Sociology of Food

Food is essential to human survival since it gives people comfort and is something they need to do every day. In addition to serving as nourishment, food is crucial for a person's physical and mental development. People communicate over meals by sharing food recipes on trending subjects and participating in cooking competitions, which frequently bring people together to display their culinary skills. Every nation has at least one television program dedicated to teaching viewers how to prepare meals using a particular cooking technique that their communities are proud of and knowledgeable about (Coveney, 2014). These make the viewers at home to try and conduct some experiments in order to come up with recipes which turn out to be innovative ventures. Food can, therefore, be defined as an art for cooks in various geographical locations which uphold the culture of the people.

An Example of a Typical Meal

Asian Tuna is one of the typical meals which is usually prepared in fifteen minutes by a quick broil procedure. The recipe of tuna, mushrooms shiitake together with food seasonings help in making an Asian flavor which is healthy for an individual. The ingredients include tuna steaks, unsullied lemon juice, minced ginger, pressed garlic cloves, sliced shiitake mushrooms’, chicken broth, soya sauce, orange juice, chopped cilantro which is combined with salt and white pepper in order to produce the good taste. On the procedure; it commences with the preheating of broiler by placing it on skillet which is stainless or alternatively, a pan can be used for heating which takes about 10 up to 15 minutes. Garlic is then pressed and left for around 5 minutes in order to provide the essential health benefits. Tuna is then rubbed with lemon juice in addition to white pepper and some salt and then set aside. The broth is heated in a separate skillet whereby garlic, scallion, mushrooms, ginger and healthy sauté are constantly heated with medium heat for around two minutes as they are being stirred. Orange juice is then added and left to cook for two minutes thus adding soy sauce together with cilantro. The broiler pan is then pulled out and tuna is placed in the hot pan and then being returned in the broiler. The two broiler cook for around 5 minutes and then removed and are ready to be served(Swift, 2015).

The meal usually has an Asian origin due to the ingredients which are required to bring out the good taste as well as the nutritional benefits. For the food to reach the cook, it undergoes various procedures which include the fishing and packaging on cans so as to be sold in the food stall to consumers. The farmers play a great role in the provision of food substance ingredients such as the garlic and lemon by ensuring that the crops have the essential nutrients, derived from farm supplements with the support of workers(Coveney, 2014). The government is involved in the provision of quality goods to the consumer through the setting of bureau standards which ensure that the producing firms offer goods that meet the required standards.

Food Industry

The food production is considered as a complex, universal collection of different businesses which supplies food to that is consumed by the global population. Subsistence farmers, as well as the hunters who produce goods for personal consumption, are not involved in the modern scope of the food industry. The food industry covers a wide range of activities which begin right from production, processing as well as the distribution in respective target groups. Agriculture dwells on crops, seafood as well as the livestock production(Oosterveer, 2012). After the production process, there are some food substances which can be directly consumed while there are others which require processing in order to increase the nutrients content as well as the purification process.

The food industry also entails the manufacturing sector which focuses on agrichemicals, farm machinery, seeds supply as well as the agricultural construction procedures. In this sector, the farmers are usually supplied with the essential farm inputs whereby the farmers are advised on the quality surplus which produce the desired type of foods thus fetching good prices in the market. The other sector in the food industry is usually concerned with the marketing of the produced goods which is usually done through promotion of new goods in the market, generic products promotion, marketing campaigns which can be in form of trade fairs in addition to advertisements in various mediums. In the food industry, wholesale distribution of goods is a major sector which is usually involved in logistics, warehousing and the storage services as well as the transportation from the farm to the market centers. Catering and hotel services are among the services offered in the food industry whereby the food is prepared for commercial purposes(Haugen, 2013).

Public markets, groceries, as well as the farmer’s market, play a great role in the food industry whereby a major role in availing food to the consumers is enhanced. The regulatory institutions which can regional, international or the nationally based help in the setting of rules in regard to food production in addition to ensuring quality production, food security, lobbying activities in the industry, food safety and the marketing procedures. The sector plays a great role in ensuring quality services are offered to the consumers in the food industry. Research together with development which leads to efficient food technology is yet another sector in the food industry which usually focuses on innovations in food production together with the genetic modification of food substances. Education sector plays a crucial role whereby consultations, vocational training as well as the academic enrichment is usually done with the focus being placed on food production and the consumption(Oosterveer, 2012). Finally, the financial service sector is also an important part which is usually involved in the farmers, processors and the distributors’ insurance policies together with the credit services offered to various departments in the food industry.

The food industry offers a variety of opportunities in ensuring that food has economic and business opportunity benefits. In the above sectors, food has brought people from various backgrounds together in that the farmers have been able to create opportunities by employing workers on their farms. Processing together with the manufacturing industries has played a crucial role in ensuring that food security is upheld in addition to the contributions in the world economy. Business opportunities have been realized since an increase in production calls for efficient marketing opportunities thus creating jobs for the marketers, retail sellers, transportation activities as well as the growth of small and large scale banking services(Phillips, 2012). Various institutions have been established which offer agricultural studies thus improving the production of food substances in order to attract reasonable payments in the market. This has given an opportunity to the nutritionist, catering services, agricultural officer who initially had little impact in the food industry. The food industry has helped in the improvement of people’s living conditions since in the workers employed in various sectors can be able to generate some income that is essential for their upkeep.

