How the Pandemic Has Redesigned the Food Pyramid

 
PASADENA, Calif. - Dec. 4, 2020 - PRLog -- At the beginning of 2020, food analysts and registered dietitians predicted innovations in food and people's increasing concern about the practices that go into making what's on their plate would lead to improvements. The Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute predicted sustainability would be a megatrend (https://khni.kerry.com/trends-and-insights/ten-key-health-and-nutrition-trends-of-this-year/#mood). One big way to work towards a greener food industry was by eating greens. 2020 would see aisles filled with plant-based ice creams, vegetable pastas, and, of course, plenty of chik'n tenders and meatless burgers.

Going from the global scale to the individual, the next trend focused on tailoring diets to meet individuals' needs. As certain intolerances and allergies became more widespread, new diets also sprung up. The keto, paleo, and low FODMAP diets (https://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/top-healthy-food-trends/) are various approaches to help people lose weight or ease digestive issues by eliminating certain food groups. Diets like these contributed to the growing demand for dairy alternatives. While the FDA is currently trying to ban the label "milk" (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fda-ban-almond-milk_n_5b51...) used with these products, these mylks are here to stay.

Functional nutrition seeks to support and heal the body through natural remedies. Probiotics and prebiotics (https://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/top-healthy-food-...) promote the good bacteria necessary for a healthy gut microbiome. The microbiome is thought to play a role in the development of conditions like eczema, cancer, and depression. In addition to helping the body, functional nutrition can also help the mind. Some mood-boosting foods include turmeric, ginseng and CBD. While the FDA has currently outlawed it, some states have legalized CBD and regulate it as a food ingredient.

Dietitians and food experts predict functional nutrition for immunity support and mood-boosting will continue through 2021. More people will look to prevent illness by taking supplements (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/food-and-nutrition-trends#functional-nutrition). There will also be increased use in alternative medicines like echinacea and elderberry. With CBD still a gray area, Copaiba may be the next big thing (https://spoonshot.com/blog/2020/09/03/food-trend-predictions-for-2021/). The completely legal essential oil made from tree resin supposedly has similar effects as CBD.

A more balanced approach to eating will also provide some emotional support. However, people will still want to lower the number on the scale. One survey (https://spoonshot.com/blog/2020/09/03/food-trend-predictions-for-2021/) found over 3 in 4 Americans say they've gained up to 16 pounds in isolation.

The emphasis on sustainability and plant-based eating will stick around. These "climitarians" may become "flexitarians." (https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/food-and-nutrition-trends#functional-nutrition) Flexitarians take action to limit the environmental impact their food has but in more moderate ways. This may include swapping beef for chicken or opting for blended options like mushroom and beef burgers.

A final trend for 2021 borne out of the pandemic is ghost restaurants and kitchens (https://spoonshot.com/blog/2020/09/03/food-trend-predictions-for-2021/). This is "a professional food preparation and cooking facility set up for the preparation of delivery-only meals." Restaurants double as grocery stores and turn fan favorites into meal kits for people to assemble at home.
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