There are over 56 million pictures and stories on Instagram that have foodie as a hashtag. In a way, that’s 56 million meals, where people declared their love for food. However, we have to arbitrarily take a step back and think: is loving food really just about finding out what’s currently the trend, or trying to create one?
I myself like eating the best food out there, and buying from farmers’ markets, eating at up-and-coming restaurants as well as trying the supposed “best” of something are practices that I’ve dabbled in from time to time. It’s a great way to find new flavors, eating out with friends is a great social experience, and it is pleasurable to eat something that may not be found anywhere else. Being a foodie I believe is innate in all of us, however, I believe that the practice of being a foodie may be taken too out of context.
Not saying that eating is bad, since finding what satisfies us best is naturally what we’re designed for in the first place. We are built to sustain our existence, and eating is a process that has evolved from a survival instinct to an experience. We have become civilized enough to know that eating is not only required for our daily sustenance, but it’s become part of our culture, and having meals served with the proper preparation and ambience will allow us to gain pleasure from our culinary experiences.
The world of social media has only heightened this evolution, as eating very special meals that are not of the fast-food variety has become trendy and hip: you gain more social credibility when you discover the new best pizza on the scene, the latest restaurant that features organic, home-made tacos, or that hidden gem of a bar that serves the most innovative cocktails. These social activities have their place, but I propose to take a step back, and examine what being a true foodie should be.
In my line of work, emotional eating is a serious dilemma. Although these often occur at times of stress, emotional eating can be prevalent in normal circumstances. Indeed, social media can become a stressor itself, as it tends to lead to people-pleasing, and when we try to please others, we actually tend to eat more.
When people live to eat rather than eat to live, their poor eating habits create an unhealthy lifestyle that isn’t easily curbed by medicine or treatment. Most attribute eating as a passion, and call themselves foodies that like to try food for the sake of adventure and knowledge. They disregard the possibility that although they use this to connect socially through their escapades, it also leads to weight gain and obesity that cannot fully be recoverable from if their lifestyle choices are mainly to showcase their love of eating. Again, eating out and sharing your discoveries is fine, however, there are other ways to be a foodie that doesn’t risk your well-being.
I believe that to be a true foodie, you must love food second, and love your health first. Instead of looking for the trendiest meal now, or the most in-demand ingredient to add to your meal, may I suggest looking for the healthiest option that packs its own good flavor? There are a number of vegetables, fruits, types of meat and spices that will not only satisfy your taste buds, but also give the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and invigorate your need to be fit. There are superfoods that act as catalysts for your body to take a step towards health, and they can either be created in your own kitchen, or to practice being a real foodie, are available in shops and restaurants with enough research. Being healthy and fit is actually considered as a trend, so why not take advantage of restaurants that offer healthier alternatives?
I believe the best version of a foodie is someone who looks for the best meals and ingredients that would complement healthy living. Truthfully, to put this into action may be difficult, but one aspect of being a foodie knows what the best out there is. Perhaps with the proper knowledge and motivation, foodies will look for what’s best for their health.
– Dr. Cheryl Sarmiento