Elephant Man Produce
Tomatoes with protruding warts. Strawberries with cleft chins. Doubled-headed peppers. Expect more unsightly fruits and veggies to hit your supermarket—they already have in Europe. Earlier this year, Intermarche, France’s third-largest grocery chain, launched an "inglorious fruits and vegetables" campaign promoting the benefits of, well, unattractive produce. And in Portugal, a food cooperative called Fruta Feia (Ugly Fruit), buys up misfits and sells them a cheaper price. And why not? In 2013, the United Nations Environment Program estimates that 20 to 40 percent of fresh produce was cast aside. As Americans become more accepting of organic produce, warts and all, more of these twisted sisters will start popping up in the grocery stores.
Mix beans, rice and ground crickets together with a spritz of oil, and what do you get? The Chirp, a gluten-free, protein-packed alternative to the chip. Chirps are baked, not fried, and come in three flavors: aged cheddar, sea salt, and hickory BBQ. They’re pretty healthy, too—if you can get overcome the gnarly factor. (If you prefer sweet over savory, Exos and Chapul make protein bars from cricket flour.)
Bleeding Veggie Burgers
We always thought the beauty of a plant-based meal was that it didn’t resemble meat. But the biotech firm Impossible Foods recently unveiled a veggie burger that “bleeds.” The “blood” comes from heme, a blood component also found in some plants. Apparently, if it bleeds it really does lead.
Blame Taco Bell. After the successful launch of their Waffle Taco, other restaurants aren’t waffling at all. Restaurant consultants Baum+Whiteman predict savory waffles and waffle sandwiches (frittata waffles, mac & cheese waffles, pizza waffles, waffles benedict) will soon come to a menu near you. Why are waffles the new black? “When you run out of new things to do, you ransack the attic for old things,” says president Michael Whiteman. “Waffles provide visual texture, which automatically makes them look different from bread, and they have much more surface area because of the form of the waffle. Your mouth perceives it different from a piece of bread, so it’s a different eating experience.”
It’s not enough to drink your booze; now you can eat it, too. Puff’s Preserves, a Colorado company, injects its “Boozy Jam” with an array of fruity, alcoholic flavors: rhubarb vodka hibiscus, blackberry bourbon lavender, strawberry champagne mint, apple beer cardamom. You can order from the website, or in select stores. Makes it easier to tie one on without popping one open.
Milk with Muscles
Coca Cola is branching into the dairy world with a product called FairLife, otherwise known as….milk. The main difference between the Coke brand and the white stuff that comes from a jug? FairLife reportedly has 50 percent more protein, 30 percent more calcium, and half the sugar of regular milk. And oh, yes—it costs twice as much. Milka Cola, anyone?
Pot Pie 2.0
It’s not just for brownies anymore. Now that medical and recreational marijuana is legal in certain states, you can best your last munchie that THC-drenched treats will become ubiquitous. A spate of cookbooks are popping up—among them Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis and Colorado-rooted Dixie Elixirs, which makes marijuana-laden candy, cookies and mints, has plans to manufacture and distribute its products outside of Colorado (cannabis is legal there). Kinda gives new meaning to the term ‘pot sticker.’
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