Some words about the word “foodie”.
It started with good intentions. We were deep in the era of casseroles and fast food restaurants, so I get why there was a need for a term that described the set of people that actually liked tasting their food, rather than seeing if they could digest it in time for that night’s Wheel of Fortune.
But somewhere along the line it changed. It went from something mundane, a mere descriptor, to a badge of honor that way too many people were pinning to their imaginary lapels, way too fast. Somewhere people decided that you could just Instagram a picture of your Starbucks latte, slap a #foodie hashtag on the end of it, and suddenly be part of the club. And that’s not to say that it’s even a club at all, because it’s not.
It was a way to describe people who appreciate food, which should really include everyone, but sadly doesn’t. Now it’s a way to point out the guy ordering off-menu and leaving a crappy tip when he doesn’t get the non-existent food he ordered. Now it’s a way to make fun of the girl whipping out a 6 foot long Nikon super picture taking thing to spend more time photographing her plate than actually eating the stuff that’s on it. In short, now it basically means one thing: you’re a dick.
The other day someone asked me if I was a foodie, not knowing all this, as most people don’t. I knew what she was really asking; she was asking if I was a foodie by the old definition. Someone who appreciates food. A gourmand, if you want to get all French and technical about it. I would’ve said yes, if that was the real question. But because the term’s been pretty much ruined by this point, I had to say “no. But I do really, really like food.”
I’ll let Chris Onstad say it better than I ever could: “There are so many words that already describe the concept of people who like food, or enjoy cooking, or enjoy knowing about cooking. “Foodie”: It’s like the infantile diminutive—you put a “y” on the end of everything to make it childlike. We don’t need it. It’s embarrassing. “I’m a foodie.” Oh my God.”
And I’ll leave you with a song, as always. Here’s TOKiMONSTA with Cigarette Lust: