Folks, it’s 2019. Did you know we are now the same amount of years away from 1990 than 1961 is?

Trippy, right?

It’s officially the future and as we all move further and further away from graduating high school and being a hip, young teen, we tend to fall out of the loop when it comes to trends.

You might find yourself in a restaurant or the grocery store completely confounded by all these new foods and buzz words you see popping up all over the place and have no idea what they are or why people are so interested in them.

And where’s my dang plastic straw?!

Well lucky for you, USANA’s resident youth at heart is here to teach you all the new food fads for 2019 and why they are important.

Got (Oat) Milk?

2019 Food Trends: Oat Milk

Let’s start with some of the less controversial food trends and begin with a recent dairy alternative that’s been heating up in the streets.

Oat milk started hitting American stores in early 2018, with Oatly being the first purveyor and it slowly gained some serious steam and started flying off the shelves late last year, so much so that our favorite oat dealer Quaker is coming out with their own version and flavors of oat milk soon.

Oat milk is rich and creamy and a great vegan alternative to cow’s milk, but it does contain more calories and carbs than most nut milks and soy milk. However, those oats can provide a few extra grams of fiber to your diet.

What is also making oat milk so popular is that you can easily make it at home. The homemade version only requires oats, water, a blender, and cheesecloth. Plus, your kitchen version of oat milk won’t contain the extra sugar put in by “Big Oat Milk.”

I drink A LOT of milk. Like way more than any grown adult should, so I’ve been looking for a good alternative to wean myself off but I haven’t quite been satisfied with any of the options out there. But I think oat milk just might be the ticket, a real Goldilocks between the extremes of cow’s milk and soy milk.

Faux Meat Fo’ Me

2019 Food Trends: MeatlessPlant-based proteins have been around for decades and have been a staple of the vegetarian/vegan diet, but thanks to startups like Impossible Foods, these meat alternatives have come out of the shadows and have hit the mainstream.

Starting last year, ads for an “impossible burger” were everywhere and that launched the public’s curiosity into what exactly it was.

Turns out, it’s from a Silicon Valley startup that takes a modern, science and technology-based approach to plant-based proteins.

I’m still convinced that faux meats that taste amazing are the product of witchcraft, so I won’t even begin to try and explain how companies like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, and Gardein do it, but somehow they truly pull it off.

Burger giants like Carl’s Jr. and White Castle have even joined the movement and now offer their own versions of plant-based burgers.

These plant-based proteins offer an environmentally-friendly, healthy, and cruelty-free way to get some umami in your food and have taken a huge leap in quality from the meat-free options from the early 2000’s.

The Last Straw

2019 Food Trends: Paper StrawsAs many Starbuck’s fanatics have already discovered, the use of plastics in straws and food delivery systems have taken a massive nosedive.

I’ve never been a big straw fan and I have a huge spot in my heart for ocean conservation, so ridding our world of plastic straws is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

Massive global corporations like Starbuck’s and McDonald’s are looking to phase out plastic straws and provide customers with more eco-friendly packaging, while grocery stores have been encouraging patrons to bring their own canvas bags for years to reduce the use of plastic bags.

Admittedly, this movement is still in its infancy so the current plastic straw alternatives aren’t quite where they need to be to make the plastic ones completely obsolete.

Most places are trying paper straws, but as everyone knows, paper gets soggy and mushy when wet. So by the time you are at the end of your drink, your straw has virtually turned into a ginormous spit wad.

But some more ingenious restaurants have even dabbled with using pasta and hay as straws for drinks.

It might take another year or two, but throughout 2019, look for more and more places adopting eco-friendly policies and food containers.

Special Delivery!

Like most Millennials, I love staying in and avoiding the crushing weight of the outside world. And nothing gets my anxiety going more than a packed sit-down restaurant when all I want to do is eat in peace and quiet.

So how can I have my cake and eat it to?

That question has been answered by companies like GrubHub, Seamless, UberEats, and DoorDash. All I have to do is go on their website or app, find eligible restaurants close to me, and bang! I’ve got some stranger hand delivering me a full meal while I keep my PJ’s on.

 Online, on-demand food services have been around for years, but they were mostly contained to cities like LA and New York and the selection of restaurants was modest at best.

Today, you can find nearly every restaurant offering their food for online delivery or pick-up and most average size metropolitan cities offer some form of this service. Larger chains like Starbucks and smaller healthy restaurants have all recently jumped on board and offer their food to these services.

In 2019, look for the online food delivery market to grow even more and for the corporate food giants to take full advantage. And if you live in a smaller city, expect to see more of your local restaurants to offer online delivery.

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