The cultural dimension of food - The relationship between food and religion, conviviality and the identity of people.

The relationship between food and religion, conviviality and the identity of people within the great culinary traditions and its role in influencing lifestyles and production and economic factors.

Humans have an extraordinary capacity for knowledge and memory that allow them to avoid poisons and to find the most nutritious foods. People is helped in this process by the sense of taste that spontaneously brings them towards something sweet and helps them avoid something bitter, as well as finding foods that are potentially damaging, such as expired or rotten food, disgusting.

Among anthropologists, there are those that estimate that the human brain, much more complex and large if compared to the body, also evolved to help with the dilemma of being an omnivore. For man, the fact of being an omnivore, therefore a generalist, is an advantage and a challenge at the same time: the flexibility given in the absence of specific food, allowed human beings to colonize all the habitats in the world, adapting to the different types of food offered.

In addition to counting on senses and memory, individuals base the choice of food on culture and traditions that preserve the cumulative knowledge and experience. The culture codifies the rules for a wise diet with a complex series of taboos, rituals, recipes, regulations and traditions. The paper travels along the path that has transformed eating into culture and communication, looking into the food behaviors of omnivores, to understand in depth the dynamics of the relationship between man and food.
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