How Food Habits Are Affected by Chinese Culture Essay

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How Food Habits Are Affected by Chinese Culture What is food? Food, as defined in Encyclopedia Britannica, is any material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to maintain growth, repair, and life processes and to provide energy. “Food habits” are the ways which humans use food, including how food is obtained and stored, how food is prepared, how food is served and to whom, and how food is consumed (Foyan & Sucher, 1995). Most animals normally stop eating when they get full, but people enjoy eating even though they are full. The main reason people eat is for survival. However, that is not the only reason for eating. If people ate only to satisfy survival needs, all humans…show more content…
Culture affects food a lot, and this effect is deep-rooted. Foyan & Sucher, in their Food and Culture in America (1995), mentioned that the food and food habits of each group are always associated with religious beliefs or ethnic behaviors. Eating, like dressing in traditional clothing or speaking in a native language, is a daily reaffirmation of cultural identity. Therefore, that food is affected by culture is incontrovertibly strong. People who come from the same culture share the same feeling about food choices. However, as Chang (1977) said, even within the same culture, food habits are not all necessarily analogous. There are some other variables and uncontrollable causes that make even the comparable ethnic groups eat differently. For instance, people in different social classes or positions eat differently. People on festivals, on ceremonies, in burials, or on a daily routine, again eat differently. Different religious beliefs have different eating taboos. Men and women, in distinct situation of their lives, eat differently. Even different individuals have different tastes as well. (Chang, 1977). To take an example from my culture, it is very difficult to introduce Chinese food without bringing out our culture. If we take a look on Chinese culture before we eat the Chinese food, we will know that Chinese food is a social accomplishment. In Chinese culture, food is the most appropriate gift for our friends, especially when they come a long distance.
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