This book provides in-depth perspectives on communal food and dining practices. In doing so, it challenges less sustainable lifestyles that are encouraged by a social system based on unlimited economic growth.

In considering the diverse societal settings in which individuals and communities eat, the book offers opportunities to reflect on the concept of belongingness, or the lack of it, when eating. It examines what, how, and why we eat together and considers what the future of our food and eating may look like. A wide range of themes are explored, with examples from Finland, Algeria, Europe, and Asia drawing on topics such as and cases for interdisciplinary research, such as environmental impact, social inclusion, happiness, health, and well-being, to name a few of the areas where the importance of eating together is stressed across disciplines. The book explores the lived experience of diners and the contexts in which commensality takes place in the family circle and in communities. It emphasises how the practice of eating together plays a crucial role in satisfying deep-seated social needs.

The book bridges the gap between science, governance, professional practice, and everyday dieters to provide hands-on benefits and insights. It will be of interest to researchers and policymakers in the areas of food studies, food policy, cultural studies, gastronomy tourism, psychology, global health, religion, and spirituality.

chapter |4 pages


part 1|52 pages

Eating together in the family circle (case studies)

chapter 1|11 pages

TV or not TV?

A comparison of children and young peoples' experiences of conviviality in Spain and the UK

chapter 2|13 pages

Negotiating food, negotiating family well-being

Eating together in modern Algerian families

chapter 4|12 pages


When commensality norms collide

part 2|70 pages

Eating together in communities (case studies)

chapter 5|16 pages

Bringing the nation (back) together

The Big Jubilee Lunch in the UK (2022) case study

chapter 6|13 pages

Potluck in the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Two auto-ethnographic accounts

chapter 7|11 pages

Eating together

Staff members' perceptions of a social lunch meal in kindergarten

chapter 8|14 pages

Plant-based lunch in school

Eating together is a means to promote sustainable healthy eating behaviour

part 3|64 pages

Theorising the present and future practice of eating together

chapter 10|14 pages

Commensality and identification in a Christian context

Stable and transient elements

chapter 11|13 pages

Being here, being there

Eating and drinking together as a socially constructed issue

chapter 12|12 pages

The evolution in Nordic eating and commensality

A focus on solitary eating practices in Finland

chapter 13|12 pages

The banquet in Western hospitality

A descriptive reading of culinary tourism

chapter 14|11 pages

Beyond conviviality

Facets of eating together

chapter |2 pages