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Dissecting the Culture of Eating Together

31 March 2022

You don’t have to speak the same language to share and eat together. It’s a social, cultural, and nourishing experience all rolled into one. There are many ways that people feel connected to others, and one of them is through food and stories shared over a meal. The most tangible cultural element is food. You might think it’s just something you need to nourish your body but it also brings people together and makes the foreign tongue understand others people’s roots. This is probably why home-cooked meals bring warmth and a feeling of belongingness.

Sharing food entails a certain level of openness and trust. A person willing to give up resources has a desire to build closeness with someone.

There are many psychological aspects of eating food and one of them is comfort. Most people indulge in food when they are sad, stressed out, and are feeling down. We associate food with love mostly because we grew up being nourished by our parents with food. Because of this, there is a strong connection and association between food and affection.

Communal eating

Communal eating is one form of bonding with family, friends, colleagues, and even your biggest rivals. In 2018, the Cornell University and University of Chicago Booth School of Business discovered that communal eating will help people be in agreement.

The study says that when friends or strangers eat food together as a group, the chances are low that they will be competitive with one another. It is more likely that they will be working better together. This environment makes people attentive to one another’s needs and see how much each member of the group eats and drinks. This will give others a clue how, when, and how much they could attend to another person’s need.

Three separate experiments were conducted by the research group from Cornell and UC. Their goal was to see how food affects the behavior of people and their decision-making. One experiment separated the participants into two groups. They were given a situation wherein a union labor group is going on strike to demand higher pay while the management is negotiating for a lower pay grade and reduced number of days to strike.

bowl of tortilla chips and salsa

The topic of the research that the participants were made aware of is how hunger will influence the decision of a participant. The participants were told that they will get a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. On the side, in an attempt to test the experiment’s real hypothesis is that each group was handed a shared bowl of tortilla chips and salsa. That, or portions of the snack before each simulated negotiation began.

The experiment sought to find out how many negotiations in the simulation were needed before the parties were able to come up with a final decision. Of course, the participants knew that the longer the negotiations are, the more expensive it would be for the management to control the ongoing strikes and reduce the impact of absent employees. The management should win towards the end over the labor union—that’s only when the simulated negotiations would reach a stop. The researchers discovered that the participants who ate from a shared bowl of food had fewer strike days than the other control group.

You also have a higher emotional IQ and better communication skills when you nourish yourself with the right amount and quality of food. This is a place of security and comfort where we could talk and be our vulnerable selves while eating. It’s a good practice for an introvert to join a group meal so that he or she could make friends. Even though their shyness is on another level, practicing this always will eventually make the introvert comfortable and less awkward with having a lot of people on the table.

Eating together

One benefit of communal eating involves a social effect on society. Many people suffer now from low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression. When you realize that no man is an island and making room for some family, friends, and new people to enter, will help a camaraderie and friendship to blossom. This is why people feel less depressed or think better of themselves when they are surrounded by the best company. Eating together is one gateway to connecting and networking with others, most especially if your job calls for it. It promotes an environment that is collaborative, benefitting the office or your family.

If your problem is space when serving a visiting group of friends or if you’re at the office and have no pantry space, you might get stressed out. Your tummy is already growling and wants to eat at the moment. It’s no big deal if you have a large desk, whether you are at home or in the office. Sharing food and eating together will be no problem. You could easily choose a desk from FlexiSpot because it offers the home office series and office series, both multifunctional. Whatever your purpose for eating together is, you could use a FlexiSpot desk because most of them are height adjustable. There are also units that are customizable.

Freely choose a size that will cater to what you need. Of course, you want something sturdy and compatible with your height. You may also want something that is high-tech compared to conventional office desks. All of these have an elegant design, some are minimalist and modern which are all aesthetically pleasing. And of course, since you’re eating on the desks, it helps that FlexiSpot offers desks with water and liquid-proof surfaces.

Willow Solid Wood Standing Desk

The Willow Solid Wood Standing Desk is a good offer from FlexiSpot. Made with solid and sturdy wood, it’s sure to carry the weight of your desk materials with ease. You could even customize the frame to make sure it could cater to the weight that you need and prefer. The first one is the Eco which has a weight capacity of 154 lbs and a single motor frame. The second one, the Pro 2-stage frame, could accommodate a tabletop weight of up to 220 lbs and a height of 27.2 inches to 46.5 inches height. The next one would be good for up to 275 lbs with a height range of 22.8 inches to 48.4 inches.