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Pictured Left: Not a Foodie

​I’ve got nothing against vegetarians (well, most of them anyway), but on an episode of the most recent season of Top Chef, Natalie Portman guest-judged and went out of her way to talk about how she was a big foodie, loved food and was an adventurous eater. There was, of course, one catch: she’s a vegetarian. That episode inspired me to write this, which I tried turning into a list, but it only would have turned out something like this:

Top One Reasons Why Vegetarians Aren’t “Foodies”

1. Because they’re vegetarians

That’s really the only reason. I’m sorry, I find it hard to believe that someone who removes virtually the entire food chain from her diet can truly call herself a “foodie”. How can you be an adventurous eater if you won’t even eat a hamburger? Boasting that you’ve tried “at least a dozen” different types of lettuce doesn’t have quite the same panache as saying you’ve eaten haggis or fugu.

That’s not to say that you’re not allowed to enjoy food if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan. Maybe you can “love food” if you’re a vegetarian, but you clearly don’t love it that much because you’re cutting out beautifully marbled steaks, succulent pork belly, butter poached prawns and the entire animal kingdom out of your diet. Can you really “love” eggplant? I mean, really?

Eat as much tofu, romanesco, and sea beans as you want, but that won’t make you an adventurous eater. An adventurous eater is someone who eats what you eat plus raw fish, offal and a protein that’s been cooked in its own fat. That’s a true “foodie” who can actually measure adventure by what’s piled atop their plate.

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