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Frame: Food Trends for 2012

January 13, 2012

It’s January, and food trend articles are rampant. Everything from in-house ricotta to dinosaur kale is predicted to hit the big time. Even artisanal jerky is on a few lists. Goat jerky? I’m skeptical.

Here are my top 5 Food Trend Predictions for 2012. Or at least 5 foods/things I’m planning to eat more/less of.

1) Anti-Dairy Sentiment: Yeah, it’s not looking good for milk. I’ll never say goodbye completely, but dairy is being increasingly scrutinized for causing asthma, migraines, cancer, hangnails – you name it. I bet most of us will add almond, soy, coconut, or hemp milk to the mix at some point this year.

2) Food as Drugs: No, not magic mushrooms, I’m talking about the trend toward using natural remedies instead of feeding Big Pharma. In particular, Apple Cider Vinegar has actually been proven to kill cancer cells and fight diabetes and obesity. Turmeric is also an anti-cancer agent. Why wouldn’t I try to work these into my diet?

3) Farmshares/CSAs: Grabbing a weekly box of fresh, local produce from your neighborhood farm or grocery store is growing in popularity. Once you spend the money you basically HAVE to eat your veggies, and it forces you to create new recipes as well. If you think that’s too much produce for one person, split the cost with friends.

4) “Family Meal”: More and more restaurants are adding this to their menus and their cookbooks.  Usually hearty and relatively simple, “Family Meal” is what chefs typically call the meal they cook for their staff before dinner service. In Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook, he has a recipe for Family Meal lasagna, and the whole trend goes along with the recession-popularity of slow cookers and comfort food.

5) Middle Eastern Food: Spices like Za-atar, sumac, and ras-el hanout are much easier to find these days, and at this point every grocery store you visit has about 60 varieties of hummus. I’m not complaining, I’ve been a fan of Oleana for quite some time.

Let’s check back next year and see how I did. Voila.

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