I grew up in a family where dining together was very important. Although my family was very large, compared to the average size families here in America, we still found time to eat together. I say this as if it still happens today...no. We've all grown up and started our own families. I don't know whether my siblings carried out the tradition, but I do try as much as possible. Being a full time student and working, it is hard to sit down and dine with my fiance. But whenever we can, we do.
I think food is very sacred. It defines who we are culturally, and sometimes, even our personalities. In this society, we over-look the importance of food. We want to live conveniently, and try to work out our timing to fit with our jobs, education status, careers, play-time, and our families. There is only so much time in one day. So what we do is, we spend less time doing things ourselves, and buy the convenience with our money. In other words, instead of cooking a meal, we buy a meal.
I think the idea of food and its meaning has been distorted over time. We don't appreciate it for was it really is anymore. We ask for alternatives to replace the more significant ingredients in the food. We alter ingredients and change the image of food. We no longer care for the sacredness of the food we eat.