But why? For one, food is a form of social currency. We offer others food to show them that we care. Food is a versatile gift that everyone can accept, understand and appreciate. When people are gathering, food welcomes and puts people at ease. As well, food is a great distraction and adds a bit of entertainment to any situation. Food at a gathering creates a positive atmosphere and ensures a group of happy campers. When you ask my 84-year-old grandmother how her friend's party went, she bases her response on the food served ("It was wonderful -- she had a beautiful nova platter!").
While food will likely always remain on the invitee list, it behooves us -- given the nation's obesity epidemic -- to think about ways that we can scale down the importance of food in our social world.