Monday, May 2, 2011

Why I Call Myself a "Foodie"

I love food. I always have and I believe I always will.

As an infant I was categorized as, "a healthy eater," to the relief of my parents who didn't have to battle with me to eat. As I grew into a young child I would gladly partake in all of our home-cooked meals and be baffled by my brother's picky pallet. As an adult I have come to truly appreciate my food thoroughly - from its creation and preparation to its aroma, flavor and nutritional support.

Foodie, Defined 
For these reasons, I have considered myself a foodie, which is defined as follows,
Foodie is 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.
So, in short,  a foodie is a fan of food. That's how I always thought of it. I am a fan of food. Perhaps you would prefer that I call myself a food nerd, as I am already a math nerd and book geek? To me, they are one in the same, except that "food nerd" has a term already developed for it: "foodie."

Foodie, Interpreted
However, it has come to my attention that this term foodie has a negative connotation to it for some. I guess it comes from that part of the definition that says a foodie is "a particular class" of food fan. It seems, when some people here the term "foodie," they hear things like:
  • food know it all
  • food snob
  • blind follower of food professionals
  • food elitist (I was inspired to write this post after reading Eric Schlosser in The Washington Post called "Why being a foodie isn't 'elitist'")
It makes me wonder: What do others hear when I am coined a "foodie"? Since it seems this term is subjective in meaning, I guess it is important that I state my intent of the term.

Foodie, As I Use It

I believe that food is the most valuable product on this planet. In my eyes, its value dwarfs that of the dollar, of gold and even of oil - strip all of those away and we can still survive because food and water are the keys to our very existence.

I value food.

I appreciate food.

I want to learn more about food because I think food is that important to my health, my existence and my family's future. I call myself a foodie for all of these reasons. In my life as a foodie I am learning, cooking, eating, gardening and shopping.

Do you consider yourself a foodie? Why/why not?
What does the term "foodie" mean to you?
Is there some other term, aside from "foodie" that you prefer to use? 

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