What Qualifies Someone As a Foodie?

Because it’s somewhat of the time vortex, I resolved not to log in to my personal Facebook account for a while and when I recently logged in I quickly realised just why it was such a good idea in the first place to stay away more. One of my contacts was criticising people whom according to him “claim to be foodies.”

His message went something like this: “Just because you enjoy food and you know how to use your smartphone’s camera, that doesn’t qualify you as a foodie!”

I beg to differ – although I would tend to agree with him to a certain extent. I believe that a foodie is someone who sees themselves as one, irrespective of the method through which they demonstrate their appreciation for everything that has to do with gastronomy. An assertion of oneself as a foodie is only strengthened by what you do in support of that assertion, which means you don’t have to have your own blog about food set up and maintained, on which you discuss all the dishes you’ve tried.

If anything I feel that self-proclaimed foodies who post and discuss their relationship with food over social networking platforms are the more authentic ones. This is not to say every single foodie blog is a farce – I’m just bringing to light what I believe to be two different channels through which foodies can express themselves, but one which is more authentic than the other.

The foodie who runs a blog will often feel pressure to come up with that next post, bedazzling it with all the bells and whistles in the form of professionally sourced stock imagery and the works, while the foodie who casually discusses the meal they had at a certain restaurant with their friends over their social networking platform is perhaps more genuine in the delivery of their experience. If they didn’t like certain aspects of the food, the service or even the venue, then they’re likelier to share those views than the foodie blogger who doesn’t want to spoil her literary work of art in fear of alienating potential sponsors.

Who am I right? However, I do have my own opinion on exactly what qualifies someone as a foodie, apart from their self-proclamation of it. So I have a little 2-step framework which outlines what qualifies someone as a foodie:

  1. A love for food – you cannot proclaim yourself to be a foodie if you don’t love the experience of food, be it a love for the preparation process, the process of sourcing the ingredients, or the process of giving your taste buds some work to do in helping you decide just how good something tastes.
  2. A desire to share your experience – If you don’t harbour a desire to tell even just one other person about your experience of the food you had, then you really have no right to call yourself a foodie. So whether you write about it and publish it on your foodie blog or indeed if you share the experience over your social media platforms, you can only really call yourself a true foodie if you have this desire to share your gastronomic experiences.

Shaun Greaves

Blogger of arts and liver of life. Singaporean at heart, but living in the UK. Life is art, appreciate it.
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