Future Trend in US Foodservice Industry
A person can last without food for a few weeks but with radical side effects. Since there is no source for energy the body will start to consume fats and muscles leaving only the skin and bones. This is not a very effective way to diet or control eating habits. Since we cannot survive without eating it is important that one is aware of what is happening in the food industry. Being informed of the transformations revolving around the food we eat will equip us with knowledge to make better food choices. We are now in the new millennium where everything is fast-paced.
For that reason most Americans tend to eat 50% of weekly meals in restaurants than prepare home food (Muller, 2007). And since there is an increase in number of restaurants to choose from, restaurants owners should look into the food trends of consumers to be able to survive in the competition. There will be many new trends in food as the New Year ushers in but the trends that are prevalent are eating healthy, convenient food preparation, availability of exotic foods, and interest in food safety (Folkes & Wysocki, 2007; Zellman 2007).
Many of these trends will come and go but the one that will make a lasting impression is the need for healthy foods. Due to media play up of the relation of food and diseases like cancer and heart disease. People are now educated about the effects of calories and fat we get from food we eat. Under this healthy living trend, organic foods are observed to have an increase in sales since 1990 (Davis & Winter, 2006). Benefits from organic foods include more nutrition than conventional food, safer since it has no pesticide, and its production have less impact on the environment. Organic Foods
Organic foods are foods produced under legally regulated production standards (Condo 2007). Foods labeled as organic are produced without the use of chemicals used in conventional farming while animal in organic farms do not use antibiotics and eat only organic foods. In the United States the National Organic Standards Board of the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) set the standards on what could be labeled as organic. This term should not be confused with the term natural food. Natural foods basically are preservative-free but not necessarily organic meaning it is not produced under the regulated standards (Parnes, 2002).
Products produced in certified organic farms may demand higher price than conventional products. However this downside is outweighed by the benefits from organic foods. Organic foods as studies shows are more nutritious. One study by the University of California at Davis concluded that typical organic foods contain higher levels of vitamin C, iron and magnesium (Condo, 2007). In addition it is found that phytonutrients are also higher in organic crops. Phytonutrients are nutrients from plants that are associated in the prevention of diseases (Heaton, 2005).
One example is lycopene which is believed to prevent certain types of cancer. Another benefit is the assurance that the food is safe. Since a product could only be labeled as organic if it passed the rigid standards of the USDA. A consumer is guaranteed that the manufacturer went through meticulous inspection from ingredients, tools and methods used in production. Also the risk from pesticide residue is avoided since organic products are completely free from these chemicals that could be cancer causing (Ten Good Reasons, 1996).
Although some synthetic fertilizers could be used it should be under the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances set by the USDA (Davis & Winter, 2006). An organic farm also respects the environment by utilizing farming techniques that lessen water, soil, and air pollution. Without the use of chemicals, toxins that pollute the environment are eliminated. To protect the soil farmers uses sustainable farming means like crop rotation and composting. While animals in these farms are only fed with organic foods.
Exposure to fresh air, natural light and open pasture are implemented. And if the animal got sick antibiotics are not given instead homeopathic medicine are administered (All About Organic Cheeses). With so many benefits products like these are here to stay. And with the growing awareness for healthy living, an increase in consumer opting for organic foods could be expected. There are varieties of crops that are already being produced using organic methods. In this paper focus will be on organic wine and cheese production.
Organic Wine In the market right now there are two types of organic wines available. One that is labeled as made with organic grapes and the one that is certified organic and carries the USDA organic label. The difference lies between the sulfites content of the product. Wines that are made with organic grapes are as the name implies are made with 100% organic grapes but have additional sulfites added to prevent spoilage. On the other hand certified organic wines are made with organic grapes and no added sulfites (Gleason, 2006).
Winemakers argued that the USDA standard should be relaxed. They believed that wineries that already eliminate the use of chemicals in their farms should be allowed to be certified organic. But certified organic winemakers disagree since adding more sulfites to wine is not needed. Labeling the wines is important since some people are allergic to sulfites. Sulfites are an additive used as a preservative. It is naturally present in wines after fermentation. To preserve the flavor and add shelf life, conventional winemakers add additional sulfites.
