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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top 5 Food Trends for 2010

2009 was the year of individually wrapped, ‘portion controlled’ products and sodas disguised as vitamin-enriched ‘waters’ and teas lending a false impression of health.  Will 2010 be another year of good intentions?

My predictions of the top five food trends for 2010 are all about action. We’ll see a call to eat more sustainably, an increase in scare campaigns, and a flurry of support for those ready to change but not sure how. 

TREND #1: Rethinking Fish

The boost in eating locally produced foods and reducing our overall packaging will continue into 2010, as we try new ways to reduce our carbon footprint.  This year we’ll start eating sustainable fish – currently most of us are not. Retailers including Loblaw’s will make it easier starting in 2010, labeling the source of fish at fish counters. Countries like Sweden have gone a step further, with food labels giving details of the carbon gas emissions associated with products.

TREND #2: The demise of soda

We’re all aware that trans fats are the enemy. The new targets of scare campaigns are sugar and sodium. The emphasis should be to choose foods that come from a farmer’s field, but instead health experts will call on consumers to check labels.  The American Heart Association released a statement on October 29, 2009 saying women should consume less than 6 teaspoons (30g) of added sugars per day. Sweetened drinks, sodas and pre-packaged foods will be blasted by health experts, and manufacturers will respond with claims of “natural” sugars. But remember, the 6 tsp/day includes all added sugars and syrups—even “natural”.

TREND #3: Lower Sodium

Not just for Grandmas!  Sodium is being added to foods at alarming rates. For a long time we’ve waited until blood pressure was high to ask people to toss the salt shaker, but we’ll see an increase of ‘sodium- reduced products’ marketed to all ages this year given new evidence of health impacts.

TREND #4: Hired help at cooking parties

Cooking at home and cooking from scratch will continue to gain in popularity with the support of professionals.  Expect to see an increase in Girls' Nights taking place in the kitchen, where dietitians and personal chefs come to teach you and the girls some tricks of the trade. 

TREND #5: “Home cooked” restaurant meals

Fact is, we aren’t always able to leave the office at 5 to make it home in time to cook a proper supper. Restaurants will start revealing more information about the sources of their ingredients and offering ‘sustainable’ options to help you feel good about take out.

Take action in 2010! Ask questions about what you are putting in your body, get help if you need it, and learn to love fresh locally grown food.

Article by Kate Comeau

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