If you ask yourself the question “Am I a foodie?” you will probably say yes. Right? Or maybe not. Maybe you hate food 😉 Or don’t know what a foodie really is.
The truth is that most people don’t know what a foodie is, so it’s hard to answer that question—but you should know, because being a foodie is so, so much fun!
What is a Foodie?
There are a few interesting definitions out there.
The Urban Dictionary says a foodie is: “A person that spends a keen amount of attention and energy on knowing the ingredients of food, the proper preparation of food, and finds great enjoyment in top-notch ingredients and exemplary preparation.”1
Wikipedia says: “A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger… not as elitist as a gourmet, more discriminating than a glutton…”2
But let’s not forget the wine, people! Yes, being a foodie also includes consuming and enjoying beverages, thank goodness.
If you’re a foodie, food is a hobby, and you love sampling beer, wine tasting, going to all the new restaurants, culinary tourism, foodporn.com, scrolling through images of food on social media, reading recipes and reviews, and you may even have pictures of the best burrito in Brooklyn within your online presence. Busted!
A Short History of the Foodie
The word foodie was first used in the 1980s.2 It is thought that a writer whose work appeared in New York Magazine in 1980 may have coined the term when describing a character who “slips into the small Art Deco dining room of Restaurant d’Olympe … to graze cheeks with her devotees, serious foodies.”3 Over three decades later, Greene is an advisor and contributor to Foodie.com.4
Around the same time, the term took off in the UK, and The Official Foodie Handbook was published by Ann Barr and Paul Levy, an editor and food writer from London magazine Harper’s & Queen.2
Foodies back then were reportedly super elitist. Foodies went to all the most expensive restaurants, and loved to try the most exotic, gourmet food they could buy.
And despite criticism of the term—which some dub childish-sounding—the word foodie has been adopted across the English-speaking world. Check out afoodieworld.com, The Foodie Magazine, Foodies of New England, and foodiecrush.com.
What’s Happening to Foodies?
The foodies of old were a select section of society, but the foodies of today is you!5 Seventy-six percent of U.S. adults enjoy talking about new or interesting foods, according to studies. And 68% of adults purchase specialty foods for everyday home meals.6
The trend is especially strong among millennials/members of Generation Y.7 ,8
Yep! Those stuffy foodies from yesteryear are being replaced by spritely young foodies who love natural ingredients, vegan food and organic produce. Snappy shots of meals are all over the internet because they be crazy popular, man!
Foodies in the U.S.A. are not going away. They’re getting hungrier, making more sophisticated meals, seeking new ways of doing things, and they’re showing off on social media to their hearts’ delight. And so they should.
The new foodies are also turning the food industry on its head. But more on that later.
What it Means to Be a Foodie
So what does it mean to be a foodie? It means a lot. Most foodies are so over being judged by people who don’t get it. And it’s not about eating huge amounts of food because you’re a piggy.
Being a foodie is about real experiences with others or alone, and it’s not about consumerism, either. It’s about getting out of the office and away from a computer and letting your senses go wild for an hour with someone you love or a group of friends somewhere beautiful. Maybe on the beach or in a restaurant garden. It also means preparing something amazingly colorful and delicious that you created.
How Foodies Affect the World
I think that one of the most awesome things about being a foodie is affecting the world in a positive way. Eating is such a natural thing, but it can change the world, and it is.
Millennial author Eve Turow notes that: “…you look around today and you’re seeing amazing things happening with Chipotle, with Kraft mac and cheese saying they’re going to take the yellow dye out. There is huge progress being made and it’s largely because the industry is seeing that Millennials are not going to be spending their money on processed foods.”7
Let’s hope these trends affect food policy, security and distribution. Let’s also hope that the trend for organic kale becomes so mainstream that nutrient dense foods like this healthy vegetable spread to those who rely on food stamps, and we really change the world.
Foodies may be the easiest people to buy gifts for. Take them to their favorite restaurant, or a new one they’ve never tried before. Or buy them:
- An “after this we’re getting pizza” yoga mat
- The ingredients for a gourmet mug cake, the cookbook, and then make it for them
- A soft pretzel & soft pretzel & beer cheese making kit
- A box of artisan truffles
- A pile of foodie fuel snacks
- A scarily awesome carry-on hot toddy kit for two (if you’re over 21)
- A mushroom knife, you know, for mushroom foraging!
- Some fine ghee, so they can make you fine, authentic Indian food
- A cured meats and imported cheese slate
- Or an awesome cookbook, like this one, from Julia Turshen
Thanks for reading! Check out our next post on foodie resources 🙂
- Greene inNew York Magazine (2 June 1980)