Organic wines contains less than 10 part per million (ppm), wines made with organic grapes contain less than 100 ppm and conventional ones have 350 ppm (Gleason, 2006). Organic wines are safe even to ones that have the allergy since no symptoms are observed if the food contains less than 10 ppm of sulfite (More, 2007). As study shows drinking one to two glasses of wine per day could be very beneficial to health. Heart diseases are cut down to 50% by drinking in moderation. This was confirmed by the study called the French Paradox.
The study compared Americans and French who both have high fat diets, yet the French have lower incidents of heart diseases. This is attributed to the moderate consumption of wine by the French (The Health Benefits). Also a study by the U. C. Berkeley shows that Red wines contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that have an anti-aging effect (Clearing up the Confusion). Since grapes used in organic wines are produced without the use of chemicals and use only natural techniques for cultivation. The plants are healthier and contain more beneficial nutrients than conventional ones.
With this concentrated extract organic wines are found to have more of nutrients like the resveratrol. These wines are not only healthier, tastier, but also safer. In line with the growing popularity of organic foods, organic wines are finding it ways readily available to consumers in supermarkets and restaurants. Because people now are more educated about the benefits of organic foods not only to health but also to the environment, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) the sales of organic wines are expected to rise by 17% each year from 2006 until 2008 (Gleason, 2006).
Organic wines are also listed as one of the top new trends in restaurant by the National Restaurant Association (Morganstern, 2008). With the pressing call to live healthy and to care for the environment organic wines is clearly more than a fad and have already found it niche in the market scene. Organic Cheese The difference of an organic cheese from conventional one lies in the milk and other ingredients use in its production. Milk used in organic cheese comes from cows that have an all organic diet, natural organic pasture grass.
Meaning dairy cows with this diet have access to natural light, fresh air and organic grass free from pesticides. On the other hand conventional dairy cows are put in confinements and are fed with grains. This kind of environment mostly gets the cow sick therefore antibiotics are utilized to allow them to continually producing milk. And to get more milk beyond the natural capacity of dairy cows growth hormones are used (Mercola). With an unnatural environment most dairy cows produce unhealthy milk tainted with antibiotics and chemicals that could have awful side effects to humans.
Although cows nurtured with organic method produce less milk than grain fed one. Their milk is concentrated with the vitamins that are highly beneficial. Like regular cheese organic cheese have calcium and protein. Yet organic cheese is found to have more CLA, Omega-3, and other anti-oxidants. CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is a substance found in red meat and dairy products that help in cancer prevention and weight loss. Studies also corroborate the claim that organic cheese contains higher level of omega-3 (Johnston, 2004).
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that helps in keeping the bones and teeth strong, good joints and healthy heart. Other antioxidants that higher levels are vitamin E and beta-carotene. And like organic wine organic cheese has fewer chemical residues For the past years organic foods sales have grown rapidly from 3. 6 billion dollars to 17. 7 billion dollars (Stock 2008). With this growth a lot of major players in the cheese industry have gone organic. One example is Horizon Organic (Boulder, Colorado) which expands its product line by 50% in 2004 (Organic Cheeses).
Other players also joined in like Kraft, Kelloggs, and General Mills. Healthy living trend in the restaurant industry Looking into the trend of healthy living the movement already swims its way into the restaurant industry. Most restaurants started using organic vegetables and dairy products for food preparation. Menus underwent changes where healthy options in how foods are prepared and alternative choices like vegetarian are included (Folkes & Wysocki, 2007). Not only that but some restaurants included nutritional information in the menus to help patrons make healthy choices.
Some restaurants view this as a burden but a survey of 5,297 adults shows that 83% wanted to see nutritional information in restaurant menus (Poll shows) . Restaurants that carry organic wines hosted wine parties to introduce their organic products. Personnel also go through training to equip them with better understanding of the benefits of organic wine to be able to properly articulate it to customers. Servers are taught to pair organic wine to food in menus that contain organic ingredients for a holistic organic experience. Others even hire sommeliers to conduct training about organic wines (Roberts, 2001).
The healthy living movement will not fade away as more people wanted to live healthier and longer. Cafes and restaurant then should start to adapt to some of these practices not to only survive in the industry but to promote a healthier lifestyle. Just like peanut butter and jelly or cookies and milk wine and cheese is a pair that have become a staple to wine and cheese lovers alike. To date many varieties of organic wines and cheese are already available in the market so there should not be any problem in enjoying the same old paring that lovers are used to.Familiarity and educating oneself is the key to be able to achieve better living.
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