Regardless of whether you’re dedicated to veganism, like your steak medium rare, or make all your food look #instagood, we can all agree on one thing: food is more than fuel for survival. The relationship we have with food goes far beyond calorific value. With it, we make friends, impress lovers, celebrate the big and little things in life. People coming together, and sharing food has been a tale as old as time. And it goes back much further than the tradition of having an overcooked turkey on Christmas Day! Food sharing already was an essential part of our nomadic lifestyle thousands of years ago.
WHY FOOD SHOULD BE EATEN TOGETHER
Sitting around the same table, experiencing the same smells and flavours of the meal creates a bond. It forms a sense of belonging, being part of a community. Breaking bread together goes hand in hand with forging relationships, creating alliances, and making amends. No wonder that we called a good friend a ‘table friend’ back in the 18th century!
And don’t forget! How many times have your parents told you to sit up straight, not to play with your food, to chew with your mouth closed? It is around the dinner table, where we learn about discipline, respect and generosity. It’s where we have heated discussions, where we fall in love, and where we practice our bad jokes.
RISE OF THE MICROWAVE MEAL
If eating together is so beneficial, than why do we seem to have swapped out social for solo? Probably more than we’d like to admit, we’re choosing prepackaged microwave meals (for one), or opt in for food delivery service. Sometimes out of convenience, sometimes out of laziness.
Although we all obsess over what we’re gonna be having for our next meal (or maybe that’s just me), we no longer seem to be willing to take the time to spend a couple of hours during the day cooking, sitting down and enjoying dinner with some good company. Maybe we need a gentle push, a reminder that this is what we used to do, even some 3000 years ago already?
Over the last year, a number social dining initiatives have popped up all over the world as a response to the rise of the microwave meal and other anti-social dining options. Social dining is all about the philosophy of eating to socialize: food plays the leading role in connecting people with others.
You can find community tables in restaurants, for people that want to enjoy a meal, but don’t want to eat alone. You can join local initiatives that focus on food waste, going around the city, collecting leftover food and cooking up a feast for the neighbourhood. Or you can enjoy a meal, cooked by someone in the intimacy of their home.
NEW SOCIAL DINING
There can be a number of reasons why you’ll find yourself munching on a pre-made couscous salad behind your computer screen. Either way, it’s a habit that you should starve, rather than feed. Taking the time to be among people (and your co-workers don’t count!) is linked directly to increased happiness, and don’t we all want a little bit more of that?
As one of the first social dining apps in the Netherlands, Nibblr aims to make having dinner together both more accessible and more enjoyable. By joining home-cooked dinners in your city, you’re actually going out to eat in: you’ll have the experience of going out for a meal and trying a signature dish, while paying a lot less than you’d be paying at an actual restaurant. It’s a win-win! From our experience, it’s usually the social aspect that makes the meal unforgettable. The experience of entering someone home as a stranger, and leaving at the end of the night, as friends is something that money can’t buy.
So let’s get social, with good food, and better company! Eat, meet, and share, all with one touch of a button on the Nibblr app.