Food Trends 2010

Yesterday, The Food Channel released its predications for the top 10 food trends for 2010.  It’s a fun, lively, thoughtful, well, trendy list.  Um, scientific, too, as it is based, “on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves® ( and the International Food Futurists®.”  Although I am not an IFF, I would like to be one since it sounds like they are thinking of their next meal, how does it feel?

Re the predicted trends, brief commentary:

Keeping it Real.  This is a good idea: “A shift from convenience foods to scratch cooking.”  Broke, we cook.

Experimentation Nation.  Maybe.  Maybe even possibly.  Could be.  The idea is we’ll share food, sit together, and have fun.  Less pretension, greater recognition that eating is secondary to the people with whom you are eating.  But then won’t we have to call this, “The People Channel?”

More in Store.  The suggestion is a growth in grocery stores.  Definitely not happening.   No way.  Investment dollars are not going into retail not from private guys, hedge funds, equity funds, or banks.

American, The New Ethnic.  Absolutely true.  Well-priced Italian-American food, as seen at Locanda Verde (Tribeca), and New England cuisine at Post 390 (Boston), will surely attract crowds and for good reason.

Food Vetting.  Yes: we need to know where the food comes from.  Let’s hope the FDA adopts the same standards as the European Union on food safety and claims of health made by manufacturers.

Mainstreaming Sustainability.  The word “sustainable” is not readily defined.  It sounds good, but it does not mean the same thing to everyone.  When we have a working, agreed-upon definition, let’s add this to the list of trends.

Food With Benefits.  This does not mean having sex with food, although it is implied by the phrasing, but rather it means eating “beneficial food.”  Unfortunately, the science behind this is unsubstantiated at present and is promoted by the producers rather than the scientists.  Me?  I think let’s all keep eating lots of fish, vegetables, fruit, and pasta.  Hungry?  Go to the gym.

I Want My Umami.  Umami is another odd word.  Like “sustainable” or “terroir,” it is not well-defined.  I think the idea here is: Enjoy the dog from Papaya King as much as the foie at Per Se.  Sure, why not?  You buying?

Will Trade for Food.  Barter for food.  What do they mean?  Will work for food?  Unlikely.

I, Me, Mine.  Here they write, “It’s the rise of the individual…Expect more attention to the individual…it’s…about food that reflects personality.”  The idea is we’re cooking more stuff at home: “Making our own cheese, smoking our own meats, and making our own speciality desserts.”  Can you say, “Listeria?  “E coli?” “Bacteria?”  I’ve been in countless dairies and smokehouses.  Folks, don’t try this at home unless you have a 100% sterile environment.  Otherwise, new trend: Food poisoning.

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