Culture and food selection is interrelated. The relationship between food and culture can be easily got from the concept of gender equality. Women do most of the domestic work than men, but in 1990 this trend is changed. Now men participate in household chores, and it is considered an attempt to reduce the gender inequality. Women spend their time cooking, cleaning, shopping groceries and looking after their kids.
In the US, men work with women at home carrying out the same responsibilities. They equally spend time on physical labor with the emotional burdens as women do. The average women living in the US are subjected to domestic work as well as office work. A family with children seems to be busy than ordinary women regarding caring, looking after kids, their schooling and study jobs.
Women are living with only a male partner experience a different situation, where there are only domestic responsibilities. Such a case can be handled by the equal attention of both partners. In a family where there is no male partner, but an only woman is living with kids, there is the massive burden on the female. She runs home, does domestic chores, grocery, cooking, cleaning and caring kids and their education.
Importance of Culture in Food Selection
Culture impacts foodways. Several social factors impact food selection as well as dietary habits. The social factors play the integral role in the range of food. For instance, income decides the level of diet. What food is to select and what is to buy depends on the income. Secondly, occupation plays a significant role in the food selection. Cost of healthy foods is higher such as vegetables and fruits. An average person is unable to consume high costs foods frequently.
Moreover, friends and family exert influence on the eating patterns. Large families consume more food as compared to small families. Society is influential on the consumption aspect of food. Thirdly, tradition impact food consumption ways. In different social situations, consumption of food is different as compared to no gathering. This provides significance of relationship between food and culture.
Role of culture is evident in the selection of diet. Technology and media have the massive influence on the culture. Healthy or unhealthy eating habits depend on the technology, for instance, children watching movies possess unhealthy eating habits as compared to those with no technology.
Religion impacts Food Selection
Food choices are strongly linked with the social and religious factors, such as lifestyle, nature of job, family size, education and income level influence food choices to a broad scale. Religion provides dietary laws, and most of the traditional families believe in them. People adopt or avoid certain kinds of food based on religious guidance. Under the spiritual dogma, dietary practices recommended by religion, direct towards a balanced life. The relationship between food and culture is clear from examples below. There are specific religious theories about food practices.
For instance, Buddhism promotes vegetarianism. They believe that violence towards animals is a kind of human aggression. They avoid meat, dairy products as well as consumption of alcohol. Monks fast and rely on the alms, i.e., food donation. In the Christian denomination, fasting is observed; it is a regulation practice in taking food. The rituals avoid eating fish on Friday.
Eucharist consumes wine and bread regularly. In the Hinduism, meat is avoided not correctly, but they prefer vegetables as it is a way to maintain the respect. Most rituals observe caste oriented practices in food, i.e., prevent killing of an animal for the preparation of food.
Contrarily, Muslim rituals solely adopt food practices mentioned by the religion. There is a healthy relationship between food and faith. Most of the religion provides guidelines for food consumption as well as the selection of food items. This is because religious practices are for the best interest of humankind and it will cleanse the religious followers.
The ideology of Meat in the US
Meat consumption is linked to health, ethical as well as environmental issues. There are several social issues in the use of meat. In the US, meat consumption is a diverse practice which goes along vegetarianism. Meat consumption is high at a disproportionate level among which red meat is utilized at the top level.
The meat consuming ideology in the US is based on the food consumption ethics. People use firstly red meat, then white meat followed by eggs, dairy and vegetables & fruits. Cereal is the last choice. Blood in the animal meat is characterized as the life force of animal; hence it is the most potent food for US people. The relationship between food and culture provides basis of food consumption and signifies health psychology.
The common perception believes on the particular aspect of meat, for instance, if muscle tissue of an animal is consumed, it will provide same strength to human muscles and will create muscular power. The strength and power are associated with masculinity, so these are superior goods in the US meat ideology. Contrarily, the consumption of fruits and vegetables is inferior which are linked to femininity.
The meat and masculinity link in the US is open and different studies provide evidence in this case. The muscle meat of mammals is linked to masculinity due to a color of red meat that is giving power and strength. Masculinity concepts have deep roots in rationality while inferior foods are associated with the emotions which are a characteristic of femininity. So the society of Americans and West believes the dominance and power based on meat consumption.
Those who consume more meat will exhibit strong values of power compared to those who do not. The association of meat with power and manhood is not new. By the ancient times, femininity is linked to emotions and masculinity is linked to the power and courage. The relationship between food and culture is significant in US and different global communities.