It’s no surprise to anyone that the word “Foodie” and the people it refers to have a bad rep. It seems that now a days, anyone who enjoys food trends, cooking, kale, or restaurant culture is the butt of a millennial themed joke made by someone who considers chain restaurants to be the top of culinary food chain. No disrespect to chain restaurants, but there truly is a whole world of food out. And everyone should be a part of this world of new flavors, cuisines, and dining experiences. Here’s why. Here are the 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Be a Foodie.
1. Helps you out of your comfort zone
That hot new restaurant that Eater’s been talking about presents the perfect opportunity for you to introduce your tastebuds to a new world and hopefully introduce you to a new side of town. It’s so easy to get into a food rut – after all as human beings, we are creatures of habit. However, that’s no excuse to eat at the same three places every week. Switch it up! Add some new places to the roster. Becoming a foodie allows you to literally spice up your life.
2. Contribute to your local economy
It’s hard not to scoff at a question like “Is this locally grown?” But contributing to your local economy is no laughing matter. Spending money at your local farmer’s market or artisan sandwich shop is more beneficial to your community than throwing money at your mall’s Jamba Juice. When you invest in local business, they are more likely to stick around and make your community a better place to live in for everyone.
3. Make new friends
There’s a reason why you always see a group of well-dressed people, tapping away at their smartphones sitting at the same table, and that’s because foodies stick together. Foodies, now officially a classified subculture according to Ken Gedler, author of the book Subcultures: Cultural Histories and Social Practice, tend to seek out others who share their love of food. Foodie forums, events, and MeetUp groups allow food enthusiasts to forge friendships online and in their favorite restaurants and bars. If meeting friends online is not your speed, there’s always the old fashion way. Strike up conversations with nearby tables and the wait staff.
4. Learn new things
Foodies throw the best dinner parties. That’s not an opinion, it’s a tried and true fact. But even if you have no interest in wowing a crowd with quinoa salad, adopting a foodie outlook to cooking can be beneficial. Pinterest accounts, food blogs, and magazines like Bon Appetit and Savuer can teach you new things or help you spice up some old favorites.
5. Understand the food you’re eating
Food engineering has changed the way that we as Americans eat and interact with food. We expect strawberries during the winter and perfectly blood red tomatoes all year around. Beyond the unrealistic beauty standards that are placed on our food, these aesthetic touches are riddled with chemicals and eliminate natural flavors. The foodie lifestyle allows you to interact with in season produce, organic meals, and healthier options.
6. Expand your (Flavor) horizons
Experiencing new flavors here in the comfort of your own neighborhood isn’t just delicious, it can help you plan your next big adventure. Familiarizing yourself with a culture’s cuisine before arriving can help you avoid the disappointing fate of ordering a subpar hamburger in Spain or wasting money in tourist trap restaurants in France. When you find your new favorite dishes, narrowing down the places that you want to travel will be no problem. After all there’s nothing better than experiencing fresh cacio e pepe pasta in Florence or spanakopita in Greece.
Featured photo credit: Wall Food by Michael Stern via flickr.com