Food has never been trendier or more talked about. From the very words ‘food porn’ to Instagramming your own creations, exploring hole-in-the-wall joints to trying exotic cuisines, we think we’ve seen it all. Or have we? Here are some food trends we think are going to shine in 2018.
Trend #1 – Mindfulness
What is mindfulness? And how does it figure in your food habits? Simply put, mindfulness is understanding what the company’s values are, and actually looking at the label at the back to make sure they’re actually selling what they are claiming to. Is that millet muesli with its superior health benefits really good for you? Flip it over and you may find that millets make up less than 4% of the entire cereal, and it is only one kind of millet. The rest is sugar.
Trend #2 – A salad with every meal
Think you’re healthy if you eat your rotis, veggies, and dal?. This year is all about adding a salad to every meal you eat. Whether it is an Indian style kachumber or an Italian fresh mozzarella salad with raw tomatoes and basil, make sure you’ve got a salad course with every meal. You need that vitamin B and C boost to stay healthy and fight that flu everyone in office has caught. Try some for breakfast – quarter a tomato, drizzle a little olive oil, and sprinkle a little Himalayan pink salt on it. Simple!
Trend #3 – Immunity Boosters
Caught a bug because you didn’t eat a salad with every meal? Tsk tsk. Well, along with your antibiotics, get some probiotics to fight the side effects of the nuclear option you’re swallowing every 6 hours. Try naturally fermented foods like curd, steamed rice cakes or our latest beloved probiotic – Milk Kefir. Kefir, pronounced kay-feehr, is a collection of yeasts, over 20 different kinds of lactobacillus and polysaccharides, that look like little cauliflower florets. Just plonk a few kefir grains in your mindfully sourced warm whole milk and allow it to ferment for 10 hours. The result is a creamy, bubbly, slightly sour milk that is chock full of probiotics – guaranteed to keep your gut in good bacteria for years to come. Raw honey sourced from local beekeepers also really helps with allergies, as they’re full of pollen grains that help keep allergies at bay. Avoid the mass produced store-bought stuff – it’s pasteurised and glorified sugar syrup.
Trend #4 – Cook your roots
Grandma and Ma knew how to make the most out of the least. ‘Cheap food’ can also be delicious when cooked well. A tough cut of meat was slow cooked overnight with grains and spices to give a velvety fall-off-the-bone stew. Greens were either grown or foraged and lovingly seasoned. Find out what’s locally grown to see what you can and cannot eat. Traditional recipes didn’t just revolve around locally grown food, but around what season it was. Take mangoes for example. In mango season, it is perfectly acceptable to eat mangoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let no one tell you otherwise. Juicy, fragrant, gold mangoes only last 60 days a year. You’ve another 305 to balance out your indulgence.
Trend #5 – Stick to your guns
The latest diet doing the rounds is the Ketogenic diet. Think of your body as an engine and carbohydrate as your body’s fuel. The keto diet forces your body to change the fuel to ketones aka fat. The good news is that you’ll lose the fat. The bad news is that it is super difficult to stay steady on the course. And expensive! No matter what diet you choose to follow, sit down at the table and plan your week. Follow this mantra – Cook once, eat twice – and use your weekends to stock up your refrigerator and freezer. Great things to prep over the weekend are cut veggies (not onions), homemade veggie or meat stock, and one large roast chicken.
Trend #6 – Grow your own damn food
No one is going to blame you for not growing your own potatoes. Why waste a sunny spot though? Grab a jar or a broken mug, sling some mud (and your cheap coffee/tea grounds, eggshells and whatnot) into it and grow something. A little clove of garlic buried in there will give you some stunningly fresh, aromatic chives for your breakfast omelette, a little onion will give you a different flavoured chive. Don’t throw your spring onion butts out, stick them in a jar of water and you’ll have green onions for weeks. Mint is super easy too, just take a few stems that you’ve stripped and stick them in your planter – et voila, fresh mint with your chai every day.
Trend #7 – Get bugged
Did you know that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that we’ll have 9 billion people to feed by 2050? There’s not enough land, grain, or livestock to feed that many. But there are enough bugs. Insects are slated to become the next big source of sustainable, organic nutrition, and we hear they taste a little bit like chicken. Full of protein and good omega fatty acids, insects like crickets and grasshoppers are already a staple in South East Asian cuisines and provide more nutrition than most livestock. World Entomophagy founder Harman Singh Joshi effectively built, ran and eventually sold a company that grows insects for food at 25. That should tell you how trendy edible insects are becoming.
Trend #8 – Give a little
You’re grateful for that energy bar in the middle of the day, you’re super grateful for that cool, long draught of water when you sit down parched. Everyone should be so lucky, and you can be that angel of luck sometimes. Grab an extra bar or an extra bottle of water on your way out, and when getting into a cab. Cabbies work their tushies off and often miss meals or don’t hydrate enough because they’re on the road, getting your tush where it needs to go. Go on, and make his day. Give him that extra bar or that extra bottle of cool water. Instant karma.
2018 is going to be a year to look forward to. Awareness and mindfulness about what you eat and where it comes from is gaining momentum. Communities are learning about local businesses; people are leaving high paying corporate jobs to grow food for their families, their communities and the ones they love.
It looks like love is food and food is love and both are making some serious money. Pay a little extra attention and a little extra money to support your local food business, especially if they care deeply about the food, packaging, and the impact both have on the environment.
It’s worth it.
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