Once We Survive Coronavirus, We'll Pass Into A Kinder, Gentler Food World

Exciting news, friends! The world is probably not going to end in 2020 like many of us have feared! How do I know this? Because The Wall Street Journal has published a list of upcoming food trends for the next 10 years. If there wasn't going to be food, or people to eat it, why would they bother?

Anyhoo, it appears that the food world of the 2020s will be a lot more wholesome than before. Families will be eating together more often, with kids helping with the cooking. (There has been a surge of kid cookbooks lately, with more in the pipeline.) Adults will be drinking less booze: "Think aperitif culture, adaptogen-infused mocktails, non-alcoholic spirits, session beers and low-ABV wines." But they will be eating more plants. Or at least plant-based meats, which will continue to improve. "Regenerative" will replace "organic" as the buzzword of choice. This means food "grown and raised using methods that improve the soil, capturing carbon and encouraging biodiversity." A Regenerative Organic Certified program launched last month, thereby ensuring that in ten years, enough loopholes will be found that "regenerative" will be as meaningless a term as "organic."

Meanwhile, in the world of restaurants, the quarantine-inspired turn toward selling groceries and meal kits will become permanent, even after we're able to pack ourselves into dining rooms again. Meanwhile, ethical employment practices will become more widespread, both in the form of more consumers choosing to buy from employee-owned companies (hey there, King Arthur) and restaurant owners starting to pay their employees a living wage. Also, "heterogeneity will be the new normal," meaning that white men will no longer dominate among chefs and food brand managers.

The WSJ didn't provide any data or charts or anything fun like that to back up most of these predictions, so they could all be wishful thinking, but it's nice to dream. After All This Is Over, maybe we'll have passed through into a better world.