In the modern world, food plays a huge role. We like to eat it, we like to make it, we like to talk about it, and we even like to watch other people cooking it. A momentous occasion is often celebrated with a meal or a cake and even in the meeting and events industry, top quality catering is promoted as a selling point for a venue, with extra biscuits or a bacon sandwich referred to as ‘added value’.
This relationship with food differs significantly with historic man’s quest for fuel in a fight or flight environment. Yes, we still need food for energy but we have developed an emotional and social attachment, far deeper than just the relief of a satiated appetite.
We know food has a physical effect on the body: someone who has not eaten in a while will develop hunger pangs, may feel weaker and experience dizziness. Similarly, someone who has eaten a burger with little nutritional value may feel sluggish or sleepy. But how significant is food and the choices we make to our mind?
Food has a surprisingly prevalent effect on our thought processes. Just think about the differences between when you are hungry and when you are not. If you look at a sandwich when you are full, you will probably think very differently about it compared to when you are incredibly hungry. Sometimes the thought will be all consuming, having a detrimental effect on concentration.
In the events industry, concentration is key. If your delegates have not provided their brain with adequate fuel, the brain is going to work against them - the focus will be food and not work. Eggs, fish, berries, nuts, avocados and dark chocolate are some of the many ingredients proven to have a positive effect on concentration but not only that, they are healthy and delicious too.
It is up to organisers and caterers to recognise this in order to provide options that will be beneficial for delegates, boosting brain power and making a more productive event.