Bettering Our Food Supply.
The decades-long health food revolution has changed our food landscape, yet new trends suggest we are not near over, as evidenced in business growth and new champions of advancement. Despite negative press in recent years around there not being a natural standard and the organic standard becoming too lax, Inc. Magazine this year listed the health and specialty foods industry as one of the top eight industry’s for starting a business based on the industry’s growth prospects. Because of what growth has wrought on natural and organic food standards, the food movement continues to evolve, further raising the bar. Some in the industry are pushing against the “farm to table” expression, recognizing that the intent needs to go beyond what the term simply implies in order to truly understand beneficial agricultural practices. Others want to redefine what it means to be a “foodie,” a desire for it to be based on values rather than just an enjoyment of food. What’s consistently true is trying to find better ways to feed all of us on the planet in a way that’s healthy for all of us and the Earth in turn.
- On the world stage, there’s a focus on sustainability despite countries becoming concerned about how they’ll feed their growing populations into the future. Experts focused on this topic are raising the issue to the same level of concern as climate change. This summer there was a conference in Stockholm focused on creating an International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systemswith a goal to “encourage and guide research on sustainable food systems and diets.”
- The FEED Collaborative is the brainchild of Matt Rothe and Debra Dunn at Stanford University. The program brings students and food industry thought leaders together to help solve the food system’s greatest challenges. Leveraging the foundations of design thinking, the FEED Collaborative offers experiential classes where students take-on real world problems and develop innovative food solutions.
- Finally, some simply are continuing to take us back to our roots, of sorts. Bob Klein, owner of Oliveto’s restaurant in Oakland, California, is championing the ancient grains movement, from selling his own products (Community Grains.com), to terming the “whole grain economy” and hosting a conference on the topic, to convincing Whole Foods to sell whole-grain cookies that sold off the charts.
Consumer Forecast: Help me eat better for me and the planet.
Bittman, Mark. “Rethinking the Word ‘Foodie’,” The New York Times, June 24, 2014.
“Feeding the world while safeguarding its resources,” Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso, PRNewswire, May 27, 2014.
“Stems sell.” Monocle, June 2014.
“The Whole Grain Revolution is Here,” San Francisco Magazine, June 2014.