Food Safety News | Spring 2019

Three Food Trends in 2019 and How They May Help Prevent Foodborne Illness

With the new year well underway, ‘tis the season for something we pay close attention to at Stop Foodborne Illness: FOOD TRENDS and how they affect our sacred mission of preventing sickness and death from foodborne disease.

After researching 2019 food trends, we’re happy to report that this year’s culinary crazes offer up some inspiring food choices. And we think you’ll be inspired, too, because having a strong potential to significantly reduce the likelihood of harmful pathogens getting into common foods we eat, is a trend we like to encourage.

Although food trends tend to change—and consumers can certainly be fickle—one thing always remains the same: The need for food safety as a priority. So, of course, that’s our focus as we delve into our picks for three interesting food trends of 2019:

2019 FOOD TREND #1: PLANT-BASED MILKS

With the sharp rise in popularity of plant-based milks including almond, rice, soy, coconut, and oat varieties, you’ve no doubt noticed that the dairy aisle at food stores everywhere has changed.

Plant-based milks are produced by grinding a nut or bean and then adding water, vitamins, minerals, and various flavors. These milk alternatives provide many benefits to consumers, which have contributed to their sales shooting up over the past year with expectations for continued and growing market share. The biggest reasons people are switching to plant-based milks include lactose intolerance, protein allergies, veganism, and food safety.

From a food safety standpoint, production of plant-based milks poses less of a foodborne illness risk as compared to cow’s milk, which is a potent growth medium for many pathogenic microorganisms. Similarly, the proteins in cow’s milk have landed it on the list of the “Big Eight” foods that make up 90% of all food allergy reactions in the United States.

Learn more about plant-based milks here.

2019 FOOD TREND #2: LAB-GROWN/CULTURED MEAT

Also known as “motherless meat,” cultured meat is produced in a lab using stem cells from the muscles of animals. It would seem that there would be a significant decline in the possibility of foodborne illness, since no animals are being slaughtered. But until a commercially viable product (read: tasty and safe) is available, there are lots of aspects to consider, first and foremost — nothing is ever simple. Just because the risk involved in conventionally produced meat would diminish, doesn’t mean that meat grown in bio-reactors wouldn’t bring new risks.

This trend, also called the clean meat movement, it is well underway and growing with major investments from many big players in industry and the private sector. Tyson Foods, Cargill, Richard Branson, and Bill Gates are throwing millions of dollars behind the production of clean meat to make the meat people love to eat healthier, safer, sustainable, kinder to animals, and more environmentally friendly.

Learn more about clean meat here and here.

2019 FOOD TREND #3: FERMENTED FOODS

Sauerkraut, kimchee, yogurt, kombucha, miso, tempeh, and kefir—these fermented foods are among those that have been rising in popularity over the last few years. And it’s easy to see why: People want the powerful health benefits of fermented foods. In a nutshell, fermented foods are famous for improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and boosting immunity via the probiotics or “good bacteria” they contain.

But what about food safety? According to experts, fermenting vegetables are usually SAFER to eat than raw vegetables due to the lactic acid that forms during fermentation. The lactic acid hunts down and kills any harmful bacteria that may be lurking.

Learn more about fermented foods here.

Thanks in advance for helping us spread the food safety word!

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