JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The first week of 2017 is officially over. How are those New Year’s resolutions going so far? This week is a gold star week for those off to a good start making big changes. It’s reassuring to see progress, and food trend predictions are popping up all over to foretell what’s ahead for us in nutrition this year.
Food magazines, bloggers and others supposedly in the know would have us believe there are some serious — and not so serious — trends to look out for in 2017. Most of the time, they have the pulse of the food world at their fingertips, but sometimes I’m not so sure whose pulse they’re taking.
The 2017 food trends lists available are vast and varied. Serious lists include things like GMO labeling, sustainability and sugary soda laws, while more lighthearted lists include chocolate cake for breakfast. What I wondered, however, was: What are the masses looking for? So, I asked Google.
Trending top 10 Google searches for food and drink were interesting in the last weeks of 2016. Granted, the latest numbers available were for November 2016, but still. Maybe egg nog will pop up when December is finished being tallied.
Topping the drinks list were coffee, wine and beer. Honestly, I see those holding fast for 2017. Trending Google food searches were more interesting. “Properties of water” topped the list, followed by “chicken as food” then pizza. I had to Google “properties of water” for myself to see what came up. Perhaps there is a global elementary school project that propelled this to the top of the list, though I think it’s far more likely it is categorized incorrectly.
At any rate, “properties of water” has spent 15 months in the top 10. Really? “Chicken as food” has spent a whopping 137 months in the top 10 and pizza, right up there with cake at number four, at 155 months. The top 10 foods did reveal a crossover with coffee and wine apparently being considered food groups, too. Well, some good news there after all, but it is disconcerting that a number of folks are still trying to figure out what water is.
Clearly, your idea of a food trend varies depending on your level of immersion into the food industry and issues. Farmers work every day to get information to consumers about what they grow and how they grow it, but ultimately it’s up to the consumer on how they use that information. Whatever your resolution or food trend fandom might be, know that farmers are working hard to ensure you have what you want to follow those trends.
— Rebecca French Smith, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation
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