Category Archives: Food Trends

Tips to help you transition to veganism

vegan-1161192If you’re planning to transition to veganism, you couldn’t have chosen a better time. In the recent years, there has been a burgeoning popularity of organic produce as well as awareness on the health benefits of meatless diets. In addition to that, a vast number of people became more concerned on the environmental costs of meat production, including the cruelties involved in animal farming.

There are varying reports as to the percentage of the U.S. population that is vegan. However the number is large enough to catapult vegan restaurants and food manufacturers, and other related businesses. Vegan blogs and social accounts are also thriving. Needless to say, there are plenty of resources out there that cater to the vegan market and can also help those who wish to make the transition. Foodfacts.com shares some helpful tips to kick-off your plant-based diet.

Do your research

While we’ve known that fruits and vegetables are good for us since kindergarten, that piece of wisdom merely scratches the surface of what you need to know as you embark on this journey towards veganism. Educate yourself on how the lifestyle can be beneficial for you before taking the leap.

Find recipe inspirations

If you need get over the notion that meatless diets are boring, all you need to do is look for vegan recipes. Creative vegans on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the run-on-the-mill recipe blogs will show you just how enticing vegan food can be.

Tip: Look for instructional posts that teach you how to turn your favorite foods into vegan meals. Almost every animal product has a plant-based substitute. The texture and taste will definitely be different, but this trick has found a lot of success in helping people switch to a vegan diet.

Keep it simple

If the whole vegan meal preparation intimidates you, start with the basics. Keep things simple - oatmeal with chopped fruits for breakfast, soup or salad for lunch, and seasoned, roasted root vegetables with quinoa for dinner. Throw in some fruity smoothies for refreshments, too!

Remodel your shopping list

Focus on what you’ll be gaining, not what you’re giving up. Instead of thinking you shouldn’t buy meat, eggs and milk on your next trip to the grocery, realign your psyche on shopping for quinoa, sweet potatoes and coconut milk. Besides, no one ever brings a things not to buy list to the grocery stores!

Take it easy

Remember to take it one day at a time and transition at your own pace. If you’re not ready to go all out, start by incorporating these vegan superfoods in your daily diet. When you’re finally ready to give up meat and meat products, be sure to avoid processed vegan foods. Opt for a variety of vegan whole foods to keep your diet balanced.

The all my foodfacts app can help with your efforts towards becoming vegan. By selecting the types of food that you want to avoid, all my foodfacts will show you which products contain them. In this case, when you add “animal-derived” to your avoid list and run a search on condiments, the app includes the products that are derived from animals in the results and indicates that you should avoid them. 

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Find out if the products you are using are really vegan with the all my foodfacts app. Get it on iTunesGoogle Play and Amazon!

Vegan superfoods you should add to your diet

sweet-potato-1241696No, veganism is not just another food fad. It’s a way of life, and has been practiced in many different cultures for centuries. However, there has clearly been a significant rise in the number of people around the world who have switched to a vegan diet in the recent years for a number of reasons. Whether it’s for personal wellness, for the animals or for the environment, this shift in behavior has contributed to an organic products phenomenon.

The thought of giving up meat can be daunting as it is not an easy feat. Thankfully, there are lots of materials and communities that can help with transitioning to a vegan lifestyle. But if you’re not ready to make that commitment (or are just simply set with being an omnivore), Foodfacts.com recommends these vegan superfoods to incorporate in your daily meals.

Lemons

It doesn’t get any simpler than these bright yellow fruits! Enjoy them as a lemonade drink or squeeze them in everything! Lemons are rich in vitamin C and adds a zesty, citrusy flavor to your dish. In addition, lemon juice can enhance the body’s ability to absorb iron from plant sources, making lemon vinaigrette the perfect dressing to your salad!

Dark Chocolate

Who can say no to chocolates? Just be sure to avoid the sugary, dairy-filled milk chocolates. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. It can improve blood flow, and lower blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases.

Walnuts

Walnuts are essential sources of Omega-3 that helps in keeping your heart and brain functioning. Eat them as a standalone snack, add as an ingredient to your meals, or as a topping to your salad and ice cream!

Nooch

Nooch is short for nutritional yeast. This superfood is rich in B vitamins, protein and fiber. The best part about nooch is that it is the ultimate add-on. Sprinkle it on salad, soup, popcorn or whathaveyou to make them all taste better.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6, C and D, and potassium, magnesium  and iron. They are a good source of beta carotene, which not only helps improve eyesight and immune system, but also fights cancer.

Disclaimer: Although these superfoods generally offer great health benefits, they may not all be right for everyone. We highly recommend that you discuss your plans to make dietary changes with a nutritionist or your doctor.

