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By Maureen Beebe
2018 promises to be a year of new food trends to improve your health, satisfy your pallet all while promoting sustainability. Food trends are often fleeting but these may just be here to stay because of the impact they have on our health and the health of the world around us.
There continues to be a growing interest in the plant-based foods and their benefits for an improved health. Plant-based protein alternatives continue to increase in popularity as they are known to reduce risk of heart disease especially when compared to their red meat alternatives. Vegetables take center stage in this phenomenon and plant based proteins such as quinoa, chickpeas, and lentils are the stars of dishes in this food trend. Look for the presence of this food trend in restaurants as well as on grocery shelves.
The food industry is taking note of the developing research linking a healthy gut to improved memory, mental health and a decrease in certain cancers. To provide options that many consumers are searching for, fermented products such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso are making their appearance on menus. Cultured foods like kiefer and yogurt have been popular for some time now but dishes rich in prebiotics like chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, and dandelion greens are increasing in popularity.
Encourage your student to look into courses in the Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality department to learn more about how food impacts their health.
Low-intensity, gut-friendly menu items are all the rage as we see more of a focus on improving digestion. Foods incorporating probiotics, prebiotics and anti-inflammatory ingredients will continue to make themselves known on menu items and on grocery store shelves.
The plant-based phenomenon and gut-friendly focus has left us looking for more variety in our diets and ways to incorporate new food options to promote good health. There is no better way than adding dishes from different cultures who have been using food as medicine for hundreds of years. Extreme flavors coming from different regions of the world promise to spark our interest, many of these seasonings used have also been known for their ability to reduce risk of disease.
The trend for sustainability has moved it’s focus from use of recyclable products and has expanded to a “root-to-stem” and “nose-to-tail” approach. This trend is likely to be seen in meat and produce departments and will influence the development of new menu items using new ingredients not typically incorporated in dishes. This trend will not only reduce food waste but will also drive interest and allow for the creation of new products.
As we continue to see changes in food trends in the food industry, these changes will impact the way we cook at home and the foods available to us. Educating ourselves is important for our health and the health of our environment. Encourage your student to invest in this education by looking into courses in the Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality department to learn more about how food impacts their health.