FOOD AVAILABILITY

Many cultures restrict the eating of foods that are in limited supply, through either social or religious prohibitions. For example, the vegetarian or semi-vegetarian diet developed in cultures where meat was in short supply.

Availability may have played a role in the different allocation of food to men and women, and to adults and children in some cultures, though physiological needs will also have played a part. Some communities also attempted to control fertility and population size by using particular foods for pregnant and lactating women, or for the older members of society.

You may be able to trace the most likely reason for he association of particular foods with special occasions and celebrations that have become traditional in your family. These foods may have been in short supply, and therefore more expensive, in your grandparents' time. They may have had special religious significance, or there may have been other factors involved.

It is a luxury of affluent societies to be able to overturn food beliefs that in the past have controlled the distribution of scarce food.