It occurred to me today (while I was taking the tram back from our Soup-er gathering) that my group’s proposal for our planned event could very well be based around this question.
Of course, it has obvious practical implications around consuming food, but has far more meaning when one considers the meaning behind gathering for a meal. Like Andy was saying today, ‘it’s about socialising’. Meals have significance that extends further than food itself- family, for one. Food is a catalyst for conversation, for understanding, for interaction and marking an event in time. The model of event that my group has proposed is based around the idea of sharing culture; what better way to eclipse such an experience than asking, ‘what do you consume?’. What food do we consume? What emotions and memories do we consume? What do we thrive on, when we gather for meals?
Christmas, for example, is more a time of mourning than celebration for my family; meals eaten on Christmas, for us, are momentous and highly significant. We gather in a rotunda, roast a turkey, drink wine, play the Best Hits of Paul Kelly… It isn’t a ‘happy’ time, per se, but it is important for us all to be together.
It’s memories like that which attach themselves to food, to meals, to recipes. It’s memories like that which should be shared. We, as people, have consumed so much, and our unique experiences have shaped us.
So, I suppose, the question might instead be, ‘what consumes us?’.