European Food Summit - It’s not just what food we eat that matters

It’s not just what food we eat that matters

Ljubljana, 4. 2. 2020

How would you define a good lunch? For some it is a fresh healthy salad, for others, it is a burger made with locally raised beef and fries. But it’s not just what food we eat that matters, it is also important how we eat it, alone or in the company of others. Eating alone, once considered an oddity, has become a defining feature of modern life. But this is a worrying trend. Eating alone has been found to be linked to a variety of mental and physical health conditions, from depression and diabetes to high blood pressure.

For our mental health, it would be best if we would share mealtimes with other people as often as possible. There are many psychological, social and biological benefits of eating meals with other people.

Regular mealtimes that are shared provide a sense of rhythm and regularity in lives. Mealtimes provide a great opportunity for us to set aside a specific time of the day or week to give us time to socialize, relax and improve our mental health. 

Importantly, mealtimes make people feel connected to others. It is the opportunity to stop, to stand still psychologically, to reflect on their day and days ahead, and to listen to and interact with others. 

And regular mealtimes are good biologically. They provide rhythm and make us stop and focus on eating. The act of talking and listening also slows down the eating process, which has a positive effect on our health.

So, with whom will you eat your lunch today?