In Cantonese, we normally greet each other with "你食咗饭未呀?" (nei sik-zo faan mei aa?), in English it means "Have you eaten (rice) yet?". The reason being, back in history, there was a lot of widespread famine through out China, and Chinese would be very creative on how to make dinner from whatever food they find, including rice. So food is very important to Chinese people, that is why there are so many ways of just cooking chicken alone!
For most of the Chinese, rice is a regularly eaten with other dishes, I say most Chinese as other provinces might be regularly eat noodles instead of rice, for example. What I'm trying to say is that "食饭" (sik faan) basically means dinner. Even now that I reside in Dublin and I don't cook Chinese dinner that often, my mom would as me that question very early on in the phone conversation, and vice-versa.
What's worrying me is the cost of food going through the roof now, especially rice. Normally rice would be the most affordable, but with so much demand, will it going to be a luxury?