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Feb 21, 2011 05:13 AM

Why is Foodie a nasty term?

I am still new to this foodie world..... I have always been into food, but just recently found this so called foodie culture and couldn't be more happy. Although there is numerous (including this site) that just destroys the term f... Why is it such a frowned upon term, did it replace another liked name? I don't see where and why Foodie is bad?

Any suggestions?

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  1. My guess is it could be construed to be snobbish or pompous....

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      I have the impression "gourmet" is viewed this way, while "foodie" is considered less so.

    2. Personally, I’ve grown to abhor the term. I suppose that is, on the one hand, due to my fundamental hatred of any sort of labels. On the other hand, it is also due to the overuse of what is a rather amorphous term. And, finally, on the third hand (having a third hand often comes in handy), the use of the appellation as self-description by individuals who simply enjoy eating out as a leisure time activity meant, at least in part, as an exhibition of wealth. This pretentious co-opting of the term, I submit, is what may be fueling much of the disfavor for the term among food geeks.

      If you must categorize yourself, Augie6, just be a 'hound.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MGZ

        Where can I go to get an extra hand installed? ;)

        1. re: aggiecat

          I got mine when I had my tongue implanted in my cheek.

          1. re: MGZ

            And That was India at the...Oops watching too much Outsourced...

      2. Like sammich and veggie, it's a juvenile term. Does liking alcohol make one a "drinkie?"

        15 Replies
        1. re: beevod

          That's hilarious. I don't object to the term, but I think I might also start referring to myself as a drinkie.

            1. re: fourunder

              Some people play golf - I cook. I call it sport cooking. Does that make me a cookie??



              1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                Since you are a female.....yes. My answer would be different if you were a male.

                1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                  Back in the day, the cooks in the military were often called Cookie. See, e.g., Beetle Bailey. It's a very respectable term.

                  1. re: Bob W

                    Hi Bob,

                    Gosh, I hadn't thought about that in ages. I had a grandfather who was a military cook. His book of recipes is a family treasure! Stuff liking making biscuits with a barrel of flour...

                    Aren't chuck wagon cooks also called Cookie?


                    1. re: I used to know how to cook...

                      Or Camp cook. I actually was a camp cook for an outfitting company for a hunting season in NM. And wrangler. Boy was my upper body strength good, hefting all that cast iron.

                      1. re: aggiecat

                        In logging camps "cookie" was the title.

                    2. re: Bob W

                      A Beetle Bailey reference= I love it.

                    3. re: I used to know how to cook...

                      I guess because I enjoy alcohol while I'm cooking for sport, I would be a "drinkie cookie". I'm sure that'll go over great when I meet new people and they ask me what I do with my time :p

                      1. re: alliegator

                        Hi Alliegator,

                        Gotta have that glass of wine at the ready for testing pan temps! :)


                        1. re: alliegator

                          nope say drunkin cookie, people will think you meant/said dunking cookie and realize otherwise latter. Delayed rimshots are SO much better.

                        2. re: rockandroller1

                          Me too. It's much more complimentory than the alternatives!

                      2. Can't answer the question. "Foodie" is a badge I'm more than happy to wear and it is always how I would describe myself.

                        To the OP, just ignore those who would wish to denigrate how you might describe yourself - it is a problem for them, not for you.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Harters

                          Harters, I love how you put that. I really do.

                        2. I personally love these definitions on urbandictionary:

                          " A dumbed-down term used by corporate marketing forces to infantilize and increase consumerism in an increasingly simple-minded American magazine reading audience. The addition of the long "e" sound on the end of a common word is used to create the sensation of being part of a group in isolationist urban society, while also feminizing the term to subconsciously foster submission to ever-present market sources.

                          Though the terms "gastronome" and "epicure" define the same thing, i.e. a person who enjoys food for pleasure, these words are perceived by the modern American consumer as elitist due to their latin root forms and polysyllabic pronunciations. "

                          and this one

                          "Either a 27 year old woman with a boob job, or a gay man with a great job. Both claim to have many friends that are also foodies. They see Rachael Ray have foodgasms and expect the same from Burger King.

                          They spend too much money trying to emulate food celebrities they see on Bravo, and do ridiculous activities like going out in a party of 10 to a Kobe beef tasting.

                          Essentially, if you call yourself a "foodie", you aren't one; or you aren't what you think it means. A firefighter would not walk up to a burning building, criticize the flames, and proclaim that he and his coworkers are firefighters."


                          "A politically correct term for a fat person."

                          23 Replies
                          1. re: K K

                            Essentially, if you call yourself a "foodie", you aren't one.....


                            So true.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              "So true"

                              Or not.

                              But then I could hardly give a shit about other people's view of me.

                              1. re: Harters

                                What other people think of me is none of my business.

                                But if I hear someone call themselves a "foodie" I'm way more likely to tune them out. It's just a knee-jerk reaction.

