I took a few minutes to peruse a professional journal that came in the mail today, and GUESS WHAT! Meat free diets are one of the top 5 health trends for 2013. We are now mainstream.The article states that eating vegetarian and EVEN VEGAN is no longer considered the domain of "hippies and hipsters". That's a quote - "hippies and hipsters". I often have trouble being labeled, but I guess if the popularity of our diet is on a steady climb, that's a good thing. The herbivore diet is now being seen as a viable "health alternative" by athletes and celebrities. Guess that means more tofu and tempeh on the menu for us, not to mention those delicious locally sourced vegetables.
Wait! The same publication listed the top 10 menu trends for 2013, and several items on The National Restaurant Association's list are actually favorable for those of us who reach for the cauliflower instead of the cow. The trends that help make menus more enticing for us are:
2. locally grown produce
3. healthful kids meals (I'm stretching here. I'm not sure they would agree with our idea of healthful.)
4. environmental sustainability as a culinary theme
5. children's nutrition as a culinary theme (see my disclaimer for their #3)
7. hyperlocal sourcing, such as restaurant gardens
8. gluten-free cusine (Least they are thinking outside the box and including off the beaten path eaters)
10. whole grain items in kids' meals
What does this mean? In a nutshell it means we are influencing the masses. It means that we are being viewed as being healthier, and our lifestyle is desirable. It means that we've voted by putting our money where our mouths are, and restaurants want a piece of the action.
Keep up the good work!