2017 food trends – avocados are out, okra is in

Food trends are obvious in hindsight. Last year, there was avocado everywhere, spiralizers spiralled out of control, and everything we ate was given a rainbow make-over. But predictions for the year ahead are always tricky, and after a turbulent 2016, who knows what will happen in 2017? However, I’m giving it my best shot with a few predicted food trends for this year.

Purple veg at New Covent Garden Market. Credit: Frantzesco Kangaris/PA Wire
Purple veg at New Covent Garden Market. Credit: Frantzesco Kangaris/PA Wire

Food waste is on the out, which is fantastic. Latest estimates claim that around 56% of food and drink waste is avoidable (WRAP), while more than 8 million people in the UK are struggling to put food on the table – so there’s appetite to do even better! Many supermarkets are looking for ways to use their foods which are discarded by consumers. ‘The Warehouse’ near Leeds (opened by the Real Junk Food Project in 2016), sells food which would have otherwise been thrown away, and operates on a pay-as-you-feel basis, meaning that it helps hundreds of struggling families. There is also ‘Too Good To Go’, an app which enables you to buy leftover food from restaurants and cafes for as little as £2. It’s already in London, Leeds and Brighton, and is set to take over the rest of the UK in 2017.

Less alcohol. Mocktails and fancy juices are becoming more popular to drink, with many people choosing non-alcoholic options when they’re out, and restaurants are responding to this new market with a wide variety of virgin drinks. Try the gorgeously designed and tasty Seedlip – the world’s first non-alcoholic botanical spirit. It’s not confined to restaurants or bars either; try making your own lemonade or limeade, a homemade cordial or growing yourself a ginger beer plant.


That brings me nicely onto the next prediction, for DIY foods. More people have their own pots of fresh herbs on their window sills, or a small patch of earth in the back garden for radishes and other easy vegetables. While ‘Dig for Victory’ is a little outdated, you can bring this trend firmly into 2017 with your own hydroponic unit. It also doesn’t have to stop with your own fresh foods; you can pickle vegetables, or make your own kimchi, sauerkraut, and jams.

Free-from foods will become even more popular in 2017. Previously, these have been only enjoyed by people with intolerances or allergies, but recently many people have started choosing to eat foods which are free from gluten, dairy or nuts. They’ve also never been more accessible, with supermarkets and even corner shops adding more and more variety to their free-from range. Keep an eye out for tiger-nut milk making a splash!

Vegetables. We’re set to see an increase in vegetables on our plates, changing the British staple of meat and two veg to just… veg? Veganism is still on the rise, with half a million people in the UK now a vegan. This means we’ll be seeing more vegan and vegetarian dishes, as restaurants open themselves up to the diversity of fruit and vegetables – from okra to tomatillos and loquats. Need some fresh inspiration? Check out New Covent Garden Market’s seasonal Market Report.

Finally, bowls. No, I’m not kidding. There’s already an entire restaurant in Berlin which is seemingly dedicated to serving breakfast in bowls. Some things already make a lot of sense in bowls; soup, for example. But bowls and comfort foods are a match made in heaven, plus bowls are far more Instagram-friendly than a boring, wide plate. It’s not just comfort food either. Healthy, well balanced meals seem more appetising in a bowl, and it’s an easy dieting tip as well; you can trick your brain into thinking there’s more food in a bowl than the same meal on a flat dish.

For even more gazing into the foodie crystal ball, read these expert articles:

Let’s get digital

Let's Get Digital

Let’s get digital

Let's Get Digital

  • Photography meets digital strategy – a really lovely piece on why it matters to crop.
  • Google is building YouTube Connect, a livestreaming app to take on Periscope.
  • Facebook’s video metrics have been enhanced to give marketers insights into viewer performance on a day-by-day basis. It now measures: minutes viewed, views,  number of 10-second views.
  • Google is finally redesigning its biggest cash cow: AdWords.
  • Instagram is coaching advertisers to approach it exactly the same way they do Facebook: “Agencies have been getting new insights from Instagram about how best to use the platform in light of two major changes: It is integrated with Facebook’s automated ad technology, and it plans to use an algorithm that curates content for users. The new Instagram strategy should mimic what they do on Facebook. “We’ve seen the Instagram pitch to clients twice now in the last month. It is basically the Facebook pitch: Everything should be promoted, and there’s no point in doing organic,” a source said.” [DigiDay]
  • Nice idea from Sonic in the US – instagram inspired shakes – designed and sold through Instagram at Coachella.Sonic Square Shakes

Find what you love

“The government is cutting music programmes in schools and slashing Arts grants as gleefully as a morbidly American kid in Baskin Robbins. So if only to stick it to the man, isn’t it worth fighting back in some small way? So write your damn book. Learn a Chopin prelude, get all Jackson Pollock with the kids, spend a few hours writing a Haiku. Do it because it counts even without the fanfare, the money, the fame and Heat photo-shoots that all our children now think they’re now entitled to because Harry Styles has done it.

