According to Wikipedia, a foodie is “a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.”
I think there is one thing they left out though in that definition. A foodie also wants to make sure you and everyone else knows about their ardent or refined interest in food. A foodie is going to make sure you know not only all about what they ate but where they ate (or what they cooked or are going to cook). Their meal will be photographed, and uploaded to Instagram, Facebook or discussed in their blog. You will probably learn more than you wanted about the ingredients their meal includes or that they will be are using (often exotic, high end or with some special cachet).
In other words, it’s not really about the food . . . it’s about the foodie.
There is so much more to food though than just opportunity for pleasure or showing off. People all over the world enjoy going out to eat and trying new foods. Who doesn’t enjoy a well-cooked meal no matter where they live? Lots of people enjoy watching cooking shows, and picking up new tips and ideas to try. Reading restaurant reviews on Tripadvisor can be helpful in finding a restaurant in an unfamiliar city or town. But enjoying good food is more than eating out, more than chasing the latest food fad, or more than using some high-end, name-brand or exotic ingredient. It’s more than having and/or using the most expensive cooking equipment. It doesn’t involve name dropping. And, it’s definitely more than pictures of food posted on the Internet. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t stop there. Good food, as Mark Bittman says, “is real, it’s healthy, it’s produced sustainably, it’s fair and it’s affordable.”
In other words, it’s really all about the food. People, no matter where they live or their socioeconomic status, eat because they’re hungry. What I wish “foodie” meant is ensuring that everyone everywhere has the opportunity to access and enjoy good, healthy and delicious food.
I enjoy sharing recipes and trying out new ones. I enjoy finding good deals on food, especially locally raised or grown food. I enjoy going out to eat, and highlighting local restaurants that serve good food at affordable prices. But, I don’t feel the need to always be on the lookout for the next best thing, or to let everyone know where and what I am eating. I genuinely dislike taking pictures of my food when we eat out. I don’t need to find out if we are fabulous because of where we’re eating and what we ordered. I’m a good journeyman cook and I’m satisfied with that.
I am so not a foodie. Nor do I aspire to ever become one.
(P.S. The definition of foodie from the Urban Dictionary always makes me laugh: A douchebag who likes food.)