Defining the modern foodie movement

There’s no one way to be a foodie

Food is a source of nourishment, but it’s more than that. It evokes memories, provides comfort and offers outlets for creativity. The foodie movement isn’t singular, it means different things to different people. In short, there’s no right way to be a foodie. 

The term foodie was founded in a 1980 restaurant review in New York Magazine by writer Gael Greene. It began as a term to define food lovers with a refined palate, but it’s grown to encompass a wide range of meanings. 

Social media plays a big role in the evolution of foodie terminology. Platforms like Instagram are flooded with images of fine dining, home cooking, cake decorating and other photo-worthy food moments. This opens doors to the “every-person” to become an authority on food and get involved.  

What is a foodie in 2022?

Being a foodie means something different to everyone. For students, it might mean finding delicious food at student prices. Dal student, Kara Hawker, published “The Ultimate Student Guide to Eating and Drinking at Dalhousie University” on Spoon University in 2016 with this exact sentiment in mind. 

For the Dalhousie Gazette contributor, Josh Neufeldt, food-love equates to dumpling night with his Mom. More specifically, the comforting Szechuan noodle dish, Dan Dan Mian. (Which you can make yourself at home with help from Neufeldt’s recipe, find his article, “The love language of food,” on our website).

According to Daphne Ewing-Chow of Forbes, being a foodie is thinking critically about the food we eat, the ethics of food, and sustainability of food, while being intentional in what we eat. 

For me, being a foodie is being open to new things and making food an experience. This is harder than it sounds. 

My version of foodie life

I’m a picky eater. Okay, that’s putting it mildly. I don’t like a lot of common ingredients, including cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, and avocado. This means standard student fare like poutine, nachos and Caesar salad are off my shopping list.

My family comes from two small communities in Newfoundland called Placentia and Fox Harbour. We’re a fish, meat, and potatoes kind of people. It wasn’t until my adult years that I began trying foods you wouldn’t traditionally see at a scoff of Jigg’s dinner. 

I fell in love with Japanese cuisine first. Surprisingly, I wasn’t a sushi lover right away. It took me a few years and a lot of practice with chopsticks before I gave into the trendy bite sized meal. I am, however, a sucker for tempura vegetables, thick bouncy udon noodles, and yakisoba. 

For a long time, my favorite place for Japanese eats was Fujiyama restaurant on Blowers Street. Now, my go-to is Sushi Jet on South Park Street. 

When I met my husband, my scope of food broadened further. He’s from Vancouver, and one of his favorite things to do on a weekend afternoon was head to Chinatown . We don’t have a Chinatown here in Halifax, but we do have plenty of authentic Chinese cuisine, and I’m not ashamed to say, I’m obsessed. 

For baked goods, Kee Heong Cantonese Bakery & Dim Sum on Granville Street offers creamy egg tarts and pineapple buns, or Bo Lo Bao.

Red Asian Fusion Restaurant on South Park Street is a great authentic eatery for Thai, Malaysian and regional Chinese food. Order ahead for their BBQ duck, you won’t regret it. 

Whether by country or ingredient, learning to be open to new experiences in food has changed the way I eat. Does this make me a foodie? I think so. 

Being a foodie isn’t about how well your meal photographs for Instagram. It isn’t about how expensive the ingredients were to source. It’s about falling in love with food and finding new ways to explore food, creating memories with food and feeling good about the food we put into our bodies.

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