What a year 2020 was! Earlier in the year people were hoarding flour, meat, canned goods and toiletries. Then, an increase of food insecurity rises due to the pandemic. I am glad to hear that food researchers and scientists are taking action & continue working together with non-profit organizations, universities and government to help reduce this issue. This has been an ongoing concern, a domino effect where it can affect our mental well-being and anyone regardless of socioeconomic status, low to middle class.
If you don’t know what food insecurity is, it’s the lack of money and resources to meet an adequate diet in a household. According to Stats Canada, the issue has increased due to those who have lost their jobs or have had to reduce their working hours due to the 2020 pandemic. Those who live alone on a single income and adults with children are especially at high risk. This is an ongoing issue and definitely the food community will be learning, listening & talking about in 2021.
In 2020 this was based on fear & uncertainties. So, people coped by hoarding certain food items and toiletries. How do we turn negative thoughts from 2020, to a positive mind shift for 2021? Here are some uptakes & continued food trends that I see from what we learned in 2020 as we start the new year.
1. Heritage Cooking. We will be embracing our own food cultures as we tend to spend more time with our families or the people we live within our household. We will continue to learn about our roots and carry-on traditions.
2. Virtual Cooking Classes. Culinary schools with a dine-in learning environment or chefs & nutritionists with their side hustles, this will be an alternative to continue their business & learning platforms.
3. Diversity & Creativity. With more at home dining, local restaurants are adapting to the way it is. Sometimes it is just best to let it be. Being diverse just adds variety to their business. E-commerce will evolve and continue to do so. People are supporting local businesses, being more creative and enjoying the at-home dining experience, while virtually visiting with friends & family at the table.
4. Food Waste Awareness. We always knew about food waste, but even more so during 2020 as we stayed home more often & cooked our own meals. This movement will continue through 2021. We will be more creative with leftovers and get in the habit of meal-planning to reduce food waste. With food prices increasing, people may take into consideration planting a raised garden or learning to grow their own herbs, fruits & vegetables.
5. Spices & Condiments. While we are cooking more at home, people may use more spices and condiments in their meals. With the loss of some restaurants that were forced to close their doors during the pandemic, we may be missing that secret sauce that completed your favourite meal you ordered or the combination of spices that the chef concocted to satisfy the pallet on that first bite. Again, people are going to need to be creative and try to recreate these memories when dining at home.
All of these are the anticipated food trends for 2021 and are all positives in my opinion. However, there are still some uncertainties as we enter this new year, but we need to just let it be. Let's continue to stay safe in the comfort of our own home and look upwards and onwards.
Until next time (or the next blog) ... and from my kitchen to yours, peace, love & eat good food!