Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One of my very least favorite words

Foodie.

It's so precious. It's too cute. It sounds like something a 5-year-old would say.

Foodie.

It sounds like snotty, bratty, cootie, puny, whiny. Why do so many negative-sounding words end with a long "e" sound? (But I guess so does happy, funny, pretty, etc.)

Mostly, though, I hate what it means. I hate it when I'm at a party full of artist types, and one of them starts talking about lamb chops, and another one says, "Oh, you must be a foodie!" And the one talking about lamb chops replies, "Oh, I'm a total foodie. I love food and cooking."

Gag.

There's nothing wrong with food and cooking, but don't call yourself a fucking foodie.

I don't know which price-gouging, elitist supermarket coined the term first, or if it's a regular word that's been around for a long time, but I despise what it implies.

I hate that it implies a lifestyle of picking only the best organic produce flown in from the indiginous regions of wherever, and only the most choice and select meats, wines, cheeses, and chocolates.

I hate that it implies only wealthy people, or people of a certain privilege, should have the right to eat healthy, uncontaminated, and "sustainably grown" food, even though that term actually means very little when you're dealing with corporate supermarkets scouring the world for food they can use to sell a lifestyle and an image.

I hate that it's a term only privileged people use. I can assure you that poor people who grow their own food, or who actually care about where the food they purchase comes from, or struggle to buy food for their children that isn't filled with preservatives, sugar, chemicals, and processed beyond anything recognizably natural, don't call themselves "foodies." They call themselves people struggling to feed themselves and their families something natural and nourishing.

There's nothing inherently wrong with a consumer culture that's based on conservation and sustainability, but let's not kid ourselves. It's still a consumer culture, and it's still all about bottom-line profit above all else (Whole Foods and Central Market both made gross profits in the billions last year), and it all just kind of makes me want to throw up. I'm just as guilty as anyone else. I love those stores. I love the products, I love the ambience. But I'm also privileged and don't have a family to support. Anymore, when I pay $1.79 for a box of organic macaroni and cheese, or $2.29 a pound for a red bell pepper, when they're $1.17 each at Randalls, it just makes me wonder what the fuck I'm doing, and really supporting. And why.

More and more lately, though, I've become interested in growing my own vegetables and volunteering at some local community garden. I found this great web site tonight, all about Austin's local community gardens, and how to create a truly sustainable food source. It's by putting it in your backyard. I think I want to start volunteering there. In all my free time....

I probably don't know what the fuck I'm talking about with any of this, but I sure do hate the word "foodie."

3 comments:

Theresa said...

I'm not a fan of the word either. It sounds "off" somehow. I really dig your site by the way.

Tom Drew said...

I share your hatred. I'd never heard the word before I moved here, and I think my old boss was the first person who said "foodie" in my presence (describing herself, of course). Yuck.

bryan h. said...

I don't see the problem with this word. I like to eat, thus I call myself a foodie. I also consider myself a bookie, a filmie, and a pornie.