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Food Trends for 2008: Part 1
Are you wondering what to expect for this year in the world of food? I have lots of predictions (some are my own and some are from other experts). I have so many that I am dividing this into two posts. Make sure you check back tomorrow for the rest of the predictions!
With more and more emphasis and concern on the environment, food trends are going green and getting back to basics, too. Food companies are making huge changes in manufacturing practices and packaging to try to reduce their carbon footprint.
Bottled water is going to be one of the first casualties. Not only are we putting a ton of plastic into our landfills (not everyone recycles), but there is an environmental impact of shipping all of these crates of water all over the globe. Tap water is bad in, and some experts think you will see flavored tap waters at restaurants (they add some flavoring before bringing it to the table).
Organic is a trend that has been growing for a few years and has no signs of slowing down. We are going to see more and more locally grown produce and things like farm fresh eggs. People want to know where ingredients and foods are coming from, hoping they are from local sources. Farmer's markets are on the rise in towns big and small.
Vegetarian and vegan diets have also been rising in popularity (really for the past 30 years), but with new books like the Skinny B---ch Diet advocating vegan diets, more and more young women are adhering to the vegan diet trend. Flexitarians, people who are vegetarian most often but occasionally eat meat, are also on the rise. People are looking for more and more dishes sans meat.
Whole grains have also been on the rise, but we are going to see even more variety of whole grains, not just whole grain varieties of the same products. For example, experts predict that we will see quinoa (I love quinoa, pronounced, keen-wah), amaranth, teff, kamut, and millet. These grains have been around for many years, lurking in health foods stores, but now we will see them more mainstream.
Gluten-free is also gaining in popularity, mainly because of the increased incidence of celiac disease. The whole grains mentioned above will take the place of wheat and barley to match the demand for more gluten free options.
Artificial is out and authentic is in. We are going to see more "junk-free" foods, meaning foods without additives, preservatives, colors, flavors, or other unfamiliar ingredients. Some are calling it clean living. Everything you eat has ingredients you can find and pronounce.
Tune in for Food Trends for 2008 Part 2, specifically what you might see in restaurants and grocery stores.
Photo of farmer's market in Hilo, Hawaii courtesy of syntheticperture