You might have heard or read the word foodie when aiming to describe someone who is tremendously fascinated by food. There is the other nuance of the word that means a person who is unaccustomed to good food. Both words come from the same origin, which can be quite interestingly traced back in history. It may seem like a common concept, but it has an interesting and unique history.
The Emergence Of The Foodie Culture
During World War II, foodie culture took off, as ration books were thrown away, and people wanted to indulge in all sorts of food luxuries. During this time, people also started realizing the importance of seasonality regarding their food choices. One of the consequences of this newfound awareness was the creation of ‘food miles’, a measure of the physical distance travelled to get a food product from field to fork.
In today’s world, we have a heightened awareness of where our food comes from and the importance of seasonal produce. The term ‘foodie’ started to become popular during this time, too, as people looked for ways to indulge themselves without worrying about the extra weight they might put on while following a foodie diet. This trend eventually led to the creation of trendy eateries and cookbooks that encouraged people to eat what they love in the most convenient way possible.
The Rise Of Hipster Food
It’s easy to see how the hipster movement greatly impacted the food scene. As the suburbs began to clog up with McMansions, people looked for ways to leave the city in search of simpler living. They started moving to rural areas, which led to the decline of the independent butcher and bakers. This, in turn, affected the way we look at and interact with food; it became something more abstract, a mode of expression rather than a means of sustenance.
As time went by and the world became more digital, people started looking for ways to socialize and connect. They created foodie nights where they could get together with friends and family to share a meal and discuss their passion for certain foods. This is how we get the ‘foodie’ bar, which recently became a haven for pop-up restaurants.
The Fall Of The Middle Class
It’s no secret that the culinary traditions of the middle class are disappearing. The move toward ‘superfoods’ has led to a shift in the way we look at and interact with food. People want simple and quick fixes that give them an instant energy boost. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the popularity of food cleanses, where participants follow a strict diet during which they eliminate foods that they consider ‘unhealthy.’
As the middle-class shrinks, so does the culinary traditions that once defined them. People are looking for ways to simplify their lives, and food is a big part of that. Some might even say that foodie culture is a reaction to the ‘food fatigue’ that grips the modern world. People are getting bored of the same ol’ veggie sandwich and want to try something new. As a result, the foodie culture is characterized by a willingness to experiment with flavours and dietary requirements. This is also why vegetarianism and veganism are especially popular within the foodie community.
The Influence Of Social Media
It wouldn’t be a stretch to argue that the internet influenced the way we look at and interact with food. As the web grew, so did the quantity and quality of recipes and food-related content. People could find the ingredients they needed and the instructions for any recipe they wanted to try. As a result, cooking became something more accessible and achievable for the average person.
The influence of social media on food consumption is significant, and its impact will only increase as more people gain access to the internet. People are more likely to try new things online than in real life, so the ability to experiment with recipes and flavours will encourage more people to get creative in the kitchen.