Foodiness™ 101

By Chef Erica Wides, host of Let’s Get Real: The Cooking Show About Finding, Preparing and Eating Food

Posted on | By Chef Erica Wides

What is Foodiness?

To define what foodiness is you have to start off by defining what foodiness™ comes from, which is food. 

In a nutshell foodiness™ can be defined as something edible that is presented as if it’s food, but which in fact isn’t completely and totally food – or at least the food it claims to be.

What is Food?

Food is anything edible that at one time walked, swam or flew, or that grew out of the ground, and has not been tampered with at all.

If it walked, swam, flew or grew out of the ground but has been altered in some way, or if it came straight out of a manufacturing plant, then it’s foodiness. So, for instance, a strawberry grown in a garden that has not been altered in any way is food.

A strawberry “fruit” bar made with strawberry “flavoring” meant to taste like strawberries but without any actual fruit in it is foodiness™ because it seems like food, it tastes like food, it’s treated as if it’s food, but it isn’t actually food.

Foodiness™ encompasses all the altered, manufactured or simulated food products that have almost completely taken the place of actual food on grocery store shelves, in our kitchens, in restaurants, and in our diets.

Why is it necessary to use a term like “foodiness™”? Because foodiness™ has highjacked the idea of what food is. Foodiness™ is presented – and accepted by most – as food. It’s a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers – it looks like food, it talks like food, but it’s actually an alien in a food look-alike body.

Over the last few decades, foodiness™ has slowly and insidiously come to define what food is. As a result actual food has had to take on modifiers to distinguish itself from foodiness™.

The best example is the term “whole food.” Unfortunately “whole food” doesn’t really make the distinction between food and foodiness™ clear enough. After all, if certain foods are “whole,” then other foods must be “broken.” This doesn’t really explain it.

This is why the term “real food” is used here: It more clearly calls out a distinction between real and fake, which is the real difference between food and foodiness™ after all.

The point of using the term “foodiness™” is to help to distinguish between food and everything else so we stop perceiving foodiness™ as food and start seeing it for what it really is, whatever that may be.

Article written by Chef Erica Wides
Host of Let's GetReal: The Cooking Show About Finding, Preparing and Eating Food