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Are You a Foodie?

June 14, 2011

Gallagher's-las-vegas
My kind of display case… (Gallagher’s Steakhouse, New York New York, Las Vegas)

Wikipedia’s definition of a “foodie”:

“…foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news…”

By those terms, the answer for me would be a hesitant yes. Hesitant because there are some negative connotations associated with the word. It can imply a snobby approach to food and feelings of superiority about one’s food knowledge and experiences. Food should be fun, adventurous, joyful, nourishing. Not pretentious. And in that spirit, I’d definitely consider myself a foodie.

The Vancouver Magazine had an article in its June issue about Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vancouver restaurant, Market. Jean-Georges commented,

“Vancouver is a tough city, possibly the toughest, because everybody is a foodie here. The guests, critics, industry people are all exceptionally knowledgeable.”

I agree that, for whatever reason, Vancouverites in general have a keen interest in food. Whether it’s sourcing local/organic/sustainable fare, or staying on top of the ever-evolving restaurant scene, food seems to be a common passion around here. Although as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a definite vegetarian/vegan flair that seems to dovetail with the local/sustainable movement. Luckily, it doesn’t define Vancouver cuisine.

It makes me wonder if anyone who follows a specific diet, be it vegan or primal, is a foodie by default. With paleo/primal, learning about food comes with the lifestyle. There’s the nutrition aspect – knowing what to eat (and what to avoid) and why. The shopping/ingredient sourcing. Finding recipes. Cooking. Before you now it, you’re a foodie, or at least you appear as such.

I suppose the qualifying question would be, do you enjoy it? Is this a new found passion, or are you just going through the motions for whatever reason (health, weight loss, etc.). Do you simply eat to live? Or does part of you live to eat (within the paleo/primal framework).

When I first started eating paleo/primal, I felt a little like I was stripped of my foodie badge. All the TV shows and cooking competitions showcased foods I “couldn’t” eat. I could no longer get excited about new recipes I found flipping through magazines, or randomly came across online. The restaurants I wanted to try featured menu items that sounded delicious, except for [insert list of non-paleo ingredients here].

But I soon realized that none of that mattered. My interest in food has blossomed since going paleo/primal. Whodathunk that I’d be doing any of these things: researching the best farm to buy a cow, and then deciding precisely how I want it butchered; tracking down pastured eggs; doing butter tastings; making ghee;  eating nose-to-tail (or at least trying to)? How many mainstream foodies know anything about that stuff? I’ve simply specialized, narrowed my focus, found my niche, and dug deeper. And the journey has been incredibly rewarding, not only in entertainment value, but also in the satisfaction of knowing that I’m doing so much for my health and well-being.

Would you consider yourself a foodie?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia @ Humble Foodie January 17, 2013 at 4:43 AM

I think you might be able to guess my answer to this question…:-)

I agree with you that “Food should be fun, adventurous, joyful, nourishing”- that pretty much sums up my food philosophy. I believe it’s possible to embrace the excitement of new dishes, the puzzle of new flavors, and the experimentation of new preparations without subscribing to a certain lifestyle. I almost never go out to eat, especially to trendy restaurants, because my budget is tiny (hey AmeriCorps!). Instead I try to recreate dishes that inspire me in my own kitchen, which allows me to be fully immersed in the process. Cooking is always a learning experience. So I agree with your hesitation, because the foodie label is often maligned by snobbery, but I think we should reclaim it!

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admin@primalist January 20, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Amen! :)

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