This week Canada celebrated "Eat Together Day". While this is a great idea, it's sadly probably just that, a day, come and gone. One of the biggest things you will see in many traditional cultures, particularly Asian cultures is their tendency to eat together. From Hong Kong to Thailand, to China to the Philippines I always see families and friends eating together as it is clearly a huge part of their cultures. Food is heavily connected to being social, and being social has been heavily connected to being happier and healthier; mentally, emotionally and even physically.
Yet like many things in the West, we have clearly lost this connection with food and social aspects. We eat by ourselves a majority of the time. We eat quickly while scrolling IG or facebook. And often we even see eating as even an annoying distraction that gets in the way of work. Surveys have even shown many of us eat up to 4 or 5 meals in the car while driving! Coincidentally this week as Canada was celebrating Eat Together Day, the Oxford School of Economics released a study showing a solid connection between eating with others and mental wellbeing and satisfaction with overall life. http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-03-16-social-eating-connects-communities.
We are now seeing the stats that are showing us people are more connected now via electronics, yet feel more alone and disconnected then ever. Rates of depression, anxiety, lowliness and other negative cognitive issues are rising sharply, even Alzheimers rates are peaking. Could the answer be just sharing lunches and dinners? Look like it may be!