by Amber

2014 Food Trends

The overall interest in fresh local foods continues to spiral upwards. SHS FoodThink finds that the #1 trend in food for this year is unprocessed food. That means either increasing your grocery budget to spend more at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, signing up for a CSA and hitting the farm market regularly, or growing your own.

Eating Local Gains Momentum

Chances are some people will do all three. Unless of course they definitely want to stick to locally grown foods. While you can get some low mile foods at these popular whole and fresh food chain stores, the freshest food possible will be grown in your community, if not in your own garden. Sure that produce looks great on the shelf at the grocery store, but there’s this thing called phytonutrient degradation.  Shelf-life and shipability has nothing to do with actual nutrition. That’s all about enticing you to pay for the food when you see it. Marketing and the reasons you want to eat unprocessed foods are at odds with each other.

For every hour that fruit or vegetable has been disconnected from it’s stem or roots there is less and less good stuff in it, beginning with the flavor.  That is if there was much flavor to begin with. Long distance shipping requires a lot different set of characteristics from a food than one you can buy from a local farmer or harvest from your own garden.  Then there are all the vitamins, antioxidants, and the rest of the phytonutrients that has you wanting to eat healthier in the first place. Don’t let looks deceive you, even ugly produce grown just down the road is better for you than perfection that has traveled half way around the world.

Reducing food waste is #3 in this year’s food trends, 40% of which takes place from restaurant plates and trays. Now that people have heard about this enough, they’re buying less each trip to the store, shopping more often, and ordering smaller portions when eating out. A great step in the right direction, but prepared foods only have so much cooler and freezer life. Individuals may reduce their waste, but producers, manufacturers and supply chains will still be operating on statistics from the past. Waste won’t drop phenomenally fast.

Demanding to know more about their food is trend #4. SHS says we can look forward to more videos like this one about how chicken McNuggets are made. Cargill Canada who makes them for restaurants throughout the providences wants to assure someone that there is no pink slime in McNuggets.


This will make a lot of people feel better about eating at McDonalds. Maybe they only showed part of the process here for marketing purposes. Something like the difference between how Mickey D’s food looks in advertising versus the whimpy, slammed together stuff they hand you in the bag. The reality shots in the video below make some items look like beauty queens compared to what you get in an order.


Even if there was never any pink slime in McNuggets, they still taste awful.

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The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.