Twenty-Eighteen’s Food Trends

Now that we’re settled into the New Year (both Gregorian and Lunar) it’s obvious that there are a few food trends which are here to stay and are set to define 2018. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by food trends or to dismiss them, but we’ve seen a wide range of them reflecting changing attitudes towards health, community and the environment. And to us, anything that helps shift the perception of environmentally friendly & healthy meaning croc & tie-dye wearing and incense burning… well, we’re all for it. We picked five of our favourites!

1 – GUT-FRIENDLY

With preserving and pickling reaching the screens of the masses, this trend isn’t going anywhere. We’ve waxed lyrical countless times about the importance of good gut health and it’s something both of us struggle to achieve. The gut is the control centre of so many functions in your body and has been called the second brain. Studies even show how gut health affects your mental health. Aside from a good probiotic, foods which contain probiotics are natural ferments like kimchi, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir and prebiotics such as onions, garlic and other alliums. Make sure you get plenty of them in your diet.

2 – PLANT-PROTEIN

Considering the resources needed for one kg of animal protein, the plant-protein trend is not only good for you, but good for the environment. Meat production requires a much higher amount of water than vegetables. IME state that to produce 1kg of meat requires between 5,000 and 20,000 litres of water. Plant-proteins have the added benefit of not being inflammatory to the body, whereas animal protein is. Some meat has even been shown to cause disease. Studies suggest vegetarians tend to have a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels, while also having a lower risk of stroke, cancer and death from heart disease than non-vegetarians. Spirulina, for example, is an algae superfood. This plant protein has some unbelievable benefits and while not a complete protein on its own, spirulina has a whopping 39 grams of protein in just a serving. To supplement the methionine and cysteine it’s missing, just pair it with a whole grain or some nuts.

3 – ROOT TO STEM

With environmental consciousness growing, so is our awareness of waste. It’s thought that we waste more than half of the food that is produced! The Root to Stem trends tried to combat this by using the whole plant (or animal!). So, for example, a carrot is traditionally used for purées, soups or basic glazed carrots. Now chefs are taking the tops and using them either in a grommet, a pesto, or as a garnish, thus making use of the full plant. We made a delicious Carrot Top Pesto last year and it surprised us. You never know until you try, right.

4 – SUPERFOOD POWDERS (still!)

Our lifestyles are fast, our food is lacking in much of the nutrients it once did and we have a tendency to eat badly or very monotonously. As a result, many people find themselves nutrient deficient, fatigued, stressed, bloated, overweight, underweight… and just generally not 100%. An easy way to boost your nutrient intake or specifically target an area you’d like a little lift in is by using superfood powders. You can add them to your morning smoothie, your baking and many of them go perfectly with savoury dishes too. These powders are called super for a reason, so Google a concern you might have and you’re gaurenteed to find a superfood that can help it.

5 – WATER-WISE

We’d be remiss if we didn’t make mention of how the water-crisis in Cape Town has affected the way we eat. This crisis, though, is just a snippet of what is to come if we continue to consume and damage the environment at the rate we currently are. Preachy, but it’s true! Something that really struck me at the end of The Big Short is when the credits stated that Michael Burry has only been investing in water post-2008…. Cape Town has had to rethink the way we cook, clean and to us, the next step is to reassess what we eat and how much water is used in the process. As mentioned, meat is more water intensive than plants. Per ton of product, animal products generally have a larger water footprint than crop products. The same is true when we look at the water footprint per calorie. It takes 2498,37L of water to make one burger. Here are a few water-wise fruits and vegetables too.