2019 is a big year for sustainable foods, and these trends could not be more fitting.
Our food system is caught in the middle of numerous environmental catastrophes. Plastic pollution is suffocating the oceans, rain forests are being destroyed to grow more food, and people are less healthy than ever.
See it to believe it.
Check out Brazil’s deforestation first hand!
(zoom out for scale)
Our food system is in need of an extreme makeover.
Top 4 food trends to watch for in 2019
1) Plant Based Meals
Encountering the phrase “plant-based” will become increasingly common in 2019. While vegetarianism and veganism will continue to grow, the biggest growth will come from people looking to eat less meat and more plants.
The good thing about this trend? Science actually supports it (sorry paleo fans).
The current rate of meat consumption in the Western world is over 200 lbs (90kg) per person per year. This is well above what is healthy or recommended. At the same time, the vast majority of people are not eating enough plants – which literally killing us.
Eating more plants such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts is can help us avoid disease, improve our wellbeing, and significantly reduced our carbon footprint. This is a win-win for us and the planet.
A new EAT Lancet report was released in early 2019 which described in detail how eating more plant-based meals can improve our health while reducing our carbon footprint.
2) Abandoning single-use plastics
Move over 2018; 2019 will be bigger than simply plastic straws. There’s a new wave of conscious consumers rising around the world. Grocery bags, plastic wrap, and takeaway containers are likely to see a massive overhaul in the coming year.
It’s not only individuals making changes. Entire countries like Costa Rica and India are quitting single-use plastics within the next 5 years.
Industry players like Coca Cola and Nestle are working towards more renewable options.
The good thing is that we don’t have to wait for new policies or products to make our habits sustainable. We can start today by being more mindful with the plastic we use, reuse, or never use.
3) Oat Milk
Milk alternatives have been all the rage over the past few years, but almonds and soy are about to be blindsided by the success of their grainy counterpart. Oat milk has been flying off the shelves of UK grocery stores, and Starbucks has even added the option to all of their European stores.
The oat milk boom will be big in 2019, with more brands using this milk as a plant-based alternative to dairy.
Want to make your own? It’s easy – check out this excellent recipe from the Minimalist Baker.SEE Are organics worth the price? Advice from a dietitian.
4) The great lentil revival
Pulses, lentils, beans, and legumes – call them whatever you’d like – they are ready to take center stage in 2019. These nutritional powerhouses are packed with protein, iron, minerals, and fiber, making them incredible for our health. With hundreds of varieties available, it would be a challenge to get bored.
If that weren’t enough, these mighty beans actually improve the quality of our soils. Without getting too nerdy, legumes suck a potent greenhouse gas out of the air (nitrogen) and add it to the soil. Because nitrogen is actually a fertilizer, legumes help other crops grow more quickly.
Legumes are affordable, delicious, and nutritious – and they’re helping to save our planet!
Want to learn more about lentils? Check out the book Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America.
What do you think?
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