Meals in western eating and drinking

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Meals are a way of organizing eating into events that have a particular structure and form, and they play an indisputable and even self-evident role within the rhythms and routines of everyday life. In late modern societies, concern about the fate of meals has arisen in both public and academic discourse. It has been suggested that eating is characterized today by individualization, destructuration, and informalization and that communal meals are increasingly being replaced by snacks and solitary eating. This chapter focuses on meals in today’s affluent societies and reflects on why meals are considered important, how meals are defined, and what material elements and social dimensions they contain. It looks at how societal and cultural changes and ecological concerns may influence the organization and future of meals, and it suggests that the content of meals will change in response to the need to diminish the ecological burden of food production and consumption. In particular, plant-based options will at least partly need to replace meat and other animal-based foods. However, there is no reason to expect that the meal as a social institution will break down. Despite the fact that not all meals are characterized by conviviality and companionship, they continue to serve as a significant arena of human sociability and togetherness. Sharing food is, after all, an essential part of being human.
Titel på gästpublikationHandbook of eating and drinking : Interdisciplinary perspectives
RedaktörerHerbert L. Meiselman
Antal sidor14
ISBN (tryckt)978-3-030-14503-3
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-3-319-75388-1, 978-3-030-14504-0
StatusPublicerad - 2020
MoE-publikationstypB2 Del av bok eller annan forskningsbok


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