Food labels are all the buzz nowadays. There is controversy behind whether or not we should label foods GMO or not. The FDA is considering revising the all well-known Nutrition Facts label. And people are still in a fuss about labeling things All Natural instead of All-Natural.
However, the food we eat is not the only thing we are slapping labels on – it’s also how we eat it. As a culture, we are obsessed with labeling ourselves as some type of eater. Maybe we are a vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, or how about paleo, omnivore, or picky. There is, however, one label that perplexes me the most – foodie.
A foodie by definition is someone who enjoys food. I did a simple search on UrbanDictionary.com to find some more colorful definitions:
“A person who has no actual interests or hobbies.”
“A proletarian or member of the middle class who occasionally eats quality food, often of the type enjoyed by the higher classes but sometimes ‘exotic’ food of foreign lands.”
“A d*****bag who likes food.”
Statistically speaking, everyone is a foodie; we have to eat to survive. We also have to breathe and sleep, but we don’t go around calling ourselves breathies or sleepies. So why do I bring up the issue about the label foodie? Does it really matter? I believe so, and I also feel that it’s never a bad time to cultivate our personal philosophies, especially when it pertains to food.
Reasons to avoid the term Foodie
First of all, I want to save you from the public humiliation of self-proclaiming yourself as a foodie. It’s not only an annoyance to others, it just makes you look silly. If you are at a job interview or on a first date, avoid describing yourself as a foodie. It makes you seem showy and unoriginal. Instead say something more interesting like, “I make a mean lasagna,” or “I write a food blog.”
Next, don’t take pictures of every single meal you eat and share it on every single social network on the interwebs. Common courtesy when eating out is to wait for everyone to be served before digging in. But when your friend pulls out their phone to take a blurry, poorly lit photo of their plate, it makes everyone feel awkward as they hesitate to start their meal. Instead, enjoy the meal that is placed before you and be grateful that you are able to eat it. Rather than obsessing over sharing the meal with your virtual friends and followers, why not focus on sharing the meal with the real people at the table? Meals are meant to be shared, not tweeted (#validpoint).
Finally, loose the ‘tude. It’s important to care about what you put into your body, but thinking that you are better than other people because you prefer to eat grass fed beef over a Big Mac will get you nowhere. Erica and I like grass fed beef, but we look at it as an “investment.” By spending more now on good fuel for our bodies, we will reap the benefits of a healthier life later on. However, there are a lot of people in the United States who cannot afford to make these types of investments. They sometimes have to settle for lesser quality food because they have other bills to pay. Therefore, we always need to ask ourselves, “Am I eating this for the right reasons?”
It may seem that I am being a hypocrite. I co-wrote a food blog, take a lot of photos of what I eat, and enjoy spending a pretty penny on a nice dinner. Sometimes, I have even fallen into the trap of thinking myself better than my peers because I can whip up a scratch made pizza instead of ordering Dominoes. But Erica and I begin every meal with Grace and finish with a compliment. Yes, we love food, but we love it because it has the power to bring people together. Food sustains us, food nourishes us, and food unites us – isn’t that enough to celebrate?
I want to know your opinion. Do you agree or disagree? Post a comment below!