Friday, July 15, 2011

Food and Foodie

They say you are what you eat. So who and what are you? In the quest to heal, create balance, and achieve higher awareness, people study nutrition for fun, as a career, and to become heathy in body, mind, and spirit. Eating styles reflect and affect who and what we are. They identify our approach to life.

Everywhere you look people are talking about food - from healthy eating to food preparation and more. Over at the Food Channel, where my daughter Nikki works in sales, food is big business - surpassing Reality Shows. In the quest to be healthy, people want to eat right for their body, age, blood type, weight, height, to help overcome emotional and physical problems - too look good is to feel good - and more. If you love whipping up healthy recipes and experiencing new ways to enjoy fresh and tasty foods, you are part of this growing food movement.

Are you a Foodie? The dictionary defines a foodie as "someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food." In previous decades, words like "epicure" or "gourmet" were used to apply to the same type of person. The words are out of favor now, and bring to mind stodgy, snobbish people who are only willing to consider a restaurant that has truffled pate on the menu. This is because good food was hard to get and expensive in years, decades and centuries past. People didn't have the resources to buy virtually anything they could want and often wouldn't have the means to cook it. Now, both times and terms have changed. Anyone can be a foodie.
People who call themselves foodies represent a move away from TV dinners, fast food, and processed foods. The foodie movement's emphasis on fresh ingredients, preparation, and experimentation is a move toward healthier cooking and healthier foods.

To be a foodie is not only to like food, but to be interested in it. Just as a good student will have a thirst for knowledge, a foodie wants to learn about food. A foodie will never answer the question "What are you eating" with "I don't know." There are some basic traits of being a foodie, as there are basic traits that come with all labels. Generally, you have to know what you like, why you like it, recognize why some foods are better than others and want to have good tasting food all or certainly most of the time. This doesn't mean that you can't eat flaming hot Cheetos every now and again, but it does mean that you don't fool yourself into thinking that it's a nutritionally balanced meal. Do you have to know the difference between a beefsteak tomato and an heirloom tomato? No, but you might be interested to find out what it is. Do you have to only shop at farmer's markets? No, but you still look for good, fresh produce. Are there some foods you just don't like or weird foods you like? That's ok - it doesn't make you any less of a foodie. Just like food, learn about food and, most importantly, eat food.

Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. The word was coined in 1981 by Paul Levy and Ann Barr, who used it in the title of their 1984 book The Official Foodie Handbook. Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food.

Foodies are a distinct hobbyist group. Typical foodie interests and activities include the food industry, wineries and wine tasting, breweries and beer sampling, food science, following restaurant openings and closings and occasionally reopenings, food distribution, food fads, health and nutrition, cooking classes, culinary tourism, and restaurant management. A foodie might develop a particular interest in a specific item, such as the best egg cream or burrito. Many publications have food columns that cater to foodies.

Interest by foodies in the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to the Food Network and other specialized food programming, popular films and television shows about food such as Top Chef and Iron Chef, a renaissance in specialized cookbooks, specialized periodicals such as Gourmet Magazine and Cook's Illustrated, growing popularity of farmers' markets, food-oriented websites like Zagat's and Yelp, publishing and reading food blogs (for reasons unknown, a number of people photograph and post on the Internet every meal they ever make or consume), specialized kitchenware stores like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, and the institution of the celebrity chef. There is also a growing market for culinary tourism, with tours led by operators such as Aspiring Adventures in Peru, and Zest Food Tours of New Zealand.

You Know You're a Foodie Society Member if.....

On the Flip Side

Whether it's food or drugs, addiction is the same, new study finds   MSNBC - July 15, 2011

One apparent food addict in a survey, stopped going out with friends or inviting them over. Her fridge was stocked with gallons of Coke, her home littered with boxes from the large pizzas she ordered, two at a time, several nights a week.

Friday Highlights

Fun and Entertainment

Do you have summer weekend plans ... perhaps just relaxing somewhere to unwind ... keeping cool ... and not thinking about the current crisis facing you and the world?

Elderly ignore heat warnings because they think they're not old   MSNBC - July 15, 2011

90 percent of those polled knew about heat warnings for the elderly, but only 15 percent took them personally.

There's lots going on here in the city, or perhaps a get-away to the mountains or shore. People will be out and about enjoying summer venues that include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ­ Part 2 which I mention earlier this week in a blog called Disappearing - July 2011.

Final 'Harry Potter' Premieres.


Crime and Craziness

Here in Brooklyn, as the investigation of the murder of Leibby Kletzky continues, a friend from the Hasidic community sent this email. "It's a terrible story!!! Everyone I talked to cried and cried. I sobbed. How innocent he was!!!

Casey Anthony will be released on Sunday as people speculate about what awaits her. I don't see her harmed - perhaps scared, but not seriously hurt. Google News Updates

Then we have the phone hacking and police bribery scandal that began last week and comes as no surprise to insiders ... It reads like a script.

News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks resigns amid tabloid phone-hacking scandal   MSNBC - July 15, 2011

Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief executive of News Corp.'s British newspaper unit on Friday, yielding to political and investor pressure over a phone hacking scandal undermining Rupert Murdoch's media empire on both sides of the Atlantic.

  Phone hacking: News International chief Brooks quits   BBC - July 15, 2011

Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, has resigned, the company has confirmed. Her departure follows days of increasing pressure to step down as the phone hacking crisis grew. In a statement, she said she felt a "deep responsibility for the people we have hurt". News Corporation is to take out national press adverts this weekend to apologize for what it described as "the wrongdoings at the News of the World".

Murdoch aide Brooks quits as head of UK newspapers   Reuters - July 15, 2011

Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief executive of News Corp's British newspaper unit on Friday, yielding to political and investor pressure over a phone hacking scandal undermining Rupert Murdoch's media empire on both sides of the Atlantic.


The Economy

The major story to follow is the debt talks. Finding a workable solution seems be in the consciousness of people across the country. I see people getting their government checks so some agreement will be settled upon in the 11th hour.

  Who will suffer if there's no debt-ceiling deal   AP - July 14, 2011

Are they bluffing? Or could Washington politicians really torpedo the economy by refusing to raise the nation's borrowing limit? Affected would be: Social Security recipients, Government employees, The unemployed, Investors, Borrowers, The government itself, Art lovers, beachgoers, and public TV viewers ...

Compromises found in Minnesota and Italy

Minnesota shutdown to end soon   CNN - July 15, 2011

Democratic governor Mark Dayton and leaders of the Republican-controlled legislature have reached a deal that will close Minnesota's budget gap and end the state government's shutdown "within days."

Italy parliament prepares to pass austerity package   Reuters - July 15, 2011

The Italian parliament is set to approve on Friday a 48 billion euro austerity package aimed at averting a full scale financial crisis but there were growing questions about the government's capacity for further reforms.


Full Moon Energies and Earth Changes

Indonesian volcano Mount Lokon erupts; thousands flee   AP - July 15, 2011

Thousands of residents were evacuated after a volcano in central Indonesia erupted, spewing towering clouds of hot ash and debris sending red-hot lava cascading down its slopes. One woman died of a heart attack in the chaos. Mount Lokon - rumbling and on high alert for nearly a week - unleashed three powerful blasts late Thursday and early Friday shaking those living along the mountainside from their sleeps.