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The Young Foodie Culture: When did young people start spending 25% of their paychecks on pickled lamb tongues?


I just read this article and thought it was very interesting. Any opinions?

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  1. I think having more and more young people who are passionately omnivorous, and willing to spend their money to explore and experience , can only be a good thing for those of us who like to eat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Riska

      I agree--CH come in all ages. Why distinguish who can and can't appreciate good food? I'd much rather my kids (when they get older) spend money on good food than a pair of Manolos.

    2. I think it's hype. My younger acquaintances tend to be rather picky eaters, or at least health conscious to the point of abstinence. Most serious foodies that I know are in their 30s-50s.

      That said, the whole Facebook subculture mandates lots of food photos and restaurant namedropping among the 20 somethings.

      1. Perhaps it's more common now, but it doesn't seem very foriegn. Less than twenty years ago I was that age. When I got my first "real" job, I was probably spending considerably more on dining out than rent and clothing combined. And, the current NY restaurant scene is a hell of a lot better than Baltimore and Philly in those days. But, make no mistake, if I had to choose between a student loan payment and a Le Bec Fin reservation, Aunt Salie lost out.

        1. If my four grown children are any indication of food trending and food culture spending they would tell you that food is as much an "event" as fashion, art, music, theater is. They spend the money and very often pool their dollars to attend food events (like the Chocolate show in NYC comes to mind). Wouldn't you agree that people in general treat food and eating out with the same sheer glee as previews of a new theater production, opening night of an art exhibit, attending a live concerts? I do. Food is conversation and a good deal more interesting than when I was a 20 year old.

          3 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            i totally agree with the event status about food. i find myself way more willing to spend 50 bucks for what i think will be a memorable meal than to see a meh concert or something. especially because, at dinner with friends, you can hold conversations and enjoy their company, whereas at a concert or movie you cant. i can also enjoy it later by trying to replicate it at home, or use it as influence for my own cooking, something i could never do with a movie, art exhibit, or concert

            1. re: mattstolz

              Sadly, that's as much a comment on the state of music as it is the state of food.

              1. re: mattstolz

                As twenty something foodie I agree there. I'd rather spring for quality booze and food then go to a club or something. I can make many things at home and what I can't like going out to get.

            2. after reading the whole article i have to say though:

              this article makes it seem like all 20-something foodies are very... "hipster" about their pursuit of food, fitting in by trying not to fit in, or being a foodie while trying not to designate themselves as foodies. i can say from my experience that 1) most 20 somethings still have no idea about good food and 2) those that do, are far more willing to embrace their "foodie" tag than try to run from it, as she does

              6 Replies
              1. re: mattstolz

                Funny when I read the article I attributed the tone more to the writer than the subject matter. There's truth in what is written but our mileage will vary reflective of where you hail from, what your access to food culture is and how deep your food passion goes. But I do believe now more than ever food is an event and young people make up a decent portion of the target audience for food culture and spending.

                1. re: mattstolz

                  Plus I know a hand full of food interns in their 20's and if you were a fly on the wall during lunch, hearing the conversation, you would definately think "hey, these kids are paying attention."

                  1. re: HillJ

                    There is much easier access to food information now and for the last 20 years. The Food Network alone has been around for almost as long as people under 30 have been allowed to watch television unsupervised. That's a lot easier than reading a James Beard book you found in an Aunt's kitchen.

                    I'm curious though, HillJ, as we are roughly contemporaries, did you not have a similar passion at the same age? I suppose I would have assumed most 'hounds, or at least most of those who have stuck with the site for a substantial period of time, were just as food geeky/fascinated at 20 as 40.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      No my passion at 20 was fully loaded in the art and entertainment biz, MGZ. Food arrived on that scene though and in my 30's my focus began to change. However, I've always been a great, adventure eater; had family & friends in the restaurant/artisnal biz/markets and learned solid home cooking through my loving great grandparents. I'm in my 4th career (one with each child!) and food has been a full time part of my passion and professional life since 1984.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        1984 - Nice. Reminds me that in those days my primary food obsession was trying to figure out how to sneak off the RBC parking lot to grab lunch someplace on Monmouth Street.

                        Maybe we need a spinoff thread - "Fellow Food Geeks, How Long Have You Suffered With Your Affliction?"

                2. I'm about 10 years older and I don't find it that different from what friends and I were like in our twenties. I also hear from parents of older teens / young 20s that a lot young people are taking an interest in the Food Network and actually translating that into great meals for the family. It's all good and when I see people on here worrying about the next generation only eating junk and not being able to cook I cannot relate at all... it is just not a worry I have looking around at the young people I know (albeit living in a big, multicultural city).

                  1. I think that food (along with the smartphone, ipad, etc) has become part of the genius of our time. More of us have access to outstanding inventive food (and beer) now than we have maybe ever. We also have more information today about ingredients and where our food has been sourced. Younger people have the time and disposable income to take advantage of this.

                    Food is as exciting and different today as music was in the 1960s.

                    1. When did I start spending 25% of my income on a food experience? 1975 in Bergen, Norway. It was a formal smorgasbord in a fancy hotel. The only time I used the coat and tie I had schlepped around Europe for 6 weeks. I was 20 years old at the time. And I was indulging in pickled reindeer tongue, as well as a host of other Norwegian delights.

                      My buddy engaged in herring and shrimp along the docks. We argued for a week over which had the better time.

                      1. I'm nearly out of my twenties, but I would put myself firmly into the 'good food is worth a premium' camp.

                        However, whereas the folks in this article seem to spend their money pursuing restaurants, I mostly spend it on good food to prepare myself and eat at home - though I do live in Ohio, so restaurant options are limited. And while I do want to purchase and prepare good food, I definitely don't have a careless attitude about it - I shop sales and the discount groceries when I can.

                        I know this is different than most folks, but the real turning point for me on changing my spending habits, and being willing to spend more money on food was adult-onset food allergies. My theory is that I'm so limited in what I can eat without, you know, dying, that I'm totally worth making sure that what goes into my mouth is delicious.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jw615

                          According to the FDA, restaurants are a gateway drug.

                        2. does anyone else find it kind of ironic that we're discussing why young people are willing to spend a premium about food?


                          on a website about food?

                          that is probably the cause of many-a-20-something spending a premium on food?

                          and asking ourselves what the reason is a 20 something is willing to spend a premium on food?