Essay by a_devar September 2006

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Food is a universally acceptable gift by means of which the donor can express a variety of emotions such as concern, sympathy, or gratitude. Food can be defined as "any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissues", or any solid substance (as opposed to liquid) that is used as a source of nourishment, food and drink. ( Usually, in each and every society there are certain rules usually unwritten, which specify what is food and what is not. Within the larger classification of foods, they are identified according to nutritional value, cultural usage, emotional importance, or a combination thereof. In fact there are numerous ways of classification or categorizing foods and food usages. Eckstein (1980) uses the concept of 'food or poison' to divide what eaten from what is not. Whatever is not defined, as food is atomically poisoning an idea that suggests that the adage one-mans meat is another man's poison is literally true.

Food and eating habits are a sum total of various factors, which plays a vital role in influencing the food habits. Food and eating is an impact of social responsibilities, history and tradition, the media's influence, politic ideologies, economic implications, technological advances and the contouring of our physical environment. From all of the above factors history and tradition, technology, and physical environment are explained below in brief.

We may serve and eat foods because we were brought up eating them and find them comforting. Some people eat, or don't eat; certain foods based on cultural, religious, political, economical or social beliefs. Food habits come into being and which are maintained because they impart practical or symbolically a meaningful behaviour in a particular culture. Culture is what makes us similar to some people and yet different from the vast...