Delicious Living Blog

Top food trends for 2010

The Food Channel just published their top predictions for food trends in 2010. Here are a few that stood out to me; I agree with some, not so much with others. What do you think?

1. Keeping it Real

Food Channel: "In a back-to-basics economy it is natural to return to basic ingredients. This isn’t about retro, or comfort food, or even cost. It’s about determining the essentials and stocking your pantry accordingly. It is about pure, simple, clean and sustainable. It is—dare we say—a shift from convenience foods to scratch cooking."

>>Glad to hear it! After all, part of Delicious Living's tagline is REAL FOOD. And a well-stocked pantry is the key to easy, healthy cooking.

2. More in Store

Food Channel: "We predict growth in grocery stores, particularly as private label assumes prominence. Those old generics have morphed into their own brands, so that there is blurring and less of a caste system. Grocery stores are also doing things such as upgrading delis and fresh take-out sections, all the way to returning butchers to a place of prominence."

>>Interesting, just after they've said they predict a rise in cooking from scratch ... and what's with the butchers gaining prominence? I'm a carnivore, but I wouldn't recommend meat as prominent in a healthy diet; and it's expensive!

3. American, The New Ethnic

Food Channel: "This is all about flavor delivery. Immigration has come to the plate, and we are now defining a new Global Flavor Curve. Part comfort, part creativity, the latest flavors are coming from the great American melting pot. So, it’s about grandma’s food, but the recipes may be written in Japanese."

>>I like it; though I wonder about whether people who simply need to learn how to cook the basics will do this kind of experimenting.

4. Food Vetting

Food Channel: "You are what you eat! That’s what’s leading this trend—our constant need for assurance that we are eating the right things, that our food is safe, that we are not ingesting pesticides or anything that will someday prove harmful. Call it food vetting or sourcing—the issue is that people are asking where their food comes from."

>>Definitely a good thing, and not a minute too soon. I still think a lot of people have their heads in the sand when it comes to looking at how food is produced, and how that may affect physical health.

5. Mainstreaming Sustainability

Food Channel: "People have mainstreamed sustainability, unlike a year ago, when we were somewhat afraid to use the word. America is just now learning how to be sustainable, and Americans are holding themselves responsible. In 2010 we’ll see people and companies becoming sustainable for authentic reasons."

>>Meaning going beyond greenwashing, I hope.

6. Food with Benefits

Food Channel: "Call it what you will—nutritional, healthful, good-for-you—but this trend toward beneficial foods is growing at a pretty big rate. Expect food to either have nutrients added, or have the word “free” (gluten-free, allergy-free)."

>>Yes; functional ingredients (added omega-3s, fiber, etc) are on the rise, but even so, I think that simply eating real food, in moderate amounts, will give most of us what we need to be healthy.

7. I, Me, Mine

Food Channel: "It’s the rise of the individual. While sharing has come into its own in restaurant concepts, there is a separate but equal trend toward individuality. It’s part of the reason why we are making our own cheese, smoking our own meats, and making our own specialty desserts. Expect more attention to the individual, but it’s not just about portion size—it’s also about food that reflects personality."

>>I'm not sure how I feel about this. I think making one's own food is fantastic, and experimenting with "artisan" processes (which are usually just a return to what the pioneers did) is fun and useful (see #4 above). But I wouldn't call this the "rise of the individual." More than anything, good food is meant to be shared -- I think that's what consummates its enjoyment.

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