Remember that really weird time at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone and their mother had their own sourdough starter? What about kale or quinoa seemingly coming out of nowhere to become the next big super food? Much like fashion, trends in foods are ever-changing, and thanks to Instagram and the popular craze of food art, we’re all privy to the changing trends. These are just some of the major ones we're going to see continue to grow, or pop up out of nowhere in 2022.
1. Urban Gardening
With inflation increasing the prices of groceries across the board, we’re going to be seeing a lot more people discovering their green thumbs with urban gardening. Urban gardening or farming is essentially growing produce in a city or heavily populated area using extremely limited space and resources. Anything from a small backyard to your building’s rooftop to a small patio can be used for urban gardening. Not only is it potentially a great way to save on your grocery bills, but it always piques the interest of health enthusiasts because you know exactly what is going into your food and where it's coming from (goodbye pesticides and GMOs).
Due to its limited requirements for space and resources like soil and water, urban farming is also on the front of everyone’s mind when it comes to combating global warming. It may seem like a lot of work to get started, but in the long run urban farming could save your wallet and the planet while becoming the relaxing hobby you never knew you needed.
2. Plant-Based Seafood Substitutes
We’ve seen huge strides in the world of meat substitution over the past few years. With more and more people switching to vegetarian or plant-based diets the demand for plant-based meat substitutes has skyrocketed. You can now find imitation beef, chicken, bacon, and sausage at your local grocery store, and the majority of major fast-food chains have even started offering their own plant-based alternatives. The last frontier yet to fully be tackled is the seafood world. In 2022 we’re going to see the plant-based industry continue to boom and break into the world of plant-based fish and seafood products. Many of us have probably eaten dinner party dip made from imitation crab without too much complaint, so it seems like they’ve got a leg (or a fin) up on this new endeavor.
3. Brain Foods
We’ve always been told that we need to eat to nourish our bodies. As a child, how many times were you told to “eat your vegetables so you’ll grow up big and strong?”. Well there is a growing foodie trend where an emphasis is placed more on the benefits for our mental wellbeing and brain health when choosing what foods to consume; and no we're not talking about “comfort foods”. Many seafoods like salmon, mussels, and sardines are extremely high in Omega 3s fatty acids, which is critical for brain function. Even though pizza and ice cream don’t make the list, there is still hope for some of our favorite ‘guilty-pleasure’ snacks.
There is actually evidence that suggests dark chocolate may play a role in reducing signs of depression due to its brain protecting flavonoids and the release of feel-good hormones we experience after a square of chocolate (PsychiatricTimes). A great way to incorporate these brain foods into your diet without scarfing down a salad every lunch (if that isn't your thing) is to hide them in your morning smoothies. If you're making a smoothie, focus on a checklist of a protein (in the form of powders or almond butter, for example), greens (spinach, kale), and a fruit for taste (strawberries, blueberries). Try to hide in brain-benefitting things like matcha powder or flax seed as an easy way to consume them without having to plan out complex meals). For Valeria's favorite smoothie recipe, check out her E-Book!
People are taking their Dry January aspirations and running with it. Whether for health-conscious reasons or personal decisions, people are steering clear of hard liquors and cocktails and substituting them for 'buzzless' spirits instead. Health professionals have been outspoken about the negative effects alcohol has on our health, affecting everything from anxiety levels to sleep patterns, and that may be a big reason why gin-like substitutes and alcohol-removed wine are suddenly showing up on grocery store shelves.
Much like the advancements in plant-based meat substitutes, artificial sweeteners are increasingly able to mimic the taste of many of our favourite after-work cocktails without the side-effects of alcohol (or the need to set up a designated driver). Keeping pace with the recent surge in vodka spiked seltzers like White Claw and Nutrl, mocktails in a can will soon be gracing your local liquor stores, so even the non-drinkers among us can enjoy the convenience of a can this summer.
Turmeric lattes, turmeric rice, and turmeric scrambled eggs are just a few of the inventive new ways people are going to be serving this saffron-looking spice at the back of our cupboards.
Turmeric is a spice most often seen in eastern Asian cuisines, but as we laymen start to learn more about their healing properties, we’re seeing creative new ways to consume the super spice. Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory that is used to ease joint pain for arthritics and is a supplemental staple for many people suffering from celiac disease and other inflammatory disorders. It may also improve attention and overall cognitive function (The New York Times).
We’re also starting to discover that turmeric may possess antioxidant properties that fight the premature aging of skin cells and reduce the appearance of blemishes and acne scarring, on top of being widely used as a sleep aid. Adding a nice turmeric latte to your nighttime menu may just be the addition to your skincare and sleep routine you didn't know you needed.
With shows like Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted introducing us to previously seldom-known cuisines from around the globe, interest in expanding our cultural palates has never been higher. Now, your only problem is choosing which new foreign cuisine you want to try first. Borderless menus are popping up all over in what can only be described as a beautiful flavor collab that honors the traditional cooking practises of multiple cultures at once.
For the first time ever, half of Gen Z's in America identify as non-Caucasian (Brookings), with the majority of those individuals growing up in mixed culture households who have been melding the delicacies of their heritages for their entire lives. Lucky for us, they’re sharing their creations with the world. So, if you’ve ever wanted Korean and Mexican cuisine for dinner, then say hello to the Korean Taco. Or maybe you just want to sip sake with your fettuccini alfredo. If decision making isn’t exactly your forte, especially when it comes to food options and where to go for dinner, fear not; borderless menus to the rescue.