Re-awakened hungry Americans, motivated by a need to know more about the source of the food they feed their families are returning to their ancestral traditions. They’re hunting and foraging closer to home at community farmer’s markets and local sources for clean meats, artisan breads, mushrooms, local honey and cheeses, colorful, nurturing produce and frequenting more mom-and-pop-owned diners. Farm-friendly, organic, non-GMO, naturally occurring, scratch cooking and canning are becoming today’s dietetic mantra.
Health and convenience drive today’s food sales. People are returning to eating family dinners at home where they control the ingredients. They want less hassle, easy to prepare, ready-to-eat fresh ingredients.
Home food preservation and bulk cooking have rebirthed as earth-connected folks grow, preserve and enjoy harvesting their verdant gardens or community farmers market, not scientific laboratories. They do this to eliminate toxic sugar, salt, unnatural preservatives, MSG and food colorings. Other factors are the weak economy, frightening food recalls and an honest desire to improve health via fresh food, controlling its quality from the farm to the fork. Consumers are picking naturally healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, salads, nuts, whole grains and pro-biotic yogurt. Fruit is now America’s second-favorite snack.
More are grazing, driving demand for healthier single-serving snacks in vending machines, nutrition and fibrous diet bars, smoothies and energy drinks. Alkaline waters such as Fiji, Smart Water, Kangen and Penta waters are “in.”
Felonious trans fats (hydrogenated) are finally “out” for their rock sold connection to acquiring heart disease. Demand for low calorie and light products will continue to grow. Also, watch for allergen-free claims on food labels. Next to low fat, whole grains were the most influential food label claim. Dairy products with cholesterol-lowering sterols and antioxidant-rich chocolate are making an appearance. As more people become aware of soy dangers, consumption is waning.
We’re all physicians who can heal the magnificent Holy Temple. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers embrace Hippocrates’s avowal, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” They doctor through diet to prevent and manage health disorders such as diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancer and more.
Want an occasional vegetarian meal? Mobile food applications are exploding and offer convenience beyond the name and address of a restaurant. You can score a menu, prices and a reservation. Everything you need to cook a healthy meal at home; recipe, shopping list and coupons are also at your fingertips.
Responsible chefs are entering school cafeterias not only to brighten up the menus but to entice kids to eat healthy foods. Kids and adults alike have comfort zones when it comes to food’s appearance and flavors. Breaking away from barriers and bad habits can be an exciting food adventure; one that wakes up your taste buds and improves your perception of living, nutritious foods from our creator.
These trends hold promise if the amoral food industry offers convenience without industrially trashing once healthy foods. Fads will come and go, and the government will continue to analyze health claims made by food manufacturers. The ageing of baby boomers is driving the food industry in a new direction, one that could have a significant impact on the future health of the population. And that can only be a good thing.
After all, food is about more than just nourishment, it’s also about culture, and weaving the threads that bind the tapestry of a thriving community.
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