Comfort Foods and the Human Connection

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I believe comfort foods have the super power of connecting people. It is valuable in caregiving, friendship, and even in sales engagement. Comfort foods bring to mind macaroni and cheese, doughnuts, chips and dip, etc. Therefore, comfort foods remind us of safe and loving childhood memories, feel good moments, or at least some sort of nostalgia regarding events that were of particular importance to us. Comfort foods and the human connection are the foundation for building great relationships.

Comfort foods are everything you shouldn’t eat if you are starting a great (or even a mediocre) diet.

In my sales career I saw comfort foods bring me long lasting friendships. Every client I visited for a month was asked one question – what is the one food or recipe you can think of that reminds you of being safe, being loved, of a feeling of everything is “good”?

I received recipes and notes from many people. Actually, It was enough to make a cook book and as each client told me their favorite food/recipe, there was also a story.

“My recipe is for tomato soup and grill cheese sandwiches”.

“Mom made me Kraft macaroni and cheese for special occasions”.

“I got rice pudding on cold days”.

The many statements were followed by details of how each special dish was prepared, how it made them feel, and the mention of how special the person was that made it.

We were all connected by comfort food.

Some studies suggest that the nostalgia associated with comfort foods can provide a sense of security and happiness during times of stress. Other studies suggest eating chocolate because it can lead to a temporary boost in mood and a sense of relaxation. Studies keep coming out to justify our need for comfort. It’s not brain surgery. We all need a connection of comfort.

The over indulgence of these foods is not the point. The use of food to make a human connection makes understanding comfort foods a valuable tool for creating new insights into other people’s lives.

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” – Alan D. Wolfelt

Maybe it doesn’t have to be the food that creates comfort. Maybe it’s the delivery. Someone feeding you soup when you are sick, bringing breakfast in bed for no reason other than love, or taking a friend a box of her favorite mac ‘n cheese on her birthday. All of that is comfort too.

Comfort Foods and the Human Connection

Exodus 16:31

King James Version

 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

God is the originator of comfort food. Every day our needs are supplied or we wouldn’t exist. We can choose to build bonds with each other by kindness and unspoken blessings on those we encounter. It wouldn’t hurt to do this with a little mac ‘n cheese on the side.

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