As someone who loves food (and writes about it for a living), I have pretty mixed feelings about food trends. On the one hand, it’s fun to see new products hit supermarkets, to experiment with new ingredients in the kitchen and to try new offerings at my favorite restaurants. On the other hand, some food trends just have no business taking the world by storm the way they seem to.
So many delicious and awesome things were popular in 2018. Middle Eastern flavors are more available than ever in the American market; chefs are doing more with bones, seeds, peels, greens and other food scraps in order to minimize waste; and there so many convincing mainstream milk alternatives for anyone who can’t do the real thing.
Alongside these buzzworthy trends — many of which, it’s important to note, highlight ingredients and cooking styles that have been central to other cultures for centuries and are only new to those of us who grew up in America — are a few others that will hopefully fade into the background in 2019. Of course, it’s totally up to you which foods you eat and which trends you hop on board with. Love stirring mushroom powder into your canned draft latte and drinking it alongside an Insta-worthy acai bowl? Don’t let us stop you! But, if you’re getting a little tired of trendy foods that don’t seem to have much real appeal, you’ll likely agree that we need to say goodbye to the following seven food trends in 2019.
Mushroom powders making New-Agey claims like better brain function and superhuman energy levels were everywhere in 2018, as were all kinds of mushroom-infused goodies like chocolate and energy bars. And while mushroom powder might not ruin whatever coffee or baked good you pour it into, it likely doesn’t do anything to improve it either. (Also, it probably does ruin it a little.)
Instead of buying into lofty health claims and shelling out major money for mushroom powder, go all-in on real mushrooms in 2019. There are so many varieties to experiment with! Use them as a meat substitute or mix chopped mushrooms with ground meat to cut back on animal protein.
Overpriced acai bowls
Smoothie bowls play well on Instagram thanks to bold colors and the potential for truly endless topping combinations. Bright purple acai berries make for a gorgeous smoothie base and taste great. But frankly, blueberries serve the same purpose and are far less expensive. In 2019, let’s stop shelling out for imported berries and start blending up less expensive berries instead. Pick up a bag of frozen blueberries the next time you’re at the grocery store and use a cup or so in every smoothie bowl.
Iced lattes in a can
Canned iced coffee is super-convenient, sure, but enough with these draft lattes in a can, already. The whole point of a latte is frothy milk, and you just can’t get that out of a can. Let’s keep the artisan iced coffee trend alive in 2019 but save the milk extras for trips to the local coffee shop.
Once upon a time, coconut water was the only slightly sweet natural alternative to regular H20. Fast-forward to 2018, and grocery store shelves are filled with all kinds of sweet waters — specifically maple water and cactus water.
While there’s nothing outright wrong with these waters, they’re not exactly a health food. Like juice, they have natural sugars and some nutrients, but no fiber to help fill you up. Essentially, you’re shelling out for expensive sugar water, so you might as well give these a pass in 2019.
The noodle-slurp selfie
Noodle-slurp selfies existed before 2018, but Kim Kardashian West’s topless noodle slurp took us by storm in March, bringing the trend to new heights. Who knows what sorts of foodie poses 2019 will bring, but the noodle slurp is going to stay in 2018 where it belongs.
It’s silly that this needs to be said, but eating charcoal probably isn’t a good idea. According to the Journal of Food Quality, activated charcoal can potentially bind to vitamins and minerals in your digestive system, making your food less nutritious — not more. And sure, slate-black foods photograph well and are kind of fun to eat, but it doesn’t have magical healing powers. Claims that it removes toxins are bogus — your liver and kidneys do that all on their own.
So as we say goodbye to 2018, let us also say goodbye to all the terrible food trends and make room for all the new food trends that are sure to fill our Instagram feeds in 2019.