A Devout Carnivore Warms To A Plant-Based Future
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago snacking was synonymous with unfettered consumption of junk food. I can remember coming home from school, searching for a quarter, and heading off on my tricked out blue Huffy BMX bike, complete with yellow wheels, to the local convenience store to select a bag of snack chips to satisfy my hunger craving until dinner. It could be any number of flavors of potato chips, or tortilla chips, and when I really felt the need for something different I would go for a bag of those fried, crunch things formed into a shape of an onion ring. I have no idea what they were made of, and probably never even thought about it, they just tasted good.
Oh how times have changed! When my children come home from school, and are looking for a snack, they are much more likely to reach for something made with ancient grains or non GMO corn derived from an ancient Inca kernel, a clean label with a few ingredients that are natural and familiar, and devoid of salt unless it comes from the sea…and isn’t that the way it should be! We can thank the natural food industry for all of their hard work in perfecting the texture and flavor profiles to make it all pleasing to the palette.
On the next pages you will see the latest offerings in the snacking category. These products likely didn’t come to be in only a few short months. There are companies in the industry that has been at this for twenty or more years, constantly evolving and improving their products. When I first attended the Natural Products Expo, and tasted the product offerings, I was very thankful that I didn’t have any dietary restrictions that would dictate what foods were available to me. That is to say, I probably wouldn’t have craved much of what I tasted ever again. But, when you roam the isles of NPW now, you are just amazed how good everything tastes, and surprisingly, all of the foods are good for you too. The plant-based offering this year really reached a milestone for me. I can easily look forward to enjoying them for one of my daily meals without even feeling I was short-changing myself.
When I attended Alimentaria Barcelona earlier this month, plant-based was very much at the forefront of product innovation on the world food stage. While at the show I was treated to a multi-course, strictly vegan tasting menu that was certainly the best meal of it’s kind I have ever enjoyed. The company, which also operates a chain of Vegan restaurants in Spain, is also working on prepared meals for the retail market, and I look forward to having access to them someday soon here in America.
I now declare that this is the year that plant-based foods make it on the table of even the most devote carnivores because they are now too good to be ignored.