My project is called "The Meal Share Dare". My intention with it is to promote a very simple but underused idea: Meal Sharing regularly with your favourite people makes life better.
Meal Sharing has so many benefits that I believe it could improve life for many of us in incremental but profound ways.
Meal Sharing deepens bonds with your favourite people.
Meal sharing means regularly spending time with a chosen friend, family or other group. This means your relationships will inevitably grow and deepen over time. Even one hour of eating together per week will deepen and strengthen your bonds.
Meal Sharing reduces your workload.
We are all looking for more efficiency in our busy lives, so meal sharing means making fewer meals! Even one meal in 14 makes a difference. It is uncanny how often not having to cook (but still eating a healthy dinner) comes at JUST the right time.
Your friends' kids will get to know you.
You can get to know your friends' kids AND not lose touch with your friends who have become parents. Meal Sharing is a great way to include more people into ones' kids' trusted, familiar worlds. Fact: It only takes ONE hour per week for a kid to be familiar with you. We've tested this.
Meal Sharing is fun and social.
It is great to see your friends and catch up on life. Humans are VERY social animals. Even the most introverted of us are better off with regular doses of human contact. We need to connect —in real life, not just online. Building in more fun connecting-time with people you like is a good, healthy addition to life.
Meal Sharing strengthens your community.
Being around each other more strengthens the ties between people. These ties are important when a crisis or birthday party occurs. Seriously, we don't need wait for a flood or other disaster to occur in order to come together, let's do it over a meal. But when we need each other, people we share food with are also our support system.
Meal Sharing increases human connection.
We humans are wired for connection. Being around other humans is good for us — like a vitamin for our psyche.
Many lives could be enriched if families know each other better by sharing meals regularly.
Many lives could be enriched if we had stronger ties with our favourite people.
Many lives could be enriched if we all ate more healthy, home-made meals.
Strengthening our connections may be the most important aspect of meal sharing!
You can learn more about feeding yourself.
You can learn about other people's cooking habits, recipes, and pick up useful tips and tricks. It is kind of amazing what other people know. (Sara's dijon mustard on chicken thighs trick for example. It turns into something extremely more delicious than I expect. I stole that idea and use it all the time. Thanks, Sara. Thanks, meal sharing.)
Since we need to feed ourselves approximately three times per day for the rest of our lives, it is beneficial to get even a little better at it.
Meal Sharing uses excess capacity.
‘Excess capacity’ is when there are resources that are already being expended, but not being used fully: like cooking. We are all cooking separately in our homes, and when we cook for each other sometimes instead, we are then using the same amount of resources (time, energy, planning, cleaning, etc.) with a bigger result (feeding more people at a time). More efficient. I love this idea.
Meal Sharing reduces your carbon footprint.
Meal Sharing reduces your carbon footprint by sharing resources. Sure, it might not be a lot of resources that are shared by combining one meal per week with another household, but if EVERYONE did it one time per week, it would add up fast!
Meal Share Dare idea-sharing resources
I created a number of graphic tools to convey the Meal Sharing idea: a Meal Share Dare poster, a Meal Share Dare info-graphic, an invitation, a benefits of Meal Sharing info-graphic, a How to choose Meal Sharing partners info-graphic. These are available for download from the Meal Share Dare website as pdfs and are freely available to anyone to use them to promote the idea of Meal Sharing.
My plan is to take every opportunity available to convince people to try out The Meal Share Dare as a six-week experiment. I will do short public speaking presentations on Meal Sharing as opportunities arise. Just ask!
The Meal Share Dare is at www.mealsharedare.com.
Enjoy & take the Meal Share Dare!
By Laurel Swenson