We are what we eat? or do we eat what we are?

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We are what we eat? or do we eat what we are?

By Ramon Clotet | “We are what we eat”, is a recurring phrase, which is repeated often for years when we talk about our diet especially in informative issues of dietetics, appellations of origin and gastronomy. But do you think about a semantic analysis of its meaning? …

“We are what we eat”, is a recurring phrase, which is repeated often for years when we talk about our diet especially in informative issues of dietetics, appellations of origin and gastronomy. But do you think about a semantic analysis of its meaning?

“The panoramic view gives us to contemplate that we began eating what belonged to us within what we were, both in the global culture itself linked to production, and in the existing social scale”

At a first analytical level it seems evident, by the structure of the phrase, that our identity depends on food. If our diet were totally vegetable, our identity would be plant, if animal, the corresponding one. The reality that we observe configures us that the phrase is erroneous or ultimately symbolic.

Let’s forget for a moment the phrase and take a quick look at the history of civilizations.

The mobility of man led to the emergence of organizations (cultures) that included thought and systems, including food, linked to productions that included areas of possible transport mobility (linked in this case to the perishability of many foods) . And this is the fundamental reason that each culture was related to a characteristic food system.

The progressive increase in mobility introduced influences both in the culture itself and in the food systems, introducing new varieties in the field and, with it, in the kitchen, for example.

The intense mobility of today, tends to blur this relationship very often, all over the world and from a certain economic level, they eat products made with techniques that do not correspond to the culture to which the customer is enrolled.

The panoramic view gives us to contemplate that we began eating what belonged to us within what we were, both in the global culture itself linked to production, and in the existing social scale. But today, the intense globalization leads us to the question of whether the possible development of a universal culture will lead us, once again, to eat what this culture offers us. Here is the great prospective.

In any case and for the moment, remains in the great cultures, and their religions as a symbol, celebrate their days marked with a meal that reaffirms, in the subconscious of citizens, what they are. The traditional dinners and Christmas and New Year meals confirm it. For all those who interpret it and for those who understand it, Merry Christmas and Venturous 2014!

By Ramon Clotet | Secretary of Triptolemos Foundation

Date
Category
2014