What is a ‘foodie’ and what makes a person one

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2017


Question: What makes someone a “foodie”, doesn’t everyone eat food?
Answer: The term “Foodie” is increasingly popular these days. Social media has given “foodies” a whole new platform. You, know, a place where everyone posts great food dishes they are about to eat. Sometimes, it’s things they have cooked themselves, and other times, it’s dishes they have ordered at a new restaurant. I mean, who doesn’t want to see what you are eating — right?
Actually there is a lot of controversy over the exact meaning of foodie. For instance, what’s the difference between a cook, a foodie, and a gourmet? Is it just a trend? Is the word just being overused?
After some quick Google-ing, I found a very interesting definition courtesy of Wikipedia (which is a totally reliable source, right?): “ A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.”
So, it seems that you don’t have to be a cook to be a foodie, but most foodies do become interested and even passionate about cooking. Many people think the term foodie is a modern day casual substitute for gourmet or epicurean — but those folks would probably be insulted to be called a foodie.
So, are you a foodie? Well, you might be a foodie if…
1. You get a thrill out of trying new food
2. You will drive long distances to go to a good restaurant
3. You like to share your recommendations on social media
4. Fast food doesn’t seem so great any more
5. You enjoy watching the food channel
In addition, a study by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation said people who consider themselves “foodies” also:
• Look for healthy foods that are “minimally processed,” “free from artificial ingredients, and additives” and “high in healthy components or nutrients.”
• Would sacrifice cost and convenience for quality and taste
• Are interested in learning about foods and cooking techniques
• Know about the quality and origin of the food they eat. (Yay for Farmer’s Markets!)
According to the 2017 Food and Health Survey, a study to determine what drives consumers in their food purchasing decisions, foodies are predominately female (63 percent female vs. 37 percent male), have higher incomes (52 percent make more than $75,000 a year) and a median age of 58. They are also less likely to have kids under 18. This might partially explain why foodies aren’t as concerned about convenience or the cost of food. (visit http://www.foodinsight.org for more information).
So being a foodie, includes looking for healthier foods and cooking techniques. In that case, let’s just hope this is more than a trend, but a lasting appreciation for the tastier things in life.
So, whether you use the term “foodie” or not, you can be a better informed consumer and eat well in the process!
Vickie Clark is the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office and also serves as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. If you have questions or need any information related to Family and Consumer Science contact her at the UT Extension Carter County, 824 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, call 542-1818 or email at vclark@utk.edu.

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