2021 Food Trends — breakfast is in, so are cookies

The Food Network is predicting that 2021 will be a year of big breakfasts, cookies and easier ways to find “healthy” foods, although what healthy emans depends on who is using the term, as ever.

The pandemic disrupted the usual breakfast routine for 80% of Americans. Less commuting to work and school meant more time for the most important meal of the day and food manufacturers are adapting. Look out for more convenient breakfast foods that are packed with functional ingredients like protein and fiber, such as Jimmy Dean Casserole Bites and Flourish Pancake Mix. Also expect familiar brands to up their breakfast game with tempting offers like Cinnabon’s CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich,” Food Network reports in a piece entitled The Biggest Food Trends We’ll Be Talking About in 2021.

You can read all the predictions by clicking on this link.

Two weeks into my no-sugar challenge — and five pounds lighter

As the year started, my wife challenged me to go for the entire month of January without any added sugar treats. I made it official by blogging about it here. Like a lot of people, we had been eating treats during the pandemic that we normally would not have in the house, such as candy galore from Chicago candy icon Fannie May, or cakes from a local bakery, Tag’s.

The bakery started delivering during the pandemic, even small orders. How could we pass that up? Not well, and you can probably tell that, after 18 days without sugar, I’m now hallucinating about chocolate cake.

The good news, I’ve lost five pounds in the past two weeks or so. The bad news — I’m hungry all the time as I was when I first completely changed my eating habits after a first stent was put in back in 2012.

What would a celebrity trainer say about Drake's Yodels?
Favorites like these haven’t touched my lips yet this year!!!

I also find I’m substituting starchy things — like bagels, English muffins and even whole wheat bread. I had pretty much cut those from my diet in recent years but had some in the freezer this month and so have turned to them.

I did buy some price-reduced after-Christmas candy, M&Ms and chocolate to be specific, which are sitting in our pantry waiting for Feb. 1.

This experiment has reminded me that if you eat healthy, I mean really healthy which means cutting most salt, fat and sugar from your diet, weight loss becomes simple.

You cannot eat enough plain veggies to gain large amounts of weight. Believe me, you should see my broccoli portions these days!

Another Salt-Free Salad Dressing from Farmer Boy: Balsamic Vinaigrette

After I wrote about a great low-salt, low-fat salad dressing find, Farmer Boy Lite Greek, the company was kind enough to send me samples of other dressings it makes. I discovered its Balsamic Vinaigrette has no salt and only four grams of fat per serving.

I’ve been enjoying it since it arrived, so much so I didn’t get to take a picture of the bottle before finishing it all, so the photo here is a stock shot from the company’s site. I’ll also post the nutrition info here.

A good choice for a low-salt, low-fat dressing.

The company also sent its regular Greek dressing, but with seven grams of fat per serving and salt, I passed it on to someone not as worried about salt and fat as I am because of my heart issues.

I found the brand on Healthy Heart Market. It’s also available on the company site and others.

Love eating local? Then here’s where you should live, according to a new study

I’ve written before about the challenges of eating local. How much locally grown food is available to us is often a function of geography. A new study shows the truth in that, with a few surprising exceptions.

A firm called Lawn Starter looked at the 150 largest U.S, cities and came up with the following rankings of the best cities for eating (and drinking) local:

Continue reading “Love eating local? Then here’s where you should live, according to a new study”

Did You Miss National Cookie Day? It’s every day during the pandemic, apparently

Did you know Dec. 4 this year was National Cookie Day? Me either, but it’s ok because it seems like during this pandemic, every day is cookie day for many. many Americans. U.S. cookie demand is up 25% in the pandemic while global cookie demand (crisps in Britain) is up 31.6%, found integrated marketing network Top Global LLC.

And almost all Americans, 95%, eat at least one cookie per month, Top Global found in its research. Roughly four in 10 of us eat many more than that (see the table here, provided by Top Global).

Top Global also has a map of the United States showing cookie consumption by state, along with data on which cookies are most popular where; just click here to see all that…and then have a cookie to celebrate 2020 being almost over!

Pandemic Shopping Trends: Back to online grocery buying in November

With Covid cases, as well as hospitalizations and deaths, rising across the country, Americans turned increasingly to online grocery shopping in November, according to new data from firms Brick Meets Click and Mercatus Grocery Shopping.

