The world is full of different cuisine and cooking techniques, each unique in its own way. Much like language, food is an important part of learning if you want to know about a culture. However, you might wonder whether it is worth it to take the time and learn about food beyond what is in your backyard. Consider the following reasons why exploring global food culture is essential.
Knowing What You Eat and How to Eat When You Travel
If you are planning to travel to a different country, and you have no idea what the food is like, you may not know what you are getting into. You cannot assume that you will always find menus in a language you understand, and if you do not have a translator, you might end up accidentally ordering something you do not like or are allergic to. If you have a smartphone, you might be able to look up any funny menu items that you have a question about, but you may find that the thing that you find online is not an exact match to the item you ordered. Knowing about the food in another country and food preparation specific to the region you are traveling to will save you a lot of confusion.
Something else that is good to keep in mind is how you are supposed to eat food. Different cultures have different ways of eating different foods, and going about it the wrong way might accidentally offend the locals. For example, if you travel to Japan, and you do not know how to place your chopsticks when you are finished eating rice, you may unknowingly make a huge mistake, especially if you decide to stick your chopsticks into the rice bowl so they are standing upright when you are finished. Such a tactic is taboo because positioning the chopsticks in such a manner reminds the Japanese people of incense burned at a funeral. Every culture has its superstitions and taboos, so you must be mindful of how you eat your food for the duration of your visit.
Have Access to Knowledge For Your Kitchen
If you are like most people, you have friends, acquaintances, and associates that come in all shapes, sizes, and cultures. You might have been wanting to invite many of them over for dinner, and you might also have been worried about whether you could make a menu that satisfies everyone. After all, life is not like a cook restaurant game where people come in and tell you exactly what they want. If you are hosting a dinner party with various cultures, you need to have proper knowledge of at least a few dishes from each culture. That way, you can have a variety of dishes for everyone to enjoy, and you might even find that your friends learn more about each other through the food you put out.
Incorporate Mindful Practices at Home and Abroad
If you have enough knowledge of global food culture, there is a good chance that you have stumbled across the growing and preservation practices that sustain those cultures. One of the biggest issues when it comes to food production is ensuring the sustainability of those practices. If you want to start small, you can look at your environment to see how you can make your own contributions to food sustainability. If you want to help on a larger scale, you might want to consider studying such practices across the globe and becoming a sustainability consultant. This way, you can make statistical and strategic suggestions designed to have a significant impact on sustainability practices all over the world.
You may not have thought about the importance of global food culture before, and that is understandable. However, if you are looking to make a difference, whether in the world or in your own kitchen, having a vast knowledge of global food culture is vital to achieving that goal. Keep these reasons in mind as you explore the world of food and the culture associated with it. Understanding food and food culture is an essential part of understanding your fellow humans across the world, and you might even get to help save it if you know enough.