If you were planning to grab a club sandwich and have it all by yourself for dinner, beware for you might be a sadist.
The recent findings of a study in the journal Appetite suggested that sharing a meal can actually make you a better person.
In ancient times, the food was delivered in bulk quantity in the form of whole animal. This made it mandatory to share the food with members of more than one family, notes the study. Since primitive times food has been linked with cooperation thus, sharing it with others promoted humanity and equality.
The research that was led by Charlotte De Backer from University of Antwerp in Belgium, surveyed 466 Belgian students and asked them how often did they eat home-cooked family meals during childhood. Their humane behaviour towards others was also studied. Students who shared their meals more frequently in childhood had better scores for altruistic behaviours, especially while directing a stranger to a place, offering seats on public transportation, helping friends to move and volunteering.
De Backer said “I think our Western individualised societies can benefit from sharing food more than ever. Sharing food primes people to think about fairness (do I get as much as everyone else at the table?), authority (who is being served first?), and greed (Sometimes I cannot take as much as I would personally want.)”.
Sharing Food vs Sharing Meal
One must understand that there is a difference between sharing a meal and sharing food. Sitting with friends to grab dinner and ordering food individually does not have the same bonding effect. However, when food is served on a large platter which is supposed to be shared we are more likely to bring out our humane side.
De Backer says “Asian countries have a strong tradition of food sharing. “Even in Western countries most Asian restaurants will still serve food in platters to be shared with everyone seated around their table”.
It is never late to learn or teach. You must teach your kid to always grab the opportunity to share their food with friends. Instill your child with the habit to offer their food to others and make sure they keep away from individualizing.
Help them grow into a better person.
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