Food is the center of life. I do not know how any one could argue that statement. If you think you can, by all means, I would love to hear your argument.
Food is necessary for nourishment and not just human survival, but for all living organisms. It is also what most bonding and social events are based around. When you have a birthday, you get a birthday cake. When you plan a wedding, the food is one of the most focused on factors. The same goes for just about any kind of party.
In the past week I went on a date with my boyfriend, went out with my mom and spent two days in the city with my best friend. The thing that all three of these events have in common is that food was at the center of all of these events. I don't consider this a bad thing, in fact it usually makes me really happy!
However, it usually makes my task of only eating local and/or organic and relatively healthy foods, quite difficult. I read in a magazine a few years ago that eating out is one of the worst things that you can do for your health. In a way, I agree. No matter how many modifications you make to your order (ie, no or little oil, steamed vegetables rather than sauteed, baked instead of fried) in reality you have no idea what the chef is putting in your food or how it is being prepared. However, it is such a social event, and going to a nice restaurant is really enjoyable and even exciting. Only doing it once in awhile makes it that much more of a novelty though.
My boyfriend and I rarely go out to eat, but when we do, we usually indulge in hibachi. There is a place near us that we have been to twice and have loved each time. Not only is the food amazing but the people there have been wonderful. Hibachi is the epitome of a socially oriented food event. The chef cooks right in front of you, talks to you, and tries to entertain you while shooting Saki into your mouth and lighting onion volcanoes on fire. The best part of the meal for me is the fact that you sit next to strangers and eat giving you an opportunity to make new friends. The first time we went we met an older couple who owns a jewelry store. The wife obviously had food issues, declaring that she did not eat all day just so she could indulge in this meal and that she usually drinks all of her calories, as she continued to order four glasses of wine. I am not judging her! She was a very charismatic person, but it always astounds me how much food controls people, in both good and bad ways. Her husband kept asking my boyfriend when he was coming into his store to pick out a ring for me. Nine years was the answer. ha.
The second time we went we met a younger couple, only 20 years old. They were both extremely friendly and intelligent and still in college. The girl was born and raised in Haiti and was there for the earthquake. She explained that she knows just about five languages and multiple instruments. My jealousy definitely peaked.
I met my friend in the city for Sunday brunch, which also included massive amounts of mimosas. We then went to Trader Joe's for some snacks and had dinner the following night followed by decadent hot chocolate made with soy milk and a gluten free chocolate and raspberry cake. The point is, most of the social plans that I take part in are based around food and I love every minute of it. This only proves to me more, how important food is in our lives, and how it can bring strangers together and bring closer people even closer.