I used to think that the Chinese were uniquely obsessed with food and identified themselves through what they eat. Of course, this is not true because many cultures also take their food very seriously. For example, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the French epicure said, “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” Much of the Chinese’s food obsession is linked to a long and complicated history of famine. Thus, the availability of food is associated with all things good and the celebration of the continuation of life.
In relationships with food, I also observe new food attitudes that stem from consumerism (like supersizing) or biohacking (like fasting) that operate beyond the confines of tradition. Food, within or beyond culture, is so universal yet at the same time loaded with cultural, social and emotional connotations. I explore the appeal of food and the act of eating, driven by separate motives to talk about different topics ranging from ambition to sexism.