 

Turmeric, the golden spice

indian-spices-829198In the beginning of the year, McCormick released its Flavor Forecast report for the top foods in 2016, and there is nothing that pleases us at Foodfacts.com more than to see healthy foods getting much-deserved attention. Thanks to the growing organic food movement, not only did healthy, functional superfoods made the list, they dominated it! Among the superfoods predicted to be popular this year is turmeric. Nearly halfway through the year, physical grocery stores and online food merchants, like GrubHub, have seen an increase in sales of turmeric and turmeric-based products.

What exactly is turmeric?

Turmeric, aptly called the golden spice, is that thing on the spices shelf with the yellow-orange hue. It is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that comes from the curcuma longa or curcuma domestica plant, which is native to South Asia. Turmeric is generally used in the region for cooking and formerly as a fabric dye, but most importantly, has been widely used for centuries to treat a myriad of illnesses.

The basic nutritional aspects of turmeric include a 26% daily value in manganese and 16% in iron. It is also a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and healthy amounts of vitamin C and magnesium. The ideal serving to get all those nutritional aspects is an ounce, but it would be impossible for a person to ingest that kind of amount in one seating. The good thing is that incorporating even just a tablespoon in your meal already allows you to reap the benefits of this wonder spice!

Health benefits

Purported to cure everything from depression to cancer, turmeric offers plenty of benefits. Aside from the nutritional value mentioned above, a study on turmeric and curcumin (turmeric powder is 3.14% curcumin) reveals that curcumin have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and immune modulating activities.

Among the health benefits of turmeric include pain relief, reducing gas and bloating, an improved ability to digest fats, and improved skin conditions from psoriasis to acne. In addition, turmeric reportedly also has artery-clearing effects that decreases congestion, and can reduce levels of bad cholesterol within weeks of use. Other reports, though further studies are required, say that turmeric is also good for improved eye health.

Search our website for the highest graded turmeric-based products!

Happy New Year … a look at 2015 in food

foodcollageHappy New Year! As FoodFacts.com looks forward to a healthy, educational 2016 in a world with fewer unhealthy ingredients, and more nutritionally aware consumers, we’re looking back at 2015 to see what we can find in terms of trends and important food issues that came to the forefront this year. Here’s a look at 2015 in food.

Cage-free, antibiotic-free, artificial-free. Sound familiar?

Many of the world’s biggest food companies announced major changes this year — in what they purchase and how they manufacture their food.

Many of the big moves we saw came from companies striving to bring more transparency to their supply chain. McDonald’s pledged to source chickens raised without antibiotics. Dunkin’ Donuts and Costco are switching to cage-free eggs.

Some companies signaled to customers that they were “cleaning up” and simplifying their ingredient lists. Panera ditched dozens of additives. Even Lucky Charms and Butterfingers are getting minor makeovers: General Mills and Nestle said they’re removing artificial colors and flavors from their products.
“Big Food is definitely feeling the pressure,” Scott Allmendinger, who consults with food companies for the Culinary Institute of America, told us. Packaged-food companies lost $4 billion in market share last year, according to a Fortune analysis.

A 2015 Nielsen survey found an increasing number of consumers say they’re willing to pay a premium for “all natural,” “clean” and minimally processed foods. (As we’ve reported, it’s hard to know what any of these terms actually mean. The federal government is soliciting input for how to define “natural.”) And, it seems, these foods marketed as cleaner and more natural are blending into mainstream grocery stores. One example: the success of Kroger’s Simple Truth line of products, which focus on “simpler” and organic ingredients.

“Consumers are slowly migrating away” from the center aisle of the grocery store that’s filled with processed baked goods and canned foods, says Jack Russo, an analyst with Edward Jones, a financial advisory firm.
At the same time, the sales of foods marketed as “local” have surged to $11 billion a year. The organic and natural sector, including GMO-free and gluten-free, is growing at about 8 to 10 percent a year, says Russo.
Russo sees this trend continuing, with growth continuing in the 6 to 8 percent range for the next few years, he says.

Food Waste
Another issue that gained traction this year: the 133 billion pounds of food wasted in the U.S. annually.

To put a visual to this estimate, imagine filling a huge skyscraper such as the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) 44 times.

That’s the image that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack used when he announced in October a new national goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030.

Everyone who eats could play a role in reducing waste. And we have plenty of moral imperatives to do it. As Pope Francis once said, some food waste is akin to “stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry.” The Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that the typical American family tosses out about $1,600 a year in groceries.

There’s plenty wasted on farms, too, some of which is entirely unavoidable. But as we documented in this story, a lot of food isn’t harvested simply because it’s not quite up to our cosmetic standards. Often, bags of salad and plenty of other edible food items end up in landfills because they won’t stay fresh long enough to be shipped across the country. A number of NGOs and startups are trying to figure out how to get more of it into the hands of the hungry and the people happy to pay less for imperfect produce.

