Forking into a healthy trend

Forking into a healthy trend

From survival to indulgence, and now wellness, the farm to fork and organic eating habits are ruling the roost, writes Anuja Pandey

When the pandemic raged we saw a clear shift to cleaner, greener and healthier eating. While people stirred Dalgona and baked many a cake, raw turmeric and immunity boosters got no less attention. Instagrammers posted push-up challenges and healthy salads and drinks were trending. 

With the current pandemic situation and an accelerated shift towards leading a healthy lifestyle, people have realised the importance of fresh produce out of the farm — organic, antioxidants rich and immunity-boosting fruits and vegetables and staples. 

All of these changes in food trends are brought about due to a heightened anxiety and stress levels that are causing behavioural and societal changes leading to a holistic way of life as wellness takes on priority. 

The farmer’s markets have even started coming down weekly to the apartment buildings facilitating the service so conveniently that it reflects on the lifestyle that the urban people of all age groups are adopting. 

Here to stay

The farm to plate wave is not a passing trend but it’s here to stay and change our way of eating and living. The concept is moving towards a plant-based diet, fresh out of farm served on your plate. 

As we inch towards 2021, food that’s locally sourced, is seasonal and is a farm-fresh produce is in demand. This directly reduces our carbon footprint, improves transparency and cuts the cost on middlemen etc. 

2021 will be about a food system where food production, processing and consumption are integrated in a way that it enhances the nutritional and economic health locally. It is about awareness of what we eat and where our food comes from.

Today nobody wants to eat processed, chemical loaded and frozen food. Many restaurants in luxury hotels have their own kitchen gardens or farms from where they directly source most of the fresh produce that is organic and hygienic. 

Conscious eating

We all are mindful of what goes in our system, people are choosing conscious eating and that’s the way to go in the coming years.

Chefs across the country are zeroing in on fresh produce, deceptively simple yet globally-inspired recipes from locally sourced sustainable and nutritious ingredients. The belief is that even local cuisine can highlight global flavours. It also retains the cultural identity of a place and it is a superb way to be adopted especially in a nation like ours where we have diverse food options and culinary excellence in each state. 

Trends to look out for

Finally, you are what you eat. The gut microbiome is the holy grail of health.  In ( g)olden days people used to eat fresh from their farms sharing their meals in big families and this food culture has made a comeback.

So many of the luxury hotels have the concept of a family table where unknown people have brunches together while they have some nutrient-rich food. This is mentally and psychologically nurturing as well especially for those who are alone in the grey years of their lives. 

Veganism too is here to stay. Those who couldn’t live without cheese and dairy are opting for nutty milks and rice bran milk, tofu and vegan cheese is making rounds even in house parties. Thoughtfulness in eating is vital to have a sustainable life and it also helps in weight and lifestyle-related disease management. 

Plant-based mock meat is the trend and ready-to-eat protein snacks are available in the market today in plenty. 

Seeds are another ingredient that people are fixated on and for all the goodness it carries, why not? Chia seeds puddings and flaxseeds are a hit amongst the fitness conscious. 

Processed white sugar is out. While consumers seek food that cuts out sugar yet delivers taste, many chefs are working on delivering taste with functional health properties. Cane sugar, coconut sugar to Yacon syrup are the way of the times. 

India has an abundant wealth of produce and ingredients and it’s a great idea to adopt the local flavours and ingredients for a varied culinary experience. 

(The author is a lifestyle coach & social media influencer.)