The Foodie Phenomenon: Why Millennials are Foodies and You Should be Too
Updated: Apr 16, 2018
“I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.”
– Oscar Wilde
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“Oh so you’re one of those people?”
There’s been many a time when I’ve been hit with this response. I’m talking about a magical, almost unearthly, food experience and someone will stop me mid-sentence. Yes, I am one of those people.
What is a foodie, you ask?
Whoops, that’s the wrong picture, what I meant to post was….
I consider myself a foodie. Hell, I’m foodie AF. I love food and I don’t just mean I love McNuggets and Starbucks Fraps. I love good, real food.
I think Reid Nichols says it best, in 6 Things to Know Before Calling Yourself a Foodie:
“Just like everyone with a digital camera thinks they are a photographer, everyone who likes to eat seems to call themselves a foodie. I’m sorry, but just because you like to eat, doesn’t mean you are a foodie… Foodies go to new restaurants, shun large chain establishments and are eager to give their opinions and recommendations.”
After reading countless articles on the millennial (born 1980-2000) foodie craze, I just had to put my two cents in. I understand. My parents give me an odd look when I bring home sushi burritos and can’t understand why I listen to Spanish music. Many of my friends are met with similar looks of confusion from their parents. Sometimes, parents just don’t get it, what can I say?
That said, the foodie craze is not one to be knocked. It’s a movement, and not just for millennials but for everyone.
I get a high off of food that’s too damn beautiful to eat; food that has a backstory; food that is eccentric. Why? Food is sensory. When you eat a meal or drink a cocktail, it should do more than simply quench your thirst or fill your hunger. It should make you feel.
Good on millennials for valuing experiences, am I right? We all deserve to bask in happiness once in while, so why not develop a passion for new and interesting food and find joy that way? I believe everyone should join the foodie fad and here’s why:
CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO BE MORE ADVENTUROUS
Each weekend when I go to work, we have the same conversation: Should we order veal on a bun or poutine? And every week, without fail, it remains one of those two staple items. I’m sorry but I can’t do that. I’d much rather feast on last night’s leftovers of honey and truffle ravioli, than a huge bun stuffed with cheese, sauce and more cheese. Don’t get me wrong; I love these comfort foods as much as the next gal, but in moderation. There are so many other food options out there. Why stick to the norms when we live in such a melting pot of foods and culture?
LEARN NEW THINGS ABOUT FOOD, TECHNIQUE, AND DIET
“Variety is the spice of life!” Cliché as it may be, it is so darn true! Can you imagine a world where everyday you did the exact same thing? Where everything just becomes mechanical? No! Because life is not like that! That said, being a foodie doesn’t mean that you strictly eat weird and wacky food. Deep-fried Kool-Aid, uh, no thanks.
Being a foodie means enjoying interesting and diverse foods. When exploring new dishes, you gain understanding on ingredients and technique. You also gain a new perspective.
Recently, I’ve been trying to live more of a vegetarian lifestyle in an effort to eat more fruits and veggies. Let me tell you, I am learning so much! Who would have known all the crazy-awesome things you could do with a can of beans? Brownies, salads, burgers, spreads… essentially anything!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Going to the local farmer’s market is not just a cute thing to do with bae and post on Instagram. It is awesome for two other reasons: one, you support local business and two, you get to enjoy fresh and organic crops. You will feel better both physically and mentally knowing that you’ve done good in your community.
LEARN ABOUT CULTURE
When you explore different foods, you also explore a different culture. Foods will obviously differ, but so will dining customs and habits. From my experience, I’ve found that Italians find it odd to add cheese to a seafood dish, and that many European countries tend to have dinner later in the evenings (after 8 p.m.). Some cultures even celebrate slurping or burping as a sign of gratitude to their host. Other communities may only eat with a certain hand, whereas others may not even use utensils! All of these things give just a glimpse into the culinary habits of the world.
MEET NEW PEOPLE
This is by far the most special part of being a foodie 🙂 I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve gone out to dinner with someone and they are too scared to try new foods. It seems like a dumb pet peeve for me to have but it can be seriously annoying when you planned to share some apps and end up getting garlic bread and chicken fingers on a menu that also offers mozzarella di buffalo with drizzled honey and fried zucchini flowers with lemon aioli.
When I express my love of experimenting with new flavours and dishes with others, I become more aware of others with similar interests. I have met and connected with people in restaurants and social media platforms that have also voiced the same food philosophies. I’ve said it many times, but food has a way of uniting us. By openly marking yourself as a foodie, you can expect to meet many new people who will agree to share a charcuterie board with you, without wincing!
Some of my best friends are people that I can actually share a meal with; people whose eyes don’t bulge out of their skull when I ask if they want to split an order of calamari! Those people are the best kind of people, at least according to me. I want to share unique moments with people- eat with them, converse with them, learn about what makes them tick! I can’t do that as effectively when I’m not enjoying myself.
There can be a great deal of tension around food when two people aren’t on the same page. But, when we allow ourselves to be open-minded about trying new things, that often changes. Eating with someone goes far beyond ingesting food. It means sharing memories, happiness, and ultimately, our true selves. From personal experience, I have to either really like you or desperately want to get to know you in order to dine with you… I don’t want to be judged when I have bits of bacon from croquetas de jamon wrapped around my braces, you know?
That said, I have also grown even closer to the one person who matters most at the end of the day: me. I’ve become more comfortable trying new food items and trends, which has given me a great deal of bliss. Hey, you have to please yourself before anyone else. As I have grown, and culinary opportunities present themselves, I always take advantage of them because food is just one of those things that gives me complete joy.
In joining the foodie phenomenon, I’ve also been able to become more conscientious of what I put into my body. As I've mentioned before, my relationship with food has always been one of my most passionate affairs. Unfortunately, because of that, as a child and young adult I have often struggled with the balance between the occasional indulgence and the frequent binge. In becoming more aware of how food is processed, consumed and treated in society, I’ve been able to make more informed choices and better manage my own dietary habits.
If these reasons weren’t enough to persuade you to become a foodie, this article might: