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People often underestimate the power of food.

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Introduction

Ranita Angkosubroto 303-095-800 Comm. Std 10 Susan Kim People often underestimate the power of food. Food is often taken for granted as a means of sustenance. However, they often do not realize that food, and the way food is eaten could provide an insight to an individual's characters. Food may also send out metamessages about a person that is beyond their appearance. As such, food harbors the power of self-expression-it is the visible, but often-neglected means of communication. Food may reflect a person's character, and that is why most of us are very self-conscious about what we eat, especially in public. Society often imposes certain norms that have been widely accepted by the public as the standard, proper way of behaviors and the way to eat. We are expected to behave with graciousness and poise at the table. Every move you make, from proper placement to the use of napkins, is subconsciously being used as criteria to judge a person and his/her character. Although many people eat fast food such as burgers and fries, we are often ignorant as to what those fast food reflect our characters. The stereotype of consumers of fast food is one of those unhealthy, inactive individuals, and are condemned by public, and shown no sympathy for their obesity. People generalize that these "fast-food" junkie deserve to be obese because of their stubborn nature, and would not change their eating habits for the healthier alternative. ...read more.

Middle

Although it may seem as a harmless gesture, other people are apparently judging you to be an aggressive, barbaric type of person. Even the exact, same way of eating can have extremely different metamessages, in the context of two people from different cultures. Slurping, is perhaps, the best example to demonstrate how misunderstandings may arise between two people, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Ichikawa. To Mr. Smith, slurping is perhaps the worst thing to do when eating soup, as it may convey the metamessage of disrespect to the other party, putting him in a more subordinate position, when in fact, slurping is considered proper manner to Mr. Ichikawa. It is the traditional way for the Japanese to drink his soup by sipping it from the bowl, instead of using a spoon, and making slurping sounds, not as a rude gesture, but as a metamessage to the chef, and to Mr. Smith, that he enjoys his soup, and is showing his appreciation. The Japanese also slurp their noodles to enhance the flavors, and it is considered odd if anyone eats noodles without making slurping noises. This is a stark contrast with most Westerners who refrain from slurping their spaghetti, but choose to twist it around their fork instead, as they consider the latter to be a more refined manner. Table setting is also used to send metamessages as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer, magistrate and politician under Napoleon's rule, wrote in his gastronomy book The Physiology of Taste: "Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." The food that one eats may disclose an individual's character. For example, women who like barbecued meat are gregarious and always the life of the party. They like their intimate relationships to be easygoing and not demanding. People who like tortilla chips are perfectionists. They are always punctual. They tend to dress provocatively. Someone with a penchant for gummy bears indicates a strong-minded, aggressive, ambitious, and dominant person-a natural-born leader. Men who like pumpkin are sexually reserved and thoughtful. They value male friendship, and their fear of rejection makes them fearful of women. Food certainly can be used to reveal a person's character. As for me, I think grapes represent my character the best-for I am a rather moody person. Just like sour grapes, I tend to be critical and irritable when I am in a bad mood, but if you are lucky, I can be as sweet as honey, eager to please, and a fun person to be with. Food is certainly a powerful tool in sending out metamessages, and the way food is eaten helps to reveal a person's character. As such, it is of utmost importance that we understand that food and a person's characters go hand in hand together, and that we should be more aware of the metamessages that food may send out. Angkosubroto 1 ...read more.

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