Jan. 9, 2019

Hot Food & Nutrition Trends for 2019

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

I’m fortunate that my role at Burnbrae Farms puts me on the inside track of the latest food trends. Attending trade shows, reading food industry blogs and talking to dietitians and fellow foodies provides me with a great overview of what’s coming up in terms of new ingredients, foods, flavours and wellness trends.

These food trends feed into the never-ending innovation wheel at Burnbrae Farms. Whether we are developing new recipes or researching new product lines, we like to be forward-thinking.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the trends that are predicted to be hot for 2019. Some will influence my day job, while others will populate my dinner plate and grocery cart. Here’s what I’m excited about!

Must Try – Bing: For the past several years, local foods from countries around the world have sprung up as food trends in Canada. The Vietnamese Bahn-Mi sandwich, Hawaiian poke bowls and Indian turmeric lattes are three great examples of country-specific fare that took on local flair. So what’s next? Watch for bing , a popular Chinese street food. Bings are savoury egg or wheat-based crepes flavoured with sesame seeds, scallions, black bean or hoisin sauce, chili paste, cilantro, and a crispy cracker in the centre to give it crunch. Sometimes they are also filled with barbecued pork or chicken. This is definitely something we need to develop an egg-based recipe for!

Local Foods and Buying Canadian: Eating local is something that I have always tried to do, especially when at the farm.  I visit the local butcher and purchases my veggies from a neighbour down the street.  However, increasingly we are seeing the trend towards sourcing from local farmers not only in grocery stores but in restaurants as well and you can often see special menus of local foods with in season vegetables.   Eggs have always been local and we source over 90% of our eggs from Canadian farmers, many of whom are within a hundred miles of our grading stations. Increasing our sourcing from local Canadian companies in all facets of our supply chain is something that we will be looking at going forward.

FODMAP Foods: If that’s a new-sounding acronym to you, you’re not alone. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols, which are types of sugars that are poorly digested and not well-absorbed in the small intestine. Many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) find relief with a low-FODMAP diet, and I’m seeing more ‘FODMAP-friendly’ foods popping up on grocery store shelves. Eggs are a naturally low-FODMAP food because they do not contain sugars, so it’s important that people with IBS know that eggs are a good choice.

Protein Trends: Interestingly, another big trend is the emphasis on getting enough protein at meals – for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Protein gets much better press than fat or carbs, and is seen as the key nutrient that helps stave off hunger and improve lean body mass. According to trend experts, people are looking for more protein in foods and beverages, and look for recognizable protein sources such as nuts, cheese and eggs.  Getting the right balance of protein with all essential amino acids is critical and can be a challenge when eating vegetarian.  According to research from Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University, there are 2.3 million vegetarians in Canada. That’s a huge rise from 900,000 vegetarians 15 years ago. While vegetarians skip meat, fish and poultry, many do include eggs in their diet. We will continue to develop products and recipes that help vegetarians meet their protein goals with meatless meals.

Put-An-Egg-On-It: One of my favourite trends, and understandably so, is to put an egg on just about anything!  Pizza, pasta, salad, hamburgers, you name it, adding an egg is now in vogue.  Interestingly, adding eggs to pizza and hamburgers has been a ‘thing’ in Australia and New Zealand for a long time, so Canada is just catching up.  The Chinese have always added eggs to soups, rice and other evening meal dishes for extra protein.  A soft poached egg on a salad adds not just protein, but when you break the yolk, it adds a lovely creaminess to the dressing that improves both the texture and the flavour. The added fat and protein help with absorption of all the nutrients from the vegetables in the salad.  The same holds true for pasta dishes and just about any kind of mixed grill.  One of my favourite dishes is to fry left over potatoes with some peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes and spinach or kale, then add a soft poached egg to the  top.  Crack the yolk and let it spread all over.  A little Nanny Hudson’s Homestyle Ketchup on the side and you can enjoy a delicious well balanced meal in minutes!  We have pretty much hit on all but one of the trends in one dish!

I’m excited to see how these trends will influence the work we do at Burnbrae Farms, and will continue to bring you new products and recipes that meet your needs.

Yours in good health,

Margaret Hudson

President, Burnbrae Farms