When was the last time you tried a food you had never tasted before? How often do you add a new-to-you vegetable to your bag at the supermarket? If nothing comes to mind, you are not alone. Many of us tend to shop for the same items week after week, as we cook a regular rotation of favoured recipes. In fact, globally 75% of our food is supplied by just 12 plant and 5 animal species, and 60% of our plant-based intake is from just 3 foods - rice, corn, and wheat.
Why can it be advantageous to try new foods from The Future 50 Foods, such lentils, buckwheat or spinach? Adding more diverse vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts to our diets may supply important vitamins and minerals that could be lacking otherwise. Eating a wider variety of foods can also be beneficial for our planet. When farms grow the same limited crops year after year, agrobiodiversity is threatened. That means that we become dangerously dependent on a small number of foods as other crops become extinct and delicate ecosystems are put at risk. Luckily, we have the power to affect change.
Future 50 Foods highlights foods that are delicious, nutritious, and have a lower environmental impact compared to many of the foods we currently eat. Some of these foods are easily recognizable, such as kale, which you may have had in a refreshing green smoothie or as a delightfully savoury baked chip. Perhaps you have already added nutty, fluffy quinoa or rich, crunchy walnuts to your meals after seeing them featured in many “superfoods” lists.
Some of the Future 50 Foods may be less familiar, even for adventurous eaters. If you are learning about fonio, the versatile ancient grain, or moringa, a nutritious and fast-growing green, for the first time, then you are in luck! After all, the celebrated French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, “The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.”
Five Tips For Incorporating New Future 50 Foods Into Your Meals
- Start Small Successful habits are built one step at a time! Try swapping in spelt or amaranth in place of rice or adding spinach and watercress to your usual salad. Get tips from Knorr for cooking tips and ideas to add and swap the Future 50 Foods in your meals.
- Identify Your Opportunity Are you bored with your breakfast options or dreading a humdrum dinner? What a perfect excuse to add umami-rich Enoki mushrooms to your eggs or use lotus root in a stir-fry.
- Update Your Protein Replacing animal-based protein can reduce our agricultural impact on the environment. Trade in all or some of the ground beef in a recipe for earthy lentils, meaty black beans, or buttery broad beans.
- Make it Fun! Share colorful new recipes on social media or have a Future 50 Foods themed potluck with friends. Share and find ideas with the social tag #Future50Foods
- Practice Makes Perfect Keep an open mind and remember that the more you try new foods, the more you will develop your palate and open your appreciation for new favorites! Get inspired by Knorr chefs with delicious recipes that make a difference. Click here for delicious recipes
FOOTNOTE: ^3 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. What is agrobiodiversity? Fact sheet [in English]. [ONLINE] Available at: http:/www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5609e/y5609e01.htm#bm1 [Last accessed November 2018]. FAOSTAT data available at: http:/www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QC[Last accessed November 2018]