State of Food: 2011

by Nick Livermore

Eco18 picks out the top trends in food and nutrition:
School Nutrition
The White House recently reworked the Food Pyramid and passed the Hunger-Free Kids Act. Substituting fruit and whole grains for fries and white bread, the bill is aimed at reducing our children’s waistlines and teaching them about nutrition from a young age. Keep an eye out for improvements on lunch menus this fall.
Cooking at home
In the midst of a recession and faced with high food prices, consumers are eating out less and electing to cook at home. Savvy shoppers are choosing healthier ingredients with more sustenance.
The Return of Real Food
Driven by advocates such as Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan, the sustainable and organic food industry continues to grow. Consumers appreciate the emphasis on food with integrity and a respect for the environment.
Social Media
Facebook, Twitter and Blogs have given the small guys a much bigger voice. In addition to the millions of food blogs, we now have farmers tweeting on their combines, celebrity farmers and organizations like the National Young Farmer’s Coalition.
Enrollment in the Non-GMO Project increases, but so too has the number of genetically modified foods. This battle is sure to wage on, but if one thing is for sure, it’s that there is a growing number of people in stern opposition.
Very Local
Dubbing foods from within 100 miles “local”  is so 2000’s. The newest crop of “local” restaurants, such as NYC’s Bell Book & Candle, grow their own produce in their urban rooftop garden.  Breweries, like Oregon’s Rogue, now grow their own hops and malt on their estate farm.


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