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For generations, food has been more than just means of survival — it has been the one thing that connects people from all over the world.

Last year left a mark on our dining habits. We shifted what we eat and where we eat due to COVID-19 “stay-at-home” orders. Many of us were inclined to prepare home-cooked meals. Whether it was a new recipe or an old family recipe, these meals were little experiences creating new memories or reminiscing on special moments, making life a little sweeter.

So, what happens when food activates our senses? For one, food can help us remember some of life’s most meaningful moments as well as transporting us to experiences we’ve only imagined. Food culture is important to who we are and how we connect as a community and society at large. Recent studies have shown that in the past 10 years people are so consumed with a fast-pace way of life and connecting digitally, that having a meal alone while on their phones or tablets is no longer uncommon.

National Geographic reports that, “The sharing of food has always been part of the human story. From Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv comes evidence of ancient meals prepared at a 300,000-year-old hearth, the oldest ever found, where diners gathered to eat together.”

In some ways we have been so connected through food that it is difficult to pinpoint or trace the origin of certain recipes and food traditions. James Beard explains it best: “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” Today, as our world becomes more globalized, the art of food continues to be a reflection of human innovation and artistic ability.

“food can help us remember some of life’s most meaningful moments as well as transporting us to experiences we’ve only imagined.”

Although innovation is good, food trends show that our generation’s newfound beauty in family recipes passed down from generation to generation is a step forward toward preserving our cultures, the past, and connecting us with our heritage. 

Finding this balance between old and new allows us to honor our past and look forward while preserving the rich values of what culture has been for generations — an avenue for human connections and a doorway to life’s most valuable moments. 

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