What is a foodie?

I’ve been following food blogs for some time now. I have waded through many food blogs, ranging from the really well-researched and written to the God-awful blogs whose existence seems to be just for the sake of advertising fast food chains and their promos. I have managed to keep following the good ones, fortunately, and these have inspired me to create my own food blog since I also have a keen interest in food and cooking.

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looking for the right WP theme

But, first, I asked myself: am I a foodie just because of this interest I have with food? What makes a foodie a foodie in the real sense of the word, anyway? I pose these questions because of the awful blogs I mentioned were authored by these self-proclaimed “foodies” who cannot distinguish leche flan from creme brulee.

So like any self-respecting netizen I googled the definition of a foodie to find out. Wikipedia defined a foodie [sometimes spelled as foody, apparently] as “an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their 1984 book The Official Foodie Handbook.” It adds: “a foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out for convenience or hunger. While gourmet and epicure can be used as synonyms they have fallen out of favor and bring to mind a stodgy or snobbish attitude.”

So far, I am liking the being snobbish part, as I am “naturally shy” :-). The on-line Webster-Merriam dictionary defined it as “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads”. A rather un-remarkable definition, but it added a layer to what I knew. Food fads, hmn. I’m not into that, or any fad, for that matter.

Finally, the Urban Dictionary provided me with perhaps the most [7, count them!] definitions of the term. Some are really hilarious. The first definition I’m sharing goes like this: “A foodie is a person who loves or has a deep admiration for food and eating food. Does not necessarily have to be fat, but like eating. They might feel happy or very at peace when being around food.” I agree to this definition. Does it fit me? For the most part, yes.

The next goes: “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. A foodie is not necessarily a food snob, only enjoying delicacies and/or food items difficult to obtain and/or expensive foods; though, that is a variety of foodie.” Still good, though these days I am not as adventurous with food as I was, say, a couple of years ago.

This definition is a tad infused by conspiracy theory: “A dumbed-down term used by corporate marketing forces to infantilize and increase consumerism in an increasingly simple-minded American magazine reading audience. The term creates the sensation of being part of a group in isolationist urban society, while also feminizing the term to subconsciously foster submission to ever-present market sources”. I’m sure there’s a kernel of truth somewhere in this definition, but I’d rather not dwell on it. The term continues to grow in my mind, with all its positive and negative connotations.

However, the definition that summed up my quest for a proper definition of the term was probably the most scathing: “Essentially, if you call yourself a “foodie”, you aren’t one; or you aren’t what you think it means. A firefighter would not walk up to a burning building, criticize the flames, and proclaim that he and his coworkers are firefighters”.

So to answer my question, “Am I a foodie?” My answer is, “Does it matter?” I will write about food and cooking because I have a keen interest in it. Specifically, I will share what I know about healthy eating, the healthy foods I both purchase and prepare, and how eating healthy impacts my life [specifically my weight loss journey]. You probably won’t find me writing about your favorite fast food restaurant or snack food. Instead I will write about healthy and delicious food choices that are within reach. If that makes me a foodie in my readers’ eyes, so be it.

Choosing to eat in a healthy manner is not food snobbery, it is a life-changing decision. This is your invitation to join me in my adventure in healthy food-blogging. Let’s go?

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