Civilization On A Plate

G. Murphy Donovan argues that proper meals are what hold civilization together:

Culture begins and ends on a plate. A proper wake is followed by good food and drink for good reason; a testament to life even without the guest of honor. We eat to live and then we live to eat. From the earliest times, food played a key role in the spiritual and literal growth of families and a larger society. An infant bonds with its mother while nursing; families bond when they share food. We define hospitality with friends by inviting them to break bread – or share a refreshing adult beverage. Alas, eating plays a central role in both civility and civilization.

He laments the decline of home-cooked family meals – and the array of negative consequences he believes their absence has produced:

Literature on food production and retailing usually has two villains; industry or government. Rachael Carson and more recently, Margaret Visser and Michael Pollan are significant contributors to this popular genre. Unfortunately, critics are seldom candid enough to place responsibility where it belongs; on shoppers and parents. Self-indulgence and limited attention spans have come home to roost – in eating habits and the way we care for children.