Charles Bukowski, hero of angsty teenagers the world over, instructs us to “find what you love and let it kill you“. Suicide by creativity is something perhaps to aspire to in an age where more people know Katie Price better than the Emperor concerto.”

– James Rhodes,  ‘Find what you love and let it kill you

Half a million secrets

My not-so secret? I’m a blubberer. I get weepy at tiny animals, internet onions, thoughts of home, and heart-warming stories of people being nice on the tube. I can trace it back to the first time I watched E.T. at my grandmother’s house, and spent the evening wiping my snotty nose into my sleeves. So when I saw Frank Warren’s, founder of  PostSecret, TED presentation, I lost it. Watch right through to the end, or skip ahead to 8:30.

Taste: Making Creative Work As Good As Your Ambitions

This is Ira Glass. You probably know him from NPR’s This American Life.

Ira Glass on creativity

This is what he said about creativity, production, and good work:

What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

This is the video the quote comes from, it’s loosely about film production, but really about anything CREATIVE:

(Ira Glass on Storytelling: parts onetwo, and four.)

CFS Loves 82

National Geographic - Fox of the Year

Best Wild Animal Photos of 2011 | National Geographic

Elle Decor - Antwerp GuideElle Decor’s stylish guide to Antwerp | Elle Decor

Tjalf Sparnaay - Hyperrealistic Food Paintings

Tjalf Sparnaay paints hyper-realistic pictures of food | Trendland

XKCD - money chart

Money – an infographic | XKCD

Engaged to Prince William

Engaged to Prince William, a sculpture | A Cup Of Jo

Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?

Famous Albums on Street View | Vice

Alexey Titarenko

Alexey Titarenko, The Zombies | But Does It Float

Superlatives Used in Missed Connections, oh how I adore Craigslist | Center for Missed Connections

Marked, a series of prints made by hand | Karin Wolters

Jay-Z – a man of the year. “Jay’s tourist-bureau anthem, “Empire State of Mind,” comes on somebody’s radio, and for a block or so it’s like we’ve strolled into a montage.” | GQ

Late Bloomers – Why do we equate genius with precocity? | The New Yorker

Nathalie Lete, artist | Wee Birdy

aaaaaand my favourite of the week…

How to properly hide booze in your Facebook pictures | Celebr8wewill

Inspired this, I made my own PUPPY version. Check out the gorgeous Mon with her vodka & soda:

Vodka&soda Puppy

CFS loves 81

Twisted, Nicholas Kennedy’s photography | But Does It Float

Twisted - Nicholas Kennedy

Best of Breed, 102 champion dogs photographed at the Westminster Dog Show | NY TimesBest in Breed - Westminster Dog Show

F.lux and Ommwriter, 2 programs to increase the aesthetics of productivity. I have been playing with them both and they are an excellent alternative to the Word.doc of death | Cellar Door

Miranda July Q&A, from Stylist’s clever masterclass series. I had a Q and MJ gave me an A! | Stylist Magazine

More Inspiration from Miranda July

And even more inspiration from MJ – on Strangers | The School of Life

Codeacademy – an interactive way to learn programming by actually coding!

Code Academy
Rose & Clover
 and other colour schemes | Apartment Therapy

Rose & Clover Colour Scheme

The arc of drama, explained by Kurt Vonngeut | Sivers

Kurt Vonnegut

Kaleidomaniac, an image blogging experiment. Below: Tsukiji Fish Markets by Rory Hyde  | Jarred Bishop

Kaleidomaniac - Jarred Bishop

Starbucks’ augmented reality app makes your cup come to life! Naturally, I like the fox | Mashable

Also of note:

Vintage cameras in London, an alternative shopping experience | Last Minute

Lapday, a definition to consider | Dictonary of Obscure Sorrows

A wedding in the woods | Jody Rogac

What’s on the mind of Laura Ford | STW Nextness

Anita Calero: Curated Chelsea Home, I want to live here | LoftLife


… I leave you with a Steven King quote that I enjoyed this week:

“Look, writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub,
Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It’s a wonder that most of them don’t.”