The environmental footprint of food waste is significant. As we’ve reported, all that food we toss out is creating billions of tons of greenhouse gases, and costing us precious water and land.

Foodborne Illness
This year also brought some high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness. If you’re a Chipotle stockholder, you’re probably well aware of the fallout.

As we’ve reported, Chipotle Mexican Grill is linked to two separate outbreaks of E. coliinfections. The first outbreak sickened 53 people in nine states and prompted the temporary closure of many Chipotle locations in Washington and Oregon.

Then, in early December an outbreak of norovirus sickened at least 120 people in Boston, mostly students at Boston College. Most of the sick students reported eating at a nearby Chipotle.

As our colleague Dan Charles reported, city health inspectors cited Chipotle for allowing a sick employee to work his shift. In the violation report, the inspectors specified that the restaurant should follow its employee illness policy.

Though the Chipotle outbreak got a lot of attention, there are thousands of outbreaks of norovirus each year.

The CDC says norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne disease in the U.S. It’s estimated that about 20 million people a year get sick with it.

The vast majority of outbreaks are caused by infected workers. So, hopefully, the lesson learned in 2015 is this: Restaurants need to keep sick workers off the job.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 food service workers has gone to work while sick with vomiting or diarrhea. “It is vital that food service workers stay home if they are sick,” says the CDC’s Aron Hall. He says businesses should consider measures such as paid sick days.

Innovation And Investment In Food And Agriculture
While Big Food is hustling to keep up with changing consumer tastes and values, hundreds of new and nimble companies are entering the marketplace to compete with them. A report by the Dutch banking group Rabobank found that investment in food and agriculture is set to surpass $4 billion by the end of the year.

Rabobank thinks we’re headed toward a “smarter food system.” And plenty of companies and investors want to help us get there. How? Mainly, with technology and (big) data tools for both consumers and farmers.

Venture capitalists are excited about food and agriculture, too, and are pouring money into startups. Entrepreneur reported earlier this year that “startups all along the food chain — from farmers and tech companies to home cooks — are reaping huge rewards [from venture firms]: $2.06 billion invested in the first half of 2015 … nearly as much as the $2.36 billion total for 2014.”

FoodFacts.com likes the direction in which we’re headed. We’re excited to see consumer trends following a healthier, more natural path. And we couldn’t be more pleased about how food manufacturers are reacting to that consumer path. We’re expecting to see more of the same in 2016 and beyond!

Happy New Year!

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/12/29/460589462/the-year-in-food-artificial-out-innovation-in-and-2-more-trends

Pinterest shares top food trends to be on the lookout for in 2016

We know that predictions can be made with a fair amount of accuracy by following internet trends. While FoodFacts.com would avoid making statements like “just because you read it on the internet in 100 different places you can bet that it’s true,” we’d also assume that when new foods begin to show up on the internet on a variety of different websites that a trend is beginning to grow. What better site to look to when trying to spot those trends than Pinterest? TODAY Food showcased those trends as Pinterest shares top food trends to be on the lookout for in 2016. TODAY also added their own take on each trend. FoodFacts.com couldn’t resist including our own spin for every new food fun moment we may be able to expect in the new year!

10. Veggie swaps
According to Pinterest, people will continue to cut calories by swapping veggies for their favorite carbs, meats and more.

Today Food’s Take: We’re already spiralizing vegetables to make delicious pastas, braising carrots like a hunk of beef and serving cauliflower like a hearty steak. This trend may be No. 10 on this list but we hope and think it will become the No. 1 trend over time.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: Dieting and/or healthy eating should never mean deprivation. The idea of swapping out high calorie, high fat food items for flavorful veggies that offer health benefits is a trend we want to see grow and continue!

9. Beertails
Today Food’s Take: Wait, beer cocktails, as in beer with booze? Oh yes, we’ve been on board with this trend since we tasted our first Sake Bombs in college. Bring on the Beermosas!

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: We’ll admit it … beer and cocktails really aren’t in our wheelhouse. We think this sounds like fun, though and would be willing to give it a try.

8. Homebrews
Today Food’s Take: We’ve tasted some great homemade beers over the past two years so we say keep them coming.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: Ditto our comments on Number 9!

7. Gourmet heritage cuisine
Pinterest explains this trend as “gourmet spins on traditional cultural cuisines.”

Today Food’s Take: High-end kosher food anyone? As long as it tastes great, we’re there.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: Any homemade traditional cultural dish can be livened-up and modernized – that’s where restaurant trends come from!

