People in the United States, and all over the world have created an "eating disorder", which is routinely portrayed by the Food Network as entertainment (Knoblauch, 2008). Cultures all over the world have placed so much importance on food that it is no longer the way to stay healthy, fuel our bodies, and live: it has become a status symbol.
During the early days of airline travel, food was served to passengers, who were sitting at large round tables with nice plates; having real knives, forks, and spoons. This type of travel was reserved for wealthy and socially elite individuals. Today, airline travel has changed dramatically to offer meals to everyone, regardless of their monetary status (Knoblauch, 2008).
There has been an obsession with food and status since early in the world's history. This was recorded biblically. One example is cited in the chronicle of Moses freeing the Israelites from the oppression and outright slavery of the Egyptians. As the freed Israelites wandered through the desert "wilderness", in an attempt to get to the Promised Land ("a land flowing with milk and honey" -- Exodus 3:8), they complained because they no longer had access to the garlic and leeks of Egypt. Manna from heaven, provided by God to fuel their bodies, and preserve their health, was just not good enough for their sophisticated pallets.
If we fast forward to the early days of the United States, we will find that Columbus brought the culinary ideals of European culture with him. The natives were consuming wholesome foods which kept them alive, healthy, and fueled their bodies. The early colonists were appalled by these primitive foods from the New World.
According to Katherine Reagan, curator at the Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, by "the end of the 19th century, America's expanding economy and growing upper class fueled desires for elegance and self-indulgence with respect to food" (Reagan, 2002).
It is no surprise that food in the United States has taken center stage as a status symbol, or that it has become infused into some of the most sophisticated entertainment available on television. History has shown us that the culture of food has always carried with it a perceived status reserved for the wealthy.
Reprinted with permission from the author, Rebecca Baird. She catalogs her alternative health experiences at http://resolutehealth.wordpress.com/. This article may not be reprinted without permission from the author, and it does not fall under The Health Wyze Liberal Copyright Policy.