Kale No! Eagerly anticipating 2016’s food trends

Having grown up surrounded by farms, I learned the delight of fresh vegetables and fruits at an early age, so there aren’t many that I don’t like, but I will admit, kale is the exception. I really do loathe it. In 2015, it seemed impossible to enter a restaurant and not find kale front and center in nearly every dish on the menu. But looking ahead to 2016, there’s a lot happening in the food world that (hopefully) will replace All-Things-Kale. The following trends in the food world only scratch the surface of our rich and complicated love affair with food, and point to a healthier, fresher, more flavorful year.

The mainstreaming of organics. As food producers and grocery chains alike join the chemical-free movement, finding organic products is easier than in the past, and we see that only continuing into the new year, reflecting a growing number of consumers’ concerns about what exactly we’re putting in our mouths.

Locally grown, in-season produce – more families are turning to nearby farms to obtain their fruits and vegetables. With less mileage on them, less need for preservatives.

“Clean label” foods. This is another terrific testimony to the attention people are paying to what they eat. Ingredients crafted in a chemistry lab with unpronounceable names are being eliminated from food labels. Our own Suji’s Korean Cuisine is a terrific example of clean label products.

Cooking with spices is not just tasty, it’s good for your health! From rich golden turmeric to the deep brown cinnamon, spices not only add flavor to your food, they are a source of antioxidants that can add another boost to your healthy diet. Some great recipes incorporating organic spices into your cooking can be found on the www.passionforspices.com website.

Gluten-free is getting good – in great news for those with Celiac Disease and those who have espoused gluten-free as a lifestyle choice, finally, manufacturers are figuring out how to create really delicious products that contain no wheat gluten. (Our client Suji’s Korean Cuisine is one delicious gluten-free brand!)

No waste kitchens catching on – harkening back to a period in our history when times were tough, the “no waste” kitchen is good news for everyone as what used to be considered food scraps find their way into broths, salads and main course dishes of some of the top culinary destinations in the country.

And finally, while shopping the other day, I saw a greeting card that said “Is it OK to stop pretending we like kale now?” I bought two.