In a country with the most obesity and a society that envies the skinniest models, it’s obvious that food is a powerful thing in our world. With every meal I share and every bite of mint chocolate chip ice cream that makes me feel better when I’m down, belief that food can bring people together grows.
I believe food has the ability to bring people together because food breaks the ice. Whether it’s a dinner with people I don’t know very well, and gives me something to do while trying to think of something to say, or a Thanksgiving dinner that serves as a reason to see family that I only see a few times a year, sharing a meal has always been an activity that I can enjoy with almost anyone. Food also brings my immediate family together. Both of my parents have demanding jobs, and with my homework, job and other extracurricular, eating dinner as a family is one of the only times that wee can all sit down together and coordinate schedules, and talk with each other. My good friends and I also do a lot of activities having to do with food. Almost everyday I go out to lunch with my friends from school and on the weekends we go out to dinner at our favorite restaurants, or try to find good new ones. Even at my dance studio, we eat sugar cookies with pink frosting on a regular basis. My best friend Anna is an amazing cook and she often cooks for our friends or teaches me to cook something new. Not only is she a great cook, but her parents own a great Italian restaurant. Anna isn’t my only friend with ties to the restaurant business. I have another friend whose father owns two prominent restaurants in the community and my mom owns a bookstore and a café. These close connections to restaurants have influenced my belief that food can bring people together, but the unfortunate part of this influence is that I find myself spending nearly all of my money on food. I love finding new restaurants and eating different kinds of food. I think I got this trait from my dad, who knows all of the great diners around town, and he takes me to new ones all of the time. We’ve done this since I was old enough to eat French fries. Not only has this activity given me a way to bond with my dad, it sparked my interest in finding new places to eat, and bringing my friends and family there to eat together.
Obviously, everyone has a special place in his or her heart for food because everyone needs it to lie. My own thoughts about food, however, have taught me that because almost anyone can get acquainted over a good meal and that it can bring close friends closer, I believe that food can unify people.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.