Move over, kale and avocado toast. There are new food trends in town. The past year was great when it came to culinary innovations, giving us new ways to enjoy old favorites and introducing us to new ones. Even better, the biggest food fads continually focus on improving our health and our planet—a trend that will hopefully extend into 2018 and beyond.
Check out the new flavors, colorful direction, and changing attitudes towards food that are currently trending!
Flexitarian became an “it” word this year, describing the growing trend of decreasing meat consumption without cutting it altogether. Excessive meat consumption has been linked to a risk of stomach and colon cancer. Meat production is also a big contributor to carbon emissions that accelerate climate change.
Flexitarianism recognizes that not everyone is willing to commit to a fully plant-based diet, so this trend of eating meat only in moderation is a realistic way to improve the health of our bodies and our planet.
2. Activated Charcoal
Black isn’t a color that readily comes to mind when you picture foods like ice cream and macarons. But over the past year, black food started to appear everywhere from hamburger buns to lemonade. Fans of this trend claim that that eating activated charcoal detoxifies your body, since it’s often used to flush toxins and absorb overdoses in medical settings.
Whether or not there are any true health benefits to this trendy ingredient, it certainly does give food a newly interesting look. And we can’t wait to see how activated charcoal is elevated to the next level this year!
3. Taco Cleanses
Yes, you read that right. A taco lovers’ dream come true. The Taco Cleanse, a book advocating for a taco-only diet, has been gaining traction over the past couple of years. Even Jennifer Aniston got on board this year!
The taco cleanse involves eating different types of tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in order to give your body what it craves. Created by so-called “taco scientists”, the cleanse consists of mostly vegan recipes, making it tasty and pretty good for you. So Taco Tuesday, is now taco everyday!
While grasshopper tacos may not be part of the taco cleanse craze, they have hit the mainstream in other big ways. From swanky New York eateries to the concessions stands at Seattle Mariners games, grasshopper tacos have become the new “it” food that will likely grow in popularity in 2018. And that’s a good thing.
Insects are a super eco-friendly source of lean protein that have been popular in Mexico for years. So whether grasshoppers are an add-on to your guacamole or added to your smoothie in powder form, it’s time for the US and elsewhere to get on board!
“Mindful drinking,” especially among millennials is on the rise. This was a banner year for mocktails as more and more of us reduced our alcohol consumption or cut it altogether. This trend is even taking root in places where heavy-drinking culture has long prevailed.
One of these places is London, where a chic new bar called Club Soda offers tasty soft cocktails and alcohol-free beer. Reducing alcohol consumption is great for your health, so this is a trend we can definitely get behind.
6. Zero Waste Cooking
Food waste is a serious issue. It’s estimated that as much as 40% of food produced in the US is ultimately thrown away. Now, more and more people are making an effort to reduce the amount of food we waste by upcycling our food scraps and using every part of our meats, fruits, and vegetables.
From using vegetable peels in stock or salads to embracing underutilized cuts of meat like tongue, there are lots of ways to reduce food waste in your own kitchen. You can even re-plant some food scraps from vegetables like celery and potatoes to grow your own produce!
It’s exciting to see that the latest and greatest food trends follow healthier standards while staying innovative and delicious. We’re hoping these trends stick around a bit longer and we can’t wait to see where food takes us next!
Image credit: Rustic Vegan