What does the new year hold for those of us foodies, localvores and wicked good eaters? After surfing the clouds, reading magazines and studying consumers, these are my predictions for the food trends that seem likely to be on our plates for 2014.
- SLO: Sustainable, local, organic. Locally sourced meat and sustainably harvested seafood and locally grown, organic produce. Food produced with environmentally sustainable practices. Hyper-local food, like food grown in school greenhouses, or restaurant gardens.
- The term also includes environmentally sustainable packaging that is reusable (like glass jars) and recyclable or compostable. Less plastic too. Foods in season for your region and foods that support local farmers and fishermen, and keep money and jobs in your community.
- Fruits and veggies! Folks are recognizing that the key to health is in what you eat, and as your mother said, be sure to eat your fruits and veggies! Just like a high-performance car needs a high-grade gasoline, your body needs a colorful and wide variety of fruits and vegetables, at least five servings a day.
For best results, go with nine servings, and include at least one from each of the four food-color groups: green, red, orange-yellow and blue.
- Healthier meals for kids. Skip the chicken fingers and fries. Better yet, skip the meals “designed” by food manufacturers for kids. Scientific research shows that it may take the human palate more than 20 times to develop a taste for certain foods. Don’t limit children’s opportunities. Allow them to experience the exciting adventures of eating new foods.
- New grains. Go beyond white bread and pasta. Explore the wonderful world of quinoa, corn, oats, rice and buckwheat.
- Upscale comfort food. Better quality pizza. Biscuits. Think mac and cheese with local goat cheese and lobster, pot pies made with Rose Gold mashed potatoes and heritage breed chicken, pizza with roasted roots and artisan sausage, free-range, local eggs on a breakfast sandwich made with biscuits.
All this talk of food makes me ready to start eating! Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!