted or have some difficulty speaking in groups, this is a good way to practice and practice makes perfect.
Since communal eating creates a sense of camaraderie and friendship with others, there is also a lower risk of depression and better self-esteem for everyone. It’s a great way to connect and network with others, especially in the office setting. Apart from the fact that it promotes a collaborative environment, which is beneficial whether in the office or at home with your family.
Sharing food and eating together whether at your home office or office is no big deal when you have a large desk. The good thing with FlexiSpot is that you could choose a desk for both cause it has the home office series and office series and both would still be multifunctional. Having a potluck in the office? No problem. Eating lunch with your colleagues on a casual Tuesday? Not a problem at all. Most of it is height adjustable. Some are customizable.
You could choose the size that fits your needs. It is sturdy and will conform to your height. It is high-tech compared to conventional office desks. It is all elegantly designed, some are minimalist but still aesthetically pleasing. All of it has water and liquid-proof surfaces if you opt to have meals on it too.
The Willow Solid Wood Standing Desk from FlexiSpot is a great product... It is made with solid and sturdy wood and you could customize which frame would suit how much weight you would put on your desk and your personal preference. The first one is the Eco which has a weight capacity of 154 lbs and a single motor frame. The second one could accommodate a tabletop weight of up to 220 lbs and a height of 27.2 inches to 46.5 inches height. That is the Pro 2-stage frame. The next one would be good for up to a whopping 275 lbs white a height range of 22.8 inches to 48.4 inches.
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