Food as an Expression of Culture

Food usually exists as a way of expressing various cultural practices due to the power of exhibiting both the biological provisions as well as the emblematic cultural artifact which connects people in various levels. Therefore, food acts as a mechanism of portraying some dignity which comes along with the social benefits to the users. The choice and preference of consumers towards certain food supplements symbolize the definition of an individual with regards to social class, religion, ethnic backgrounds among other aspects. The globalization issue has brought people from various geographical locations together which has brought about cuisine overlapping thus making the food and an individual identity not to be static. Various circumstances that bring people together in food production, as well as the consumption, has facilitated people’s connection which in turn leads to the formation of alliances that focus on food or other activities(Taormina, 2013). Food is always shared since people come together and have a meal during various mealtimes which happen as events where a family of a community comes together. The act of sharing meals is powerful since it involves uncomplicated foods that range from extravagant rituals which in turn create a certain meaning for various cultures globally.

Foods eaten on daily basis vary across societies thus playing an important role in the definition of any tradition as well as the identity. Specific cultures usually view their daily meals as a commonplace which is not worth any study since the food not only gives a cultural insight but also attraction of people from the outside to celebrate the culture. Therefore, culture plays a great role in the shaping of meals taken by individuals in a society thus being considered as staple meals in addition to the influence brought by external cultures on food. Daily meals can be used as an illustration of specific cultural identities which in turn creates an opportunity for individual identity. The difference brought about b food culture affects the immigrants of a certain area(Norton, 2014). Food consumed in any place influences the expectations and the culture surrounded by these meals, especially in the outsiders’ perspective. Moreover, food can be viewed as a way of tracing identity in a certain culture which causes the community to strive and fit in which may vary from one culture to another.

The rituals followed in a certain community in terms of food involve interactions which require attempts by several individuals so as to properly conduct the rituals. For instance, there are tea ceremonies which are characterized by explicitly involving the guest and the host thus playing various roles involving the tea together with small food quantities that are included in the event(Klanten, 2015). Therefore, the mastery of conducting the tea ceremony entails a self-realization process which is a very crucial practice in the Zen Buddhism society. The idea of self-realization brings about cultural identity and it is usually witnessed where food is considered a mark of an exceptional experience across the world.

Taking out the initial context of a ritualistic meal leads to manipulation due to the incorporation of fresh interpretations. As a result of the movement, the meals are not only manipulated in terms of meaning and use but also affects the identity that is supposed to be portrayed. Therefore, food as a cultural representation is usually accrued to economic and business innovations since a cultural representation; one can opt to come up with a catering facility that focuses on the identity of a certain culture. The culture attracts people globally and as a result, a country or community is able to fetch reasonable revenues that are gained from the visitors(Taormina, 2013). This also helps in enhancing interactions among people and in turn incorporation of various ideas that lead to effective business innovations.

Food Work

There are various tasks that are undertaken in the provision of food in different communities which are meant for business purposes. Workers in the food sector are usually involved in a wide range of activities which include food preparation, provision of customer services, cleaning tasks, running of cafeterias or small food outlets that offer meals. Serving the customers in any outlet involves the customer services which depend on the facility’s establishment. The workers usually conduct tasks as a team through helping each other in order to increase the flow of customers with the responsibilities varying from the nature of work that a certain individual is well versed with(Oosterveer, 2012).

The workers in any food outlet have specific tasks which might be learned from a certain institution or the due to the cultural orientation. For instance, there are people who work in the serving and food preparation departments who are employed to take customer’s order and forwarding to the cooks who prepare and hand over the ready meal to the waiter for delivery to respective consumers. The customers are then supposed to hand over the payments to a cashier and in the process; there are effective interactions which uphold the cohesion of people. In this field, most people are employed as part-time workers whereby tasks are usually reassigned after some time or in other cases, the workers have specific working hours which happen even to the high profile workers in this occupation(Coveney, 2014). The workers employed in an institution food outlet are usually entitled to longer working hours whereby in some cases, they are supposed to work for around nine months in a year. Business hours in a cafeteria ensure flexible schedules that may be more appealing to teenagers who wish to gain some experience in the industry. The food service industry is usually composed of teenagers aged between 15 up to 19 years which is a different case in any other profession. This may be attributed to the simple tasks that are involved in the profession since a person with a diploma or a certificate in this field will automatically be entitled to a job. In addition, most of the workers receive short-term training which can be done while someone is already employed.

Therefore, it is evident that through food, interaction among people is enhanced so as to bring out desired productivity that benefits the team working in any food restaurant. In addition, the sector has ensured a growth in the economy through the creation of job opportunities for people in the community thus improving their living standards. In conclusion, the food industry has played a great role in ensuring that there is peaceful cohesion among people through an exchange of cultures which bring people from various parts together(Norton, 2014).


Coveney, J. (2014). Food. New York: Routledge.

Haugen, D. M. (2013). The food industry in Eric Schlosser’s Fast food nation. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Klanten, R. (2015). The delicious: a companion to new food culture. Berlin: Gestalten.

Norton, T. (2014). Sustainable food processing. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Oosterveer, P. (2012). Food, globalization and sustainability. London; New York: Earthscan.

Phillips, G. O. (Ed.). (2012). Gums and stabilisers for the food industry. 16 16. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Swift, C. L. (2015). Teaching food and culture. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.

Taormina, P. J. (2013). Microbiological research and development for the food industry. Boca Raton Fla.: CRC Press.

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