September is a busy month for food and is the monthly host for additional culinary delights, some of which pair quite nicely with mushrooms. It turns out that September is also National Wild Rice and National Organic Harvest Month. What a great fit if you’re in the mood for celebrating these monthly themes!
Emphasis on Flavorful Foods with Nutritional Benefits
The standard American diet (also known as SAD) is typically high in processed foods, which tend to be high in saturated and hydrogenated fats, high in sugar and salt and low in complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Two emerging food trends in the US have been identified as a demand for more nutritious food and food with flavor. The latest food trends include get back to basics with meals that are quick, but with an emphasis on flavor and also offering superior nutritional value.
Food with Health Benefits – Functional Foods
While there’s no formal definition for “functional food,” the meaning typically includes foods that provide a health-promoting or disease-preventing property beyond the basic function of supplying vitamins and minerals. For example, tomatoes contain a “phyto-nutrient” (plant compound) known as lycopene and is associated with a lower risk for prostate cancer. For example, tomatoes could be referred to as a functional food for men with increased risk for prostate cancer. Functional foods have also been extended to include processed foods or foods and beverages fortified with health-promoting additives, such as calcium enriched orange juice (to lower risk for osteoporosis). Fermented foods with live cultures are also included in the functional food category with probiotic benefits.
Last week’s blog targeted the growing trend of simplifying meals with an emphasis on flavor and health. Today’s blog continues with more food trends identified by The Food Channel and CNN for 2010, and how Hokto mushrooms fit right in.
Food Trends in 2010
• Back to basics economy and a return to natural ingredients
• Flavor delivery using international foods
• Food Safety
• Foods with nutritional benefits
• Food with flavor (Umami)
Despite the abundance of convenience foods and drive-thrus, in today’s economy, families are beginning to cook more at home. According to research published by the Food Channel, CNN and others, quick, simple meals expressing individuality, flavor delivery, and sprinkled with a dash of ethnicity are a few of the latest trends in 2010. Home cooked meals in minutes. Hokto mushrooms can certainly contribute to that!
Also, more and more people are moving away from a “meat and potatoes” diet to include more vegetables and less meat in their home-cooked meals. According to USDA statistics, consumption for meat has been decreasing over the last three years. In fact, this trend has created a new word, “flexitarian”. While not true vegetarians and not quite fulltime carnivores (meat-eaters), flexitarians tend to eat a mostly plant-based diet composed of grains, vegetables, and fruits, but they occasionally obtain protein from lean meat, fish, poultry, or dairy. A quarter of Americans fit the description, consuming meatless meals at least four days a week, according to the American Dietetic Association.