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Food is Symbolic.
Throughout history, food has been used as a symbol of wealth or gratitude, or to demonstrate position and power. In some cultures, eating lavish and exotic meals is a sign of wealth and power, whereas eating only the basic foods is a of sign belonging to a more common class. In some cultures, the offer of a glass of cool, clean water is the greatest compliment or honor one can receive. In some cultures, whenever you receive s guest, whether for business or pleasure, you must offer them something to eat or drink: the more lavish the offering signifies the amount of respect or honor you give that person. Diet is not a consideration.
For centuries, food has been a key element in religious rituals. Food was used as offering to the gods and their high priests and priestesses. Food has been considered a form of tithing to a church or religious sect. Certain foods such as lamp, bread, and bitter herbs are religious symbols in some ceremonies.
The sharing of food demonstrates acceptance, friendship, family, and love. To be invited to “break bread” with a family, in many cultures shows respect and is a sign of friendship and acceptance. Literature is full of examples of lovers using food to show their devotion and respect foe each other: one of the most famous being the line from the Rubaiyal of Omar Khayyam, “ A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – and Thou…” in the West, chocolate and sweets have long been a symbolic exchange of affection between lovers. So, why do we eat the things we do? First, let’s established that not everything we like to meat is all that good for us, unfortunately. For example, there is much debate over the value of chocolate – yes, it does have some redeeming qualities aside from just tasting wonderful.