If you have been keeping up with the latest food and lifestyle trends this year, you’ll have seen the advent of technology infiltrating all of our lives (for good and for bad), more global crossover, and creative ways to help the environment. We’ll take a look at a few examples of these trends and give you the rundown of the good, and the bad!
Over the past few decades, going vegan has slowly become trendy. Within the last few years its risen in popularity so much that vegan restaurants are popping up all over the world, and most regular restaurants are offering vegan options as standard. You can now easily pop into a restaurant and get your Vietnamese food with your favourite vegan substitute, pretty much anywhere. The Vegan Society in the UK, for example, estimated that veganism has quadrupled across the world over the last 5 years. This number has likely risen dramatically again this year and into next.
While Instagram Influencers might be a big reason why some people are gravitating toward meat free, most people cite really great reasons for their change. Some of the most popular reasons are for personal health, animal welfare, and trying to eat more sustainably. Eating meat can be rough on the environment, especially when you consider the land, water and energy it takes to grow animals for meat consumption. Our ever growing world means that there are more and more humans to consume meat, so some people are taking it upon themselves to change their habits for the greater good.
Another trend lately is to “rescue” food. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, don’t worry, this trend is fairly new. Many startup companies are taking “ugly” produce and marketing it to buyers as a more sustainable option. Essentially, these companies claim that the uglier and more misfit looking vegetables and fruits don’t get purchased at the stores and therefore go to waste, so their company takes these and markets them to those looking to be more sustainable. These companies have been criticised by some, so there are definitely pros and cons to these services.
Other food rescue operations seem more established and to be doing a world of good. An example of this is Kaibosh in New Zealand, where the food that normally would be thrown out by restaurants and businesses gets repurposed for the community. Even items like wholesale roasted coffee beans can be donated and used for community breakfasts or meals. This is a great way to save food that we know for sure would be wasted, i.e. leftover scones from cafes for example, and given to those who need it.
Decorating sustainably and locally
The call for embracing sustainability is also hitting our interior decorating. In New Zealand, many people are using things like Kiwiana wall hangings or even Kawakawa products in bathrooms to show off their Kiwi pride. The point here is to use your local environment and reducing the negative impact you might when decorating. Doing research into where products are coming from, plus the working environment and actual materials that are used, is fast becoming the norm.
One popular option is using natural materials like bamboo or other hypoallergenic materials that are easily renewable. Others are decorating solely from second hand stores, using vintage and antique decor that can be refurbished or repurposed into what the home needs. Still others are turning to local artists and carpenters to create bespoke items directly, rather than reaching out to the big brands like Ikea or Kmart to mass furnish and decorate a home.
As you can see, the sustainability train is pulling into the station and not going away anytime soon. Another sustainable trend taking off is in the world of alcohol. Many wineries are starting to use aluminium cans instead of bottles for their wine. This means that instead of having to open a whole bottle, you can simply grab a can of wine for the evening, wasting less and not worrying about having to drink the bottle within the next day or having it go off. Another plus is being able to bring canned wine where you normally wouldn’t be able to bring glass, like many parks or beaches. Plus, aluminium is one of the most easily recycled materials, and is nearly everlasting in this way.
Other companies are taking on the bottled water industry and also using aluminium for water. While of course, the best option and most sustainable would be to simply bring your own water bottle and refill with water, these types of alternatives are hopefully cutting single use plastics down and increasing our ability to recycle. Of course, having recyclable materials doesn’t mean that it will be recycled, as many consumers are still tossing perfectly recyclable products rather than taking the time to find an appropriate recycling bin.
A massive new jump in technology is hitting our kitchens. If you’ve been in a high end kitchen manufacturing store lately, you’ll see an explosion of technology has infiltrated our kitchen options. From smart technology in our lighting and windows, to technology in appliances, this trend is not going away anytime soon.
Step inside a kitchen appliance store and you’ll see smart refrigerators keeping stock of your inventory and reordering when necessary, or havinv Wi-Fi enabled temperature control. Fridges even come with screens on the outside that will show you a camera view of the contents, without you having to waste energy by letting the cool air escape while searching for something to eat. We’re also especially loving appliances that make our lives easier, like with built in food scales and temperature gauges.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s update in food and lifestyle, and can’t wait to see what next month brings!