Healthy Eating Trends
Healthy eating trends are changing quite fast as we become more knowledgable about the nutrition value of pure natural foods. There are fashions in food, as with everything else. Like all other fashions, it is the avant-garde minority who change before everybody else. But what they are doing today could well be mainstream within the next decade or two.
The most interesting healthy eating trends current today that I see growing in popularity are:
Healthy Eating Trends: Organics
Organic food is now much more widely available than it was ten or twenty years ago and the range of organic foods has improved enormously. When organic ketchup appears on the shelves of your local supermarket, it means that the market has caught up with a grassroots trend and realises there is money to be made from it. Organic foods are here to stay. The real challenge is now in making sure that everybody can access them, not just the educated classes and those who don't have to worry about the price of their food.
Contrary to food-industry propoganda, land used to produce organic food can be just as productive and efficient as land producing chemically-assisted crops and GM food. With current fears of food shortages facing the world, we should be clear about this----GM foods and non-organic foods cannot be produced more abundantly from the same piece of land. Organic food is more labour-intensive, but not more land-intensive. Therefore, at a time when we need to make the best use of the earth's resources, organic food is the best way to do that because it provides its yield without damaging our eco-system.
Healthy Eating Trends: Vegetarianism
Okay, I have to confess a bias here---I have been vegetarian almost all my adult life and I have a beautifully healthy daughter who has never passed a piece of meat through her mouth. How things have changed for vegetarians since I first started out on what was a lonely path! However it can still be a bit lonely at times, and restaurants could improve their vegetarian options. There is such a thing as vegetarian haute cuisine, as chefs like Alice Waters and Dennis Cotter have shown. So restaurateurs, take note please!
Going vegetarian is one of the best ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Vegetarianism is also a great contribution each one of us can make towards sharing the planet's resources more fairly, so that there is enough food for everybody. This is because meat production makes for very inefficient use of the land, as well as producing significant greenhouse gases.
And it is one of the best things you can do to improve your own health and longevity. If you would like to try out some tasty vegetarian recipes, click here.
Healthy Eating Trends: Veganism
Some of the healthiest, most age-defying people I know are those who eat a vegan diet. I think many people are alienated by the notion of veganism because many vegans are so ideological and evangelical about their own personal food choice.
Because of this, people tend to react against it and not consider the health benefits, the eco-benefits and the kindness towards other creatures inherent in this lifestyle choice. They also mistakenly associate it with extremism, which they are frightened of. But veganism is no more extreme than any other diet choice and is best evaluated on its own merits, rather than on the baggage it carries.
If vegetarianism is good for the planet, well, you can guess it, veganism is even more so! I think a great way to start being a responsible eco-citizen of the world would be for everybody to have at least one vegetarian day in their week and one vegan day, perhaps?....just an idea.
The human digestive system is not designed for all the animal foods that we have become accustomed to eating. By consuming less of them, we would also do our own health a power of good.
Healthy Eating Trends: Raw Foods
I used to suffer from dreadful hayfever all through my childhood. At one point in my late teens, not being able to bear it anymore, I went searching for a cure. Eventually, this journey led me to the Stone Age Diet. Yes, it is what it says on the tin---exactly what our Stone Age ancestors would have eaten, before humans invented fire---everything raw.
I kept my Stone Age regime for a whole summer. But I have to admit, it was very difficult and very boring! I don't know whether it was a complete coincidence or not, but whatever affect this regime had on me, my hayfever never came back and I have been free of it since. So for me, it was worth it.
Foodie-pioneers, embarking on a raw food diet today, have many more options than I had. New raw food recipes are being invented with great creativity by raw food pioneers. Raw food doesn't have to be boring, bland, flavourless, or uncomforting anymore. Raw Food Cuisine is now flourishing as raw-foodies experiment with exciting new combinations. This really is the cutting edge of the culinary arts at the moment because the raw food cuisinists are forging a new path in food creativity. Raw food is the nouvelle nouvelle cuisine!
Because raw food is fast becoming so popular, there are now many kitchen gadgets available to make a raw food diet tasty and sustainable. If they had been available to me, in my Stone Age Diet days, I might still be eating raw today. More and more though, I find that I am drawn to eat raw foods again, as I learn more about this fascinating and evolving cuisine.
Healthy Eating Trend: Juicing
Juicing is a wonderful popular, healthy eating trend that has real benefits and is not just a fad, like some other food trends. Juicing is an essential part of any healthy diet because of the fantastic quantities of vitamins, enzymes and other micro-nutrients that it can give us. You can make up the most amazing combinations when you are creative with your juicer recipes. Fresh juices, made with fresh, organic ingredients, in a good machine, which keeps the nutrients intact, have health benefits that are medicinally good for us---they really do help to keep us well and fight off disease. I recommend that every kitchen should have a good juicer in daily use.
Healthy Eating Trends: Growing Your Own
Years ago, on the road where I grew up, in a plush upmarket suburb, there was one front garden which stood out from the rest----it was full of an array of vegetables and fruits of all colours and shapes. They weren't in neat rows, like the vegetable patches my neighbours kept in their back gardens. These unashamed, front-garden crops, grew in an abundance of seeming disorganisation and because of that, I always thought this garden had an unusual beauty.
The lady who owned the house was a native African. To her, it was absolutely normal to use her patch of land, at the front of her house, to grow some food. Even though economically, she did not need to grow her own food, as they were a comfortably-off medical couple, she had not lost her connection to the land the way we had. Using the land well was a duty that was etched deep within her pysche. An ecological, environmental duty that we have lost in the Western world. "Why hide away the food in the back and try and keep a manicured lawn in the front. The food is prettier!" she would say.
She was right of course. And her front garden had benefits other than aesthetic ones. It was also less destructive to the environment than the perfect lawns it was surrounded by--- maintained with gallons of chemical weedkiller and hours of petrol lawn-mowing.
I recall her now, beaming amongst the purple bloom of artichoke flowers, as many of my friends and colleagues follow healthy eating trends and convert their lawns to food-gardens, about fifteen years later. Our African neighbour was ahead of the curve, but now we are all catching up!
If you can't trust where your food is coming from, what better way to provide it than to
grow your own?
If food is horrendously expensive, what better way to get cheap food than to grow your own? If there is a need for us all to be less wasteful of our planet's resources, what better step to take than to use our own little patch of the planet to give us food? In century 21, growing your own is the way to go!
Introduction to juicing and healthy juicer recipes.
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