“U.S. grocery delivery and pickup sales for November 2020 totaled $5.9 billion, up 3.6% from August’s $5.7 billion, in a market where the customer and sales mix are shifting toward delivery and pickup services,” states a release from Brick Meets Click, a supermarket industry consulting firm.

More poeple are buying groceries online and they’re doing it more frequently, apparently.

“The number of active online grocery shoppers placing at least one delivery or pickup order during the past month increased to 38.7 million, up 3.6% from 37.5 million in August 2020, and they placed an average of 1.62 orders per month, up 2% compared to 1.59 orders per month in August 2020,” the firm found.

Roughly 39 million people ordered online in November, below the peak of about 46 million in June.

Brick Meets Click conducted this online survey Nov. 11-14, 2020 with 2,067 adults, 18 years and older, who participated in the household’s grocery shopping.

Pandemic Food Shopping: Predictions for 2021

While talk of vaccines is everywhere these days, those in the know seem to agree we’ll be well into 2021 before a large part of the country has access to vaccines, let alone has gotten the two shots of one to protect themselves. So how will that impact food shopping trends as 2021 begins?

Florida-based sales and marketing firm Acosta has put together the following predictions.

“Many of the changes we saw implemented in 2020 due to the pandemic will carry over into 2021,” said Colin Stewart, executive vice president of Business Intelligence at Acosta, ina press release. “Health and safety will continue to be paramount for retailers and consumers, and e-commerce growth will continue on its accelerated path. Grocery shopping was not fun this year, and post-COVID, stores will need to make it a more enjoyable experience with unique offerings, better prices and stocked shelves.”

Pandemic Shopping: Tips for bulk storage

The Covid-019 pandemic has certainly changed American eating and food-shopping habits. People are cooking at home and emptying store shelves of many staple items as a result. Just trying buying some yeast to find out what I mean.

Many people ahve turned to bulk buying, which is jsut a step short of hoarding in that hopefully they have need of the large quantities of foodstuffs they’re buying for large families.

We store non-perishable paper and cleaning products in our basement store room.

But buying in bulk can have its pitfalls, which is why I was attracted to this piece, 7 Life-Changing Tips from a Bulk Shopping Expert. While the headline is a bit melodramatic, the piece makes a few good points. Chief among those:

  • Determine (and buy) your highest-use items and target those for large purchases.
  • Have the proper storage space and type for items you stock up on.
  • Plan enough time to repackage perishables as soon as you get home.
  • Label everything with dates, keep a list of what you have, and use oldest to newest.

As the article states, “Buying in bulk is a shockingly great way to save money and to reduce the frequency of shopping trips for staples.” With food prices rising in the pandemic, stocking up may be the best way to stretch your food dollars.

Pandemic food casualty: Hey Costco, where’s my low-salt Thanksgiving turkey?

Looks like Costco let me down again (just like when it dumped chocolate frozen yogurt) and this time, only two weeks before Thanksgiving.

I journeyed out for a major shopping trip last week, knowing our locality would soon be telling us to stay home because of worsening Covid infection rates in our area.

I’ve written about how Costco normally has fresh, low-sodium turkeys this time of year — turkeys without any high-sodium liquids injecting into them for self-basting.

Time to eat all those turkeys! Happy Thanksgiving!
Where have all the turkeys gone at Costco? There were none two weeks before Thanksgiving.

But when I arrived last Thursday, there were no turkeys to be found at my local Costco in Glenview, Il. I asked a butcher who told me it was too soon for them. Too soon, two weeks before Thanksgiving and a day before we were told not to go out?

I know I’ve bought them earlier than that in the past because I’ve had to freeze them to keep them from spoiling before I cook them.

I looked at the home delivery option Costco offers through Instacart and did not find a fresh turkey last week either. I did find one this week, but at this point, I’ve found another source.

Romaine Lettuce Recall Hits 20 States

California-based grower Tanimura & Antle has announced a romaine lettuce recall that impacts product it shipped to 20 states.

The company is recalling packages of its single-head romaine lettuce with a packed on date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020 and a UPC number of 0-27918-20314-9. The culprit — E. coli again.

The recall is effective in the following states plus Peurto Rico:

Illinois, Alaska, California, Oregon, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, New Mexico, South Carolina, Washington, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

No lettuce-linked illnesses have been reported yet but for safety, if you ahve it, throw it out.

The recall doesn’t seem to ahve spread to other romaine lettuce so far. I was just at Costco today and saw its usual two brands of romaine hearts (regular and organic) on the shelves.

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