                                1. re: Frosty Melon

                                  "What other people think of me is none of my business."

                                  Love that, can I use it?

                                  1. re: Quine

                                    Absolutely. It's helped clear my mind on many occasions.

                                    1. re: Frosty Melon

                                      TY, just became my Facebook status!

                                2. re: Harters

                                  Jane Austin user the term epicurean in a perjorative way in her novel "Emma" FWIW so the idea of excessive attention to food being portrayed negativly has a long and distiguished history. Epicure seems to be a loaded term already. Gastronome gets the same taint by virtue of be a "french" term so by association it's percieved as somehow snobbish. Foodie seems patronizing and infantile. I like chow-hound as it's a combination of two very pedestrian terms, chow and hound to form something which means seeking eats that are altogether neither pedestrian nor elitist. I'll consider all food no matter how extravagant or humble as long as it is done really, really well.

                                  1. re: aggiecat

                                    I find "foodie" a fine term, with a suggestion of a smile behind it. It does not seem infantile or patronizing to me. <Shrug> Obviously YMMV.

                                    Not all people who enjoy good food or fine food are also participants on this forum (Gasp! How Could That Be!! But, I think it is very true) so "chowhound" is not an inclusive term and in fact would be likely to have no meaning to those who do not participate here.

                                    1. re: huiray

                                      The term chowhound to the general populace (US at least) implies someone who is a hearty eater - the "just don't call me late to dinner" boy or girl. People who post here may think that it is a synonym for foodie or goumet, but it isn't.

                                      From my little dictionary ap: Chowhound: 1. a person who eats food in large quantities or with great gusto; glutton.

                                      1. re: 512window

                                        I admit to calling myself a chowhound or hound here, and sometimes I call myself a foodie if I think it will explain me better to people who don't "go there" or know about food on a higher plane.

                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                          I never use a term for myself here, food-wise, unless I say things like "That's how us ChowHounds roll."

                                          People I know who talk on the same level food-wise, we also do not use a label, we too much else to talk about than to do that.

                                          Times when I forget who I am speaking to and offer up what I think is a simple explanation and get the "gazed over" look ; I quickly go blonde, giggle and say "Oh I am such a foodie."
                                          If a person I admire for their cooking knowledge and skills, called me a foodie, I would deflated.
                                          If a person I admire or respect but was not food centric called me a foodie, I would feel good.
                                          Anything else. well what other people think about me is none of my business.

                                    2. re: aggiecat

                                      Reminds me of something I saw in Mad Magazine decades ago--

                                      You call yourself an "epicure"
                                      A term you really dig
                                      How nice you've found a better word
                                      It's got more class than "pig"

                                  2. re: fourunder

                                    I completely and totally agree. It's usually those with the palates I least trust who define themselves as such.

                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                      Again, so true . I do not profess to have better tastes than anyone and I know there are many who have much more knowledge than I on a broad range of topics discussed here on this site. People who think they have better tastes and know more than someone else...... I just cannot take seriously.

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        There are various definitions of "foodie" (Yes, there are) ranging from neutral/positive to derogatory. Perhaps it depends on one's CHOICE of what definition to hew to, or one's particular experiences that were memorably negative.

                                        Note that the definitions posted by KK in his post above ( are but the 4th and 5th ranked definitions in Urban Dictionary and at first blush seem to be his selective view on the topic. The 1st through 3rd definitions which he disregarded/did not mention are positive/neutral.

                                        It would seem that you and some others share in the viewpoints and particular experiences of most of the Yelpers on this link?

                                        I myself simply don't automatically consider that someone who talks about being a 'foodie' MUST be one who sniffily considers himself or herself as having superior tastes or a superior palate than other people let alone everyone else. However, if this person IS one who blathers on in the sense the Yelpers describe then for me he/she simply falls into a SUBSET of "foodies" who blather. That's all.

                                        I would consider a person who says simply that he or she is a foodie (so long as he/she does not go on and on about it) to be one who enjoys nice food and is interested about what goes into it, both in a good sense. It's a fairly innocuous term to me by itself and I would suscribe to the positive definitions of the term as given in those many dictionary entries linked to in that Google search.

                                        1. re: huiray

                                          Your outlook and explanations are valid definitions and possible descriptions.....but my comments reflect and concentrate on the negative connotation and aspect posed by the OP's query.

                                          1. re: fourunder

                                            When I hear someone refer to himself as a "foodie", all I can think about are posters on Yelp giving critical reviews of the Olive Garden.

                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                              Yeah, I would likely be critical of the Olive Garden.

                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                  I grew up in a house built amidst olive trees. We called it an "orchard" -- the "garden" was where the tomatoes were. That's why Olive Garden sounds to stupid to me, for starters.

                                  3. re: K K

                                    Love those!!!

                                    Urban can be so much fun at times!