Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 food trends?

I'm a little torn reading about the projected food trends for this bright, shiny new year.  More local food.  Great!  Burning vegetables, powdering their ash and calling it a condiment.  Weird.  Adding sea salt to french fries and calling it healthy.  Misleading.  New buzzwords like "snackify" and "drinkify."  Stupid. 

Don't we enter every year like this?  New predictions for what we'll all be seeing and wanting in the months ahead.  If the predictions are at least partially correct and we see an upswing in the demand for local, seasonal produce and meats, I'll be very happy.  I'll be happier still if it's not a "trend" but instead a very real shift in the way we eat.  We exist on a globe, but first and foremost we live in a community.  And there are wonderful, hard working people right here whom we can turn to for nourishment and quality.  Not to mention variety.  Have you seen the list of things Linda Crago of Tree and Twig has both in seeds and transplants?  The mind boggles at the vastness of her list of tomatoes alone.  And she is not the only one out there.  Farmstands dot the landscape across the peninsula, giving us all the opportunity to divert some of our money directly back into the community.  The rewards range from fresher produce for us to a boost to the local economy, to a reduced carbon footprint for those who are inclined to measure their impact on the planet in such a way.

And as with most predictions for each new year, there are the ones that make you roll your eyes and wonder how we ever got here.  The pendulum swings this year from artisinal cheeses and farmer's markets to the idea that adding sea salt to fries or whole wheat to a fast food pizza crust will add "healthiness" to the food.  Isn't that like ordering a diet cola with a greasy burger, or topping your double stuffed deep fried vaguely Mexican sounding meal with low-fat sour cream?  Can we really feel more virtuous because our pizza has an insignificant amount of fibre in each slice?  Aren't we missing the point of how to eat healthy in the first place?

And speaking of which, don't even get me started on Pepsi, and their dollar sign driven desire to dupe people into believing that they are giving kids a healthy alternative to sugar loaded juice by offering sugar loaded juice with fruit pulp.  Um, what?  Yep, apparently Pepsi believes that their "Tropolis" drink is going to facilitate getting kids to eat fruit. Because the process of introducing kids to fruit apparently needs  sugar laden middleman now.

Before my head blows off from the increase in blood preasure, I'll leave you with my favourite Top 10 Food Trend List for 2011.  It's from an incredibly clever blogger whose name I do not know at 5 Second Rule, and contains the wisdom of many years of food trend lists.  Enjoy.  The Most Superlative Food Trends List Anywhere

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