Eating can be taken as the most individual human act. As a process, it’s absolutely confined to the individual’s body. Food is chewed, digested, absorbed within that limited space. Mechanical actions, biological interactions, chemical reactions, occur away from other people’s perception, triggering sensations that only that person experiences.
Unlike thoughts, which might be communicated, unlike what one hears and sees, which might be showed and experienced by others, what is eaten by someone cannot be eaten by anybody else. Eating is completely introverted, private, and personal.
Yet, something so basic, so primitive, could only be a powerful connector, common to all human beings. Common across time and geographies, from childhood to old age, from poor classes to high status, female and male.
“Hence, of all the things that people have in common, the most common is that they must eat and drink. And precisely this, in a remarkable way, is the most egotistical thing, indeed the one most absolutely and immediately confined to the individual.” (Simmel, 1997: 130)