The term “foodie” is not a new one. It has its roots, and a couple of years ago it hit us hard. We try to forget about it, but it reveals its bizarre self in stints.
Some view it as a person who simply enjoys the preparation and presentation of food. Others are hobbyists, some who tried to quickly hop on a trend or others who associate food with art. Either way, it is all about food — and photos. I typically try to not look at any pictures of food; largely because I know my food will never resemble them. Not to mention, when I do find something that looks delicious, I save it. Then that link sits with the other 4,723 links, videos, memes, destinations and blogs that will never be reopened.
This is why one of the very few social media food communities I engage in is the “Foodie Fails” – the real people out there creating disastrous dishes, the ones who make a beautiful meal that the family won’t eat or those that are left with the most dubious looking pile of Dr. Seuss shloppity-shlop.
But the industry is changing. It isn’t just about pretty food anymore. It’s about where it comes from. We’ve seen a rise in the demand of locally-sourced food and requests for healthier choices. Then there is the surge in food trucks, hydroponics, organic farms and community gardens galore.
This is something I can get behind. Not all of the time, though. I still need a Zebra Cake after a long day.
I would definitely say I am a conscious consumer in most cases. I love to prepare real food when given the time. The times I do not check the ingredient label or stop by my local farmers market is because I need to save a little green that week (because yes, it costs more), or I think back to my 90s kid days where we ate from-the-boot-of-a-farmer chili paired with a cinnamon roll at school for lunch, and then came home to Planters Cheeze Balls.
Let’s be real. I don’t care how much of a nostalgic 90s kid you are, our food was bad. I mean, it was so good. But so, so bad.
Props to whoever got rid of Hi-C Ecto Cooler, Heinz EZ Squirt funky-colored ketchup and Billy Bear ham, but “damn you” to whoever assisted in the discontinuation of Rice Krispies Treats cereal. I will never forget the day I searched the aisles for that purple box of candy and it was nowhere to be found. I stood there for at least 10 minutes in total disbelief.
I don’t really know what kids these days eat, but we try to keep it clean at our house. Of course, there are bags of pizza rolls and an emergency box of Cheez-Its. But as it stands, my preschool aged children are going to live much longer than I.
I am incredibly thankful for the uptick in food quality, specifically here in southern Minnesota. Sorry guys, you’re a little late to the party. But you’re catching on quickly and it is marvelous to watch, which is why this issue is about food and everything happening in the southern Minnesota foodscape.
Across the region there are initiatives striving to connect people to local food, like the Feast! Local Foods Market Festival in Rochester that happens in December, Slow Money Minnesota, Minnesota Valley Action Council Food Hub, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Grow a Farmer Fund, schools and grocery stores connecting with local suppliers and so on.
Pay attention to it. It is truly a revolution, and you’ll want to be part of it.
By Autumn Van Ravenhorst