The F-word: foodie

The term foodie irks me.  Big time.  Strange, coming from a guy who just took it upon himself to start a blog about food, right?  It’s true that I’ve taken a liking to the stuff, but that certainly doesn’t make me a foodie.

My biggest problem with the term is that it’s exclusionary: either you’re a foodie or you’re not.  Either you have “a special interest or knowledge in food”*, or you don’t.  That puts a lot of people in the “not particularly interested in food” category, which is not only unrepresentative, its damning.

Consider how screwed up national attitudes toward food are.  On any given night, less than a third of Americans will cook their own meals.  The rest will rely on take-out or frozen dinners… both much less healthy.  The result is a population where 1 out of every 4 people is obese, over 1 in 13 a diabetic.  Now, clearly these figures aren’t at the fault of foodies.  But still, with so many people in need of a culinary wake up call, the goal should be to demystify good food, not embellish it.

What’s particularly frustrating is that the current popularity of more natural foods should be doing just that.  The days when people were impressed by food science are long over – trendy consumers don’t want long ingredient lists or additives they can’t pronounce.  They want products that go back to the basics – that romanticize food’s simplicity.  You’d think this would be the perfect atmosphere to make food more accessible to the culinarily disinclined.  Instead, the breathing room created by science’s absence has been filled by confusing foodie jargon, the most ubiquitous example of which being the hyphenated modifier.



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