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Showing posts from January, 2009

Food's "other" roles

It surprises me sometimes how we "use" food for purposes other than the obvious. Business meals are, if you think about it, thinly-disguised bribes. (Ironic that in business lunches or dinners, we busy with food the same orifice necessary for conversation.) The phrase "let me buy you lunch" often accompanies the knowledge that the person doing the inviting wants something and food is a fantastic bribe for getting it.

In the romantic world, a man inviting a woman to dinner allows for intimacy, conversation (hopefully minus the business transaction part), an opportunity to show good taste by his choice of restaurant, demonstrate the ability to support by picking up the check, and - let's face it - pouring a drink or two into someone loosens both the conversation and the occasional bit of clothing. In both of the above situations, food is merely a vehicle, a means to an unrelated end.

In other situations, food is less about enjoyment and more about need. Hunger is a…