The essay deals with the issues of a battle against hunger, especially against the fear of starvation, as well as with the fact how the people learned to live in a foreign territory, which role the food played during adaptation to the new life situations and how the eating habits determined the regional identity. The field research was done in the region of Greater Zulawy (Poland) based on a questionnaire devoted to the issues concerning culinary traditions and habits linked to food and dining. The received material showed the importance of food in the course of settling into the foreign surroundings, distinguishing two stages: 1. the importance of food at the not-standard time, i.e. in the first years after the arrival at the new place; 2. the importance of food at the standard time, i.e. in the years of stabilization (approximately since the 1950s until 2008). It has been proven that the culinary traditions and eating habits cannot by analyzed separately, out of the unit (thus out of the other items of the culture). The changes in social structure, or the confrontation with new behaviour models and with other traditions are reflected in eating standards. They become mostly evident as a change and a decline. These processes are particularly obvious when confronting different cultures and in extraordinary situations - e.g. in war.