In addition to fighting the pandemic, the tumultuous effects of political unrest have further challenged our country; but Americans are resilient.
“As we adjust to the ever-changing landscape of medical information, Americans remain resourceful, finding creative ways to cope, and stay in touch with family and friends. The following food trends have taken root, helping people stay connected during these troubled times”.
1. Family Meals are Making a Comeback:
The quarantine has brought families together, like it or not. With hectic work and school schedules temporarily suspended, families are taking advantage of meals as a time to come together, and build better relationships. Kids are having dinner with their parents, not the norm for dual income families, and the benefits are proven. Research has found that eating dinner as a family helps kids have better self-esteem, more success in school, and lower risk of depression.
2. People Are Eating More Plant-based Foods:
It is a well-known fact that nutritionists have long supported the health benefits associated with plant-based foods. Certain shortages caused by health issues in the meat packing industry, have forced people to consider other options. Alternatives to animal protein benefit the health of individuals and our planet. Serving rice and beans as an entrée, or using meat as a condiment, are just a few examples of how people are incorporating more plant-based foods into their diet.
Try this quick and easy recipe for White Bean Soup that’s both satisfying and nutritious!
3. Baking For Ourselves and Others:
Working full-time, away from home often leaves little time for meal preparation, let alone baking. It’s often easier to just pick something up. But working at home has perks besides staying in your pajamas past noon, and baking is one of them. According to the Center For Disease Control, there is no evidence to support the spread of Covid-19 through food. Many of us have jumped into baking, incorporating proper safety measures, as a welcome distraction, and Cortney Anderson-Sanford is no exception. An NBC food show winner and etiquette coach, Cortney has embraced this distraction by sharing sourdough starter with friends. “Have you heard of friendship bread? It’s from Pennsylvania Dutch country, and it’s a sourdough starter that you make into a sweet cinnamon loaf, and then you give your friends the bread and a bit of starter. And then it becomes this chain letter of friendship bread that goes around the neighborhood. So, I started that” she said in an interview with the Seattle Times.
And the love doesn’t stop there. Delivering food for those in need helps us to get out of isolation, with the added benefit of helping others. Not everyone is able to venture out of their home. For those at high-risk, the delivery of a meal, baked good or groceries can be a life saver. Providing nourishment to those in need not only saves lives, it allows for much-needed human connection.
4. Buying Local:
As if it wasn’t enough to wear a face mask and adhere to proper social distancing standards, consumers have had to deal with certain shortages in the food supply chain. The upside is that people have turned to local sources for food. Sales of regionally milled flour, sustainably caught fish and community-supported agriculture programs have skyrocketed. People are supporting their local vendors and restaurants, and the money is helping sustain small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. Farmers markets are adapting to the pandemic by installing hand sanitizer stations, while encouraging proper social distancing with signs.
5. Happy Hour Reinvented:
Both Sally and Pete love a good craft cocktail. Their drinks are often inspired by their daughter Sam, a mixologist at a local watering hole in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Sam’s drinks are often featured on the menu board at their annual St. Patrick’s Day party, and more recently, neighborhood doorsteps. The cocktail, time and day is offered via text to recipients. Drinks are delivered in a social distancing kind of way, usually followed by an exchange of texts between participants; and the trend, due to our current social-interaction-starved climate, has caught on in different ways. People have been setting aside time to share cocktails virtually, by face timing or scheduling a zoom call. “It’s a fun way to spend time together and stay safe” a Seattle resident shares.