So, you are wondering if your favorite pastime of eating can count as a hobby?
Perhaps you need to give an explanation for why that last bag of Cheetos has disappeared or are looking to garnish your resume.
Either way, the act of putting food into your body by chewing and swallowing it is a recreation that many people unashamedly enjoy.
To know if eating qualifies as a hobby, we must first define what a hobby is.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hobby is:
“a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation”
Eating is certainly an enjoyable activity and for most people and cultures across the world, food invokes memories, seals covenants, and punctuates celebrations.
In many ways, it could be perceived as a hobby as so many people do it as their expression of leisure and recreation. It also can lie outside the necessities of life like work and rest.
Consumption of food is necessary for life and for many people in both developed and developing countries it is a struggle to achieve more than basic nutrition for a day. Eating is not superfluous and is an essential part of the daily routine.
Where we are able, we eat to provide the nourishment necessary for optimum health and the energy to fuel our physical activity for the day.
If we eat in excess of our metabolic demands, weight gain, and health problems like obesity and diabetes ensue.
A diet based purely on the enjoyment of food is also likely to be deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.
If you are still feeling assured of your foodie status and enjoy trying new recipes and tasting foreign cuisines, perhaps you need to formalize the relationship with your recreational adventures with food by pursuing a hobby that has food at its center.
There are so many food-related hobbies that will prove an interesting and delicious way of building on your love of chowing down.
By thinking a little about what it is you love about eating we are sure you can pinpoint a hobby that will hone and develop your passion for food.
Here are some helpful suggestions for the eating enthusiast:
If you have an especially discerning palate and appreciate the taste and texture o different foods you may enjoy the pursuit of taste testing.
Professional food taste testers are individuals who are usually either food scientists or those who have received culinary training. Their job is to identify the different tastes and flavors in foods and ensure they conform to commercial standards.
For the amateur enthusiast, this hobby is all about curating and journaling your experiences with different foods and flavors by describing your experiences.
You may want to pursue a sensory evaluation training course online or at your local catering college.
Pursuing a cookery hobby is all about refining your existing cooking skills and building a repertoire of well-executed recipes.
Beyond tucking into a hot plate of food you will be exploring the techniques used in the world's leading cookery styles and disciplines as well as collecting utensils and ingredients which will add extra refinement and dimension to your food.
Develop this hobby with cookery masterclasses, cookbooks and lots of tasty experimentation in the kitchen.
Earn your eating hobby stripes by putting in the hard work to grow or raise what you eat. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are homegrown are more nutritious and always taste better than store-bought!
You don't even need a backyard to get started. Get created with container gardening to grow herbs, salads and even vine plants like tomatoes or aubergines.
Alternatively, connoisseurs of fine meats and game can get out there and hunt their supper.
Like this Texan blogger who had an unexpected encounter with a dead dove, a love of gamey dishes may necessitate getting on the camo gear and hitting the field or forest for a tasty meal.
Depending on your location you can hunt wild boar, deer, duck and turkey. If you are a good shot your freezer will be filled for months!
Even if you cannot hop on a plane you can enjoy the world on your plate by making world cuisine a thriving interest.
Every continent and nation has its own flavours and beloved dishes, from West African Jollof, to Middle Eastern Hummus, to hearty Korean Kimchi Stew, or meaty South African Braai.
Not only can you visit restaurants that serve these cuisines or try a course to learn more, you can also collect cookbooks, ingredients and cooking utensils so you can eat like a native at home.
Perhaps your culinary explorations can develop into a blog, podcast or trip to your favourite culinary capital.
If you love to eat, you may as well make sure that you put the right foods into your body!
Studying nutrition is definitely a great pastime for those who would appreciate a greater understanding of how our health and our bodies are affected by what we eat.
There are many different food movements you may have encountered such as paleo, raw or organic foods and veganism. At the heart of most of them is a desire to make better informed choices about food.
Nutrition is a fascinating field and we are sure that one you start to explore the health benefits of eating the right foods you will feel empowered to eat well and share healthful alternatives with those around you.
Right now in your community it is likely that some households are finding it a challenge to put food on the table.
Give back by sharing your culinary skills by serving food to the needy in a soup kitchen, shelter or food bank.
Your efforts to provide food and meals to others may make all the difference to young families, the unemployed, sick and elderly and there is nothing more satisfying than sharing what you have.
If you ask us, eating is just the beginning of some amazing hobbies that will not only enrich you but others too.
By building a thriving hobby around your interest in and enjoyment of food you can develop not only culturally and socially but really make a difference too.
So toss aside that bag of Cheetos, you've got better things to do!