The New Year is here, and with it, we see emerging food trends. Some are a step in the right direction, building upon last year’s health-conscious consumers; and some are further entrenching our society in a backwards mindset when it comes to food products.
I’m excited about the changing landscape and always hoping to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to our health. Nutrition itself is complicated and adaptable. As a nutritionist, I feel a responsibility to constantly explore and question my own beliefs and limitations rather than become entrenched in dogma.
It’s my hope that I can inspire others there as well: Constant curiosity about what we’re told.
Regardless of where you fall, These are the Top Food Trends to Watch for in 2022.
1 – Mushrooms are Here to Stay
Mushrooms of all types are a big trend in 2022. This is in part due to an increased interest in plant-based foods. Mushrooms have a meaty-like texture and taste that makes an authentic (real food!) swap for things like burgers.
However, we’re also seeing medicinal and psychedelic mushrooms on the rise. Medicinal mushrooms like Lions Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi are great adaptogens and easy to add-in to warm drinks or replace staples like coffee. Research on psyllocibin continues to expand, following the decriminalization in places like Denver.
2 – More Fake Food
Lab grown meat is expected to be approved by end of year. The continued marketing push and apparent “green washing” of fake meat isn’t going away. If you truly want to be a conscious consumer, take a look at the ingredient list of these products. Fake meats tend to be ultra-processed grain- and soy- based foods that do not support optimal health.
If plant-based eating is a priority for you: make it THAT.. real, unprocessed plants.
3 – Reducetarianism
In 2021, we saw an increase in “flexitarianism” which simply means incorporating more foods of both the animal and plant worlds.
Enter: Reducetarianism aka strong virtue signal about caring for the environment with a reduction in animal-sourced foods. This one is being pushed by the likes of Whole Foods Market heavily pushing their processed fake meat products (like pea protein nuggets and seaweed-based seafood).
4 – Less Home Cooking
Now that restaurants are open, consumer research groups are seeing a decline in sales of scratch-cooking ingredients like flour, rice and potatoes, as well as dishwashing products.
We’re also seeing local Chefs become more involved in elevated at-home take-out. This includes ghost kitchens and pop-ups that have no actual storefront.
However, the home-cooking trend we ARE expecting is more simplified healthier food. (Less cooking, more assembling.) This means prepared fresh foods that visually appeal.
5 – Alcohol-Free Cocktails
Woohoo! This trend I can get behind.
On market shelves, you’ll find increased variety of canned or bottled alcohol-free alternatives that are a step beyond flavored seltzer water. Plus, restaurants are beginning to offer alcohol-free cocktail menus that cater to those cutting back on alcohol consumption.
Jumping on these Food Trends to Watch for in 2022?
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The Elimination Diet is really a chance to get to know yourself better, to develop personal nutrition, and address lingering symptoms. I believe that nutrition is so individualized. MY diet is going to look very different than your diet, and very different from our friends’ diets. They may all be ‘healthy’! To get to that point, you’ve got to put in the ‘hard work’ of being intentional with food choices and ultimately finding more freedom.
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