Lukas Moodysson’s film Tillsammans (Together) from 2000, about Swedes living in a 1975 commune, has a tagline which has become classic. It’s the lonely retired man Birger, having a beer with the newly separated Rolf, who says:
- I’d rather eat oatmeal porridge together with others than a fillet of beef on my own.
There’s a lot of truth in that.
Today Sweden has the world’s highest percentage of one-person households. In Stockholm, where this trend is even more significant than in the rest of the country, more than half of all households consist of one single person.
Living on their own is something that a lot of people are happy with, but there are things that you can miss. Like eating with others, without having to go to a restaurant. Or just eating something you haven’t cooked yourself.
Someone who sees a trend in this is Beatrice Lundblad, a behavioural scientist working for a construction company in Stockholm.
In an interview in the local newspaper Mitt i, she explains how more and more people in Stockolm choose to cook for eachother and eat together.
It can be a group of friends that take turns to invite the others for dinner. It can be people at the same office who cook large amounts of a dish at home and bring each other lunch boxes. Or it can be a house with shared facilities where the inhabitants are organized into dinner teams, where everyone cooks for all the others once in a while, in a large common kitchen. The rest of the time you can just come directly from work and sit down at a table ready laid.
I really like all these ideas. Not only because people are social beings and one of the most social things you can do is to share your food with others.
There is also a good sustainability thinking behind this. By cooking more food at the same time you spend less energy and waste less food than when everyone buy ingredients, cook at their own stove and forget the leftovers.
Resource efficiency and social well-being at the same time. Can’t get much better than that, I’d say.