Move over avocado-on-everything and Matcha lattes! 2018 has some even more exciting food trend surprises in store for foodies of the world. Whether you’re a food expert or an eager apprentice-foodie, stay ahead of the culinary gang by getting in on the food trends that are going to be dominating the cuisine scene over the coming months…
While the word “probiotics” sounds fairly medicinal, as the cornerstone of “alternative-health” it is actually the complete opposite! The idea of fermenting foods and the alleged health benefits of this has been around for centuries. Unexpectedly (for food that is essentially far past the use-by date), the taste is often delicious! Today, some of the most celebrated fermented food heroes are items such as kombucha (fermented tea), kimchi (a Korean dish of spicy fermented cabbage) and kefir (a middle-eastern milk drink), which are all thought to bolster immune systems and encourage healthy gut flora with their levels of ‘good bacteria.’
So-called ‘underground supper clubs’ have been around for a few years now but in 2018, guerilla diners will notice that the standards have shot up dramatically. The idea behind the movement is to allow creative cooks to share their talent with friends, acquaintances and strangers by entertaining guests in their own home. For diners, the benefit is getting to try progressive and forward-thinking cuisine for the fraction of the price of a typical high-end restaurant, and sometimes the supper-clubs are even free. While technically illegal (these informal ‘restaurants’ haven’t undergone the necessary checks and approvals from food and health safety authorities), Guerilla Dining’s appeal remains ever popular as a way of exploring a unique food experience while meeting new people in an intimate dining setting.
Thanks to the huge amount of fitness gurus and celebrities these days who swear by a plant-based lifestyle, it comes as no surprise that society’s awareness of veganism – along with the purported health benefits and the growing number of vegan restaurants – is much higher than it used to be. People are beginning to realize that veganism is no longer a niche faction for die-hard hippies who think “it’s cruel to eat animals” or consume animal produce. Many vegans are aware of the impact that meat and dairy farming can have on the environment or wish to make more informed choices with regards to their diet that they believe correlates directly to their health.
In the age of digital media, social shifts in opinion such as this demonstrate the awesome power that the humble blogger can have. Famous vegan bloggers such as Vegan Richa, Pickles & Honey, Fork & Beans and Oh She Glows are all considered strong voices in the community, and have no doubt inspired thousands. It’s possible to have a blog hosted on WordPress and get your own thoughts and opinions online if you want to help raise awareness further still.
You read that correctly. The golden thread running throughout all of the biggest trends for 2018 food seems to be ethics. Many of us love the taste of a delicious beef burger, but feel ethically torn between our desire for the taste and the unfortunate fact that it’s environmentally wasteful and means sacrificing an animal’s life to do so. This year will see the gradual introduction of ‘Heme’ – a sort-of Frankenstein’s monster ingredient that allows ‘synthetic meat’ to be cultivated using plant material as the basis. Impossible Foods is one such company who have gone to great lengths to create a juicy, delicious ‘meat’ burger made from natural ingredients.
The benefits are straightforward: the world could continue to eat their favorite foods (sustainably) but without the loss of animal life and in a way which has much less environmental impact than traditional cattle farming. As well as removing the ethical question, the company claims to use “95% less land, 74% less water, and create 87% less greenhouse gas emissions” than would have been consumed during the production of a standard beef burger. Would you be bold enough to eat lab-grown meat?
Sustainability and Locally Sourced Produce
Recent years have seen a big shift in consumers’ attitude towards sustainability and taking responsibility for the items in their shopping basket. This awareness looks set to continue in the coming year. For many shoppers, eliminating needless food waste (a common practice in many farming industries and retailer outlets) in favor of selecting locally grown produce allows them to purchase groceries safe in the knowledge that their choice will leave the minimum environmental impact on the planet, support local businesses against the devastating impacts of commercial monopolization of agriculture and minimize high-levels of fuel-consumption incurred by shipping foods from overseas.