Happy New Year!
2013 was an interesting year in the world of food. What will happen this year? After scouring the internet for others' predictions, I decided to take my guesses as well. Here is what I think will be hot in 2014:
1. Local food
The local food movement will continue to spread and strengthen. Even Meijer and Aldi have begun to post signs indicating which produce is "grown locally". So look out for more efforts by grocery stores and restaurants alike to provide local produce and meat.
2. Eating flexitarian
Whether it is because of budget, health or interest, many more Americans are embracing the idea of Meatless Monday, etc. Flexitarians are individuals who eat meat some of the time and non-meat entrees the rest of the time. Closer to vegetarians than vegans, flexitarians are more...well...flexible. With almost every restaurant now offering at leat one vegetarian option, I think more people will try going meatless at least some of the time.
According to Forbes, Gluten-free cuisine was a top-five trend identified in the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2014" survey. This trend has been going strong for many years and it isn't going anywhere soon. I'm hoping to see better pasta options this year. I just wish the processed gluten-free items would disappear. Very little good nutrition to speak of.
4. Backyard gardens
Along with the increase of organic and local, there is a growing interest in returning to fruit and vegetable gardening in your own backyard. My husband and I are actually looking forward to planting our own garden this year since it will be our first summer at our new home.
Of course the trends can't all be good. Unfortunately I think the rage of the store-bought smoothie will continue. Why don't I like these? Many smoothies are packed with high amounts of sugar and little protein and fiber. Stick to the real fruit instead or choose smoothies made with milk or Greek yogurt to avoid shocking your system with too much sugar.
Picture source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danmoyle/