What Does Food Mean To You?

As members of One In An ARMY, we strongly believe in the collective power of a lot of people who can work together; each doing just a little towards a particular goal.
One In An ARMY in Food Stories
Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Hi! We’re One In An ARMY, a volunteer collective within the BTS fandom.

You may be familiar with BTS, a seven-member pop music group from South Korea. BTS has a dedicated fandom thanks to their heartfelt music, their openness about mental health and personal journeys toward self-love, their honesty, integrity, hard work, dedication, and good hearts. Their fandom, ARMY, has spent ten years supporting them and striving to follow their good examples in using our own collective platform and power to do good, improve the world around us, and to help those in need wherever we can.

One In An ARMY was founded in 2018. We have made it our mission to help organize some of the massive charity and NGO supporting projects within the global collective of ARMY, in honor of BTS and their own tireless support of causes in which they believe.

As members of One In An ARMY, we strongly believe in the collective power of a lot of people who can work together; each doing just a little towards a particular goal. We know that collective effort results in incredible outcomes which we can all feel proud to have contributed toward. We are a global fandom made up of people of different ages, ethnicities and nationalities. We come from all walks of life, from students to artists to degreed professionals. We chose to include Freerice in our projects, because we know that not everyone has the ability to contribute financially towards charity projects; however, there are many, many people in ARMY who want to help make a difference for someone.

Freerice gives us the ability to create teamwork opportunities alongside our charity campaigns for those ARMYs to participate in alleviating world hunger, all the while learning and having fun while doing so.

What does food mean to us? Here are some answers from our community. 

"Besides fulfilling the basic need for nutrition, food fulfills the need for connection. Connection with tradition, the people who provided the raw ingredients and of course the people I’m sharing it with. I live in the countryside and quite often some neighbor gifts me with fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden or fresh eggs from their coop. I always try to honor the humble but very tasty ingredients by preparing dishes that my mother and grandmother taught me like spinach with eggs, tomato risotto, stuffed peppers, saucy green beans with potatoes, homemade jams.

Of course, I make modern recipes too, but it’s the traditional dishes that feel more comforting and bring memories of love, a happy home and a carefree childhood. I want to provide that same feeling to my own kids as well, so I cook and talk to them about my beloved grandmother and how I used to spend time with her. My kids like listening to those stories and learn a lot about our family. The food we share has the taste of love because love is the main ingredient in every stage of the preparation."

Liana, Greece

"Food is one of the only mediums through which I can retain my mother's presence in my life. I am fond of homemade food, but I am not a good cook. My time in the kitchen goes into learning my mother's methods so that if my memory fails, my palette will at least remember the taste and the impact she has had on me.

Food is also a huge marker of who gets to have a voice in the house. When I was a kid, most of the extra food in my and my brother's plate came from my mother. It's expected by default that women will give up their health, nutritional needs for their children. But one thing I was adamant about, and I still am, is for her to have a complete meal. Food is one of the many ways of "giving" her space back to her. I often say that my aim to give her the plate back, both metaphorically and literally."

Ayushi, India

"Food is connected to emotions. We associate food with memories we are fond of, like the porridge we have during rainy days, the halo-halo (Filipino dessert) we love to eat during sunny days. Food that we used to eat during childhood becomes the comfort food we seek during times of stress and frustrations.

Food is also part of our culture. Specialized food in our countries is passed down from generations to generations. Cooking these foods is our way of preserving our identity. Each country’s unique cuisine shows our history, lifestyle, values, and beliefs. This is one thing that amazes me about food, which is why whenever I visit other places, I always make sure to have a taste of their cuisine. It helps me learn more about the people, their stories, and their way of living. It’s a great way of getting to know other cultures."

Euni, Philippines

"In my home, food is not only an important part of our daily lives but also our culture and connectedness. My grandmother traveled as a young teenager from Cairo, Egypt with her family, in search of a better life in the US. Along with her family, she brought a rich background in food. We learned how to make particular types of foods but also how to include love in those dishes and provide for your family.

When I was a young child, our family struggled and food was extremely scarce. My parents worked really hard to make sure that this situation was not lasting and over time, we flourished and food was abundant. But I never forgot that. Now as a wife and mom, supporting and providing for my own family, food signifies a time that I get to engage with my family. Many of my fondest memories are of sitting around the table enjoying a meal and talking about things that were going on in our lives. Today I get to create those same types of memories with my own family. I appreciate not just that we have the access to food that we do, but also that it seems to not just nourish our bodies, but also our souls at the same time."

Gigi, United States