6. Snacking and bento boxes
Today Food’s Take: This is organization on another level. We can’t help wondering if Tupperware will further this trend with a new line of portable bento boxes.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: We’d love to see Today Food’s Take become a reality. FoodFacts.com believes any and all encouragement we can get for preparing our own foods in our own kitchens is the great wave of the future.

5. Pour-over coffee
Making one cup of coffee at a time by slowly pouring a steady stream of hot water from a skinny-spouted Hario kettle into a coffee-filled filter is our favorite way to make coffee at home—when we’re not in a rush. Will this trend take off for families on-the-go? We’re guessing not.

Today Food’s Take: Don’t get rid of your coffee machine just yet.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: We’re going with Today on this one!

4. Savory desserts and dishes unseating sweets
Today Food’s Take: Hmm. Parmesan French Toast with Hollandaise does sound delicious, but we’re doubtful it or any other savory dish could take over the popularity of a gooey chocolate or caramel dessert.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: We’re not betting heavily on Number 4. There’s a reason that desserts are sweet. They follow a savory dinner. We wouldn’t look forward to a one-note dining experience.

3. DIY artisan olive oils
Today Food’s Take: Store-bought flavored oils never taste quite right so we can get behind these.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: It always tastes better when it’s made in your own kitchen.

2. Distilling your own booze
We’re talking bathtub gin and homemade whiskey (which is more likely to become moonshine).

Today Food’s Take: This could be fun for a one-time experiment, but the best booze is aged and we’re too impatient to wait a year or two.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: While this isn’t our expertise, we really can’t imagine the kind of effort (not to mention equipment) that making your own booze requires. We don’t think this is for everybody. And if it isn’t for everybody, how can it be a trend?

1. Avocado oil
According to Pinterest, it will become the new coconut oil.

Today Food’s Take: Look, given the fact that avocado toast took over the internet for a few years, we would never underestimate the power of any part of the popular fruit.

FoodFacts.com Food Forecast: Other trends beware. We really think this one has legs. If we were inclined to place bets, we’d be betting on avocado oil!

That was fun! We love to look forward to new food facts for a new year and just how we can expect healthy eating to play a major role in it! Are there any new trends you expect to play a big part in your healthy lifestyle in 2016? Let us know!

http://www.today.com/food/top-10-food-trends-2016-according-pinterest-t61826

The new food year — expected trends in food and nutrition choices in 2014

Every new year brings with it new food choices and consumer trends in nutrition. So what are dietitians expecting 2014 to bring? FoodFacts.com has looked into what the experts have to say that might help shape the contents of our grocery store shelves in the coming 12 months. Have you been thinking about any of these trends as they pertain to your own diet?

 

Wheat-Free Eating
Dieticians predict that consumers will continue their interest in going wheat-free in the new year. While there’s no factual evidence supporting wheat or gluten free diets for weight loss or health (unless someone has a sensitivity or disease), consumers are finding wheat-free eating a fast tool for weight control. Wheat-free diets will make it to the top of the list for popular diet plans in 2014.

The decline of the low-fat diet
Dietitians are expecting that the low-fat diet will be the least-embraced diet plan of the year. Low-carb diets may pick up in popularity, while interest in low-fat eating falls off. We might attribute this to the renewed interest in healthier eating and ingredients as consumers become more concerned about how low-fat foods are produced.

Healthy eating becomes a bigger focus for food shoppers
More and more consumers are becoming educated shoppers. Ingredients and nutrition labels are a bigger concern than ever and consumers everywhere are spending more time considering the nutritional value of their purchases. This trend is expected to continue and grow in the coming year, giving food manufacturers a bigger opportunity than ever to respond to consumer concerns.

The continued lack of sound nutritional information
While it’s a good thing that consumers are more concerned than ever about the nutritional value of the foods they consume, dietitians are reporting that most of the nutritional information consumers are using is based on personal beliefs and popular concepts that are half-truths. Shoppers aren’t relying on actual published research for their information. This trend is also, unfortunately, expected to continue into the new year.

Increased interest in local and sustainable foods
Dietitians tell us that more and more consumers are looking to be more eco-conscious at the grocery store. The trend with their clients seems to be towards increasing purchases of locally produced and more sustainable foods.

The search for more and better nutrition and diet information is on
The majority of dietitians agree that American’s interest in nutrition and weight loss information will continue to grow in 2014. We hope that instead of relying on friends, relatives and articles from less-reliable sources, consumers turn to FoodFacts.com and other viable information resources in answer to their nutrition-information quest. We’ve got some big plans for the new year that will help nutritionally-conscious consumers stay committed to their healthy lifestyles!

FoodFacts.com wishes everyone in our community the happiest, most prosperous and healthiest of new years. Have a wonderful 2014!

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20131227/Dietitians-identify-14-diet-nutrition-and-food-trends-to-shape-Americans-waistlines-in-2014.aspx?page=2