Contour Extended features additional content related to recently published Contour articles. See the article about the benefits to being a foodie in March’s Contour here. If you’re looking for more food-related content, check out the entire issue of April Contour, which is themed “you are what you eat.”
According to Merriam-Webster, a foodie is “a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.” We all have that one friend. The one boxing you out from your utensils until a properly staged and lit photo of the spread is captured. Naturally, this “avid interest” comes in a variety of flavors. Whether we know (or follow) a fit foodie, a vegan foodie, a dessert foodie or a trendy foodie, etc., a few common links classify them as foodies: They all invest time, stomach space and money to their passions.
The majority of the time, foodies have a social media presence. In fact, much of the foodie persona is built on media sharing platforms. Instagram revolutionized the foodie world with instant shares of dishes and constant competition to frame the best photo or garner the most “likes.” Gaining and maintaining followers on various forms of social media takes time and commitment every day. This includes visiting restaurants, editing photos, writing captions and hashtags to increase exposure, etc. Novel or trendy places can have long wait times or delayed services. The time commitment made by each foodie may or may not be displayed for followers on social media, but it is a constant. Behind the scenes, foodies have to do their homework. Often, we look to them for advice or recommendations. Fit foodies must have a deeper understanding of nutrition, while trendy foodies must keep up to date on new openings and what’s hot at the moment. Studying up on something you’re interested in may not feel like work, but it still takes time.
Health is extremely variable and relative when it comes to foodies. They come in all shapes and sizes, with different backgrounds and stories. Some get their start due to a change in health status or from wanting to improve health. Others just really love food. Some cook constantly, others not at all. A love of food doesn’t automatically lead to compromised health. Sure, a food-centered passion could very well lead to some negative health consequences if nutritional requirements are ignored. But a heavy emphasis on food also cultivates awareness. As alluded to earlier, foodies tend to be learners, not just shutter-clickers. Gaining a deeper awareness or respect for food could improve health by cultivating a positive relationship with consumption.
The actual out-of-pocket cost varies as much as the type of foodie. For example, some fit foodies may have sponsor deals or promotion deals for certain products. On the other hand, organic produce and popular health foods tend to cost more than their more-processed counterparts. Your typical trendy foodie is responsible for footing the bill at all the restaurants and food trucks he/she visits. This could mean a significant bill at highly rated restaurants or projects by award-winning chefs. To perpetuate a following, making and writing new posts a few times a week can really add up. And by “add up” I mean draw down on the bank account. There are also accounts of frugal foodies. These foodies seek good eats that won’t hurt your wallet.
It can be argued that foodies are helping or hurting the food culture in this country. Do you know a few foodies, or are you one? What benefits outweigh the time and money? Has the foodie culture influenced how you see or consume food? Weigh in below in the comments section, or chew it over with some food!
~ Victoria Castens, Temple ’18, 2016-17 contributing editor