Researching 'foodie' culture

A new book investigates the flourishing foodie culture and asks why we’re spending more time than ever discussing, celebrating and even photographing our food.

Food researcher Dr Isabelle de Solier from Victoria University’s Centre for Cultural Diversity & Wellbeing said while foodie culture has existed in other forms for generations its most recent incarnation in the digital age is unprecedented.

“Amateur food critics with blogs rating the newest trendy restaurant are growing in both number and influence to the point of challenging traditional food reviewers and forcing chefs to take them seriously,” Dr de Solier said.

“Yet bloggers are just one part of this massive foodie culture which involves people spending so much time watching food programs on TV, cooking, eating out and photographing their meals for Instagram.”

Her book Food and the Self: Consumption, Production and Material Culture is being launched  on Wednesday 23 October at 6pm in Readings Carlton by the University of Melbourne’s Professor Andy Dawson and Victoria University’s Professor Michele Grossman.

As well as discussing the phenomenon of TV cooking shows and celebrity chefs, the book delves into foodie subculture values like ethical consumption, DIY craft and the sourcing of quality ingredients.

“When foodie culture is derided as superficial and consumerist I think it is largely being misunderstood - the foodies themselves would mostly say it’s all about learning, doing and getting your hands dirty,” she said.

Food and the Self: Consumption, Production and Material Culture is published by Bloomsbury UK and is available at good book shops.

Dr Isabelle de Solieris a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Victoria University. She is the editor of Food Cultures, a special issue of Cultural Studies Review, and has published on food in the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Continuum, and the edited collection Exposing Lifestyle Television.

(Image for this story courtesy of Lauren at teenytinyturkey on Flickr)

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