If you’ve missed reading up on the top food trends for 2019, they include increased industrial investment in lab grown “meats”, beverages enhanced with CBD, and the unprejudiced acceptance of imperfect ugly vegetables. While these trends may not appeal to everyone, there is one projected food trend that we all may want to consider – Eating at Home.
Wow. How did eating at home become a “food trend” anyway? Have we strayed that far from the generations-old daily ritual of dinner at the table, where our parents and grandparents gathered to eat and share the days news? Yes, it’s true. Many of us would have to admit that long work days and commutes and our family extracurricular activities have turned dinner time into a challenge. The priority list has often become (1) Eating – anything, (2) Eating around dinner time, (3) Eating something healthy, (4) Eating together.
Have faith! According to recent studies, “eating in” as a practice that we Americans are trying hard to hold onto, and we’re turning to convenience to do so. While eating at home is generally more affordable than eating out, the composition of the home-made meal and the means of preparing it are evolving.
Traditionally, the American recipe for dinner has been the combination of a vegetable, a starch and a protein, most often prepared separately and occupying individual sections of the plate. However, the final meal of the day is morphing towards a one-dish-fits-all model as a means of bringing all of the components together with less effort. While our mother’s cooking magazines once boasted recipes for stews, casseroles, or the multi-ingredient taco, we’re now cooking up sheet pan dinners and Instantpot meals. Many of us are also embracing the convenience of gathering groceries without touring the store via online shopping, and cooking without the bother of planning by ordering entire meal kits for delivery. In addition, our local supermarkets are investing marketing dollars and shelf space in more upscale store-prepared meals to go, enticing us away from traditional “fast food” towards meals with a more home-made appeal. Experts hypothesize that meals will trend toward a combination of these practices, containing some store or restaurant prepared components with other areas of the plate reserved for humble recipes made in the home kitchen. Order a burger (expertly grilled), toss up a salad. Pick up a hearty soup (lots of chopping), layer up a sandwich.
As we welcome 2019, consider becoming part of the “Eating In” phenomenon. Hold fast to the time honored tradition of enjoying a relaxing meal on a regular basis with those you care about. Food trend or not, some things never go out of style.