Growing up I have heard a story from my dad’s childhood many times. He would tell me about how poor they were, and about the lack of food during the war. The weekly meat ration for a family with five kids was 350 grams – less than one pound. On Sundays, when the meat was served, my dad’s father would always pass on the meat saying he was not hungry, so that the kids could have more.
A friend who was an exchange student in China told me a similar story. The family of his Chinese room mate who could hardly afford feeding a guest would take him to an expensive restaurant and treat him like a king.
When I was vacationing in Croatia, we stayed with a family that rented out an apartment. They were not wealthy. But they insisted on treating us to a bountiful dinner they made for my whole family with all the riches of their region – the seafood, the wine, the home made liquor. We had no language in common, but we ate and laughed and talked with hand and feet until late in the night.
In my family it was also customary that when someone came to the house you would offer food and drink and not give in until they accepted something.
It seems to me that we all love contributing to other people’s lives and well being. Feeding someone is such an immediate way to do so. I think we all can relate to that. It’s so quintessentially human.
What if we shared food beyond all social boundaries? What if saw food like air – it’s there for everybody? What if we made sure that everybody eats?