Food – A Celebration of our times
Looking in my local supermarket it is nice to see the positive influences of the different cultures adorned on the shelves. I see a whole range of foods packaged/unpackaged, brightly coloured to downright dull, but throughout all of the visual layout of controlled aisle marketing catering for my every need, I suddenly came across it, yes that’s right I came across it, one of those defining moments I have which make me go ‘Ahh, I see now’, almost likened to a Eureka moment or when you realise that the reason you are walking funny is because you have your trousers on backwards (sorry childhood flash back) anyway I digress, as I stood next to the fresh fish counter a very nice gentleman wearing a blue striped health and safety hat and apron (looking strangely like a walking ‘Pacer sweet’, those of age may remember) looked at me oddly as I stared along the aisles with a funny looking grin on my face, my ‘Ahh, I see’ moment was attracting a little too much attention as I could see the security brotherhood zig zagging their way in my direction (they used to do a thing called ‘circling’ but nowadays apparently they zig zag, but that’s another story), anyway I started to push my trolley slowly as I put my thoughts together on the epiphany I had just encountered, an epiphany that would change the way I shopped for ever.
In my moment of clarity, I realised that the supermarket had an underlying cultural trend that has been set on what we choose to eat almost to the extent of a subliminal censorship of what we can and can’t eat i.e. if they don’t provide it then it isn’t worth knowing or it is of no value to yourself as it does not form part of their companies vision/culture. I had a flash back to times gone by and have seen a marked difference to the products provided nowadays from a few years ago, I suppose these differences have come about from the changing demands of customers therefore businesses that were able to adapt to the power of this demand stayed afloat financially and others who did not, would not or could not accept change fell to the way side. I suppose this is how they came to have so many varieties of food etc, it’s not that they want to cater for my every need, it’s that they know what I want because someone has told them from another culture so it must be right?
When I look at individual cultures across the world there are many foods that aid the celebrations of their heritage, most unknown to myself but no less important in nutritional or wanton value .
I have been mesmerised for years by the role of food in cultural practices and religious beliefs. It’s almost like you are defined by what you eat in a cultural or religious context i.e. showing respect to heritage and fore fathers. I have seen positive change both in a business sense and culturally and hope the sharing of different foods, services, products, ideals etc continues forever.