Foodies vs. Food Lovers – What’s the difference?
What is a foodie? What is a food lover? Is there even a difference between them?
In one word, “yes.” There are differences between foodies and food lovers even though these terms are sometimes thrown around interchangeably to describe people with a strong affinity to food.
The definition of a foodie is: “a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages. A foodie seeks new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.” Wikipedia. In other words, foodies are hobbyists who actively pursue new and specific foods for fun, not to simply fill their bellies.
On the other hand, food lovers are people who simply love food. “Food lover” is an all-encompassing term that includes food enthusiasts of all types, no matter what drives their interests.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan has made it clear that he is a food lover, but not a foodie: “[I’m] somebody who wants the closest best burger. I admire and I’m jealous of some foodies’ culinary escapades but I’ve got five kids and I do stand-up every night, so I’m not somebody that can go out to dinner and go on these foodie adventures. I mean, I would like to, but I don’t even get to go out to dinner as much as I’d like.” Thus, a foodie is a type of food lover, but a food lover may not necessarily be a foodie…just as a basketball player is a type of athlete, but an athlete may not necessarily be a basketball player.
Other related terms include: glutton, gastronome, gourmand, gourmet, bon vivant, and epicure. You can even find many of these as synonyms of each other in most thesauruses. However, they are not all exact substitutes. The easiest way to distinguish these fans of food is in their level of refined taste. So, here’s an image to help visualize these terms from the least (outside) to most (inside) discriminating eating enthusiasts:
Whatever you define yourself as: foodie, food lover, or something else…you certainly enjoy life through your taste buds, so treat yourself to some great food and, once in a while, maybe even something extra. 😉