bonsai trees

Hot Off the Skillet - Food News Links for Your Consumption

It's still the New Year, folks, so it feels like a good time to do a round-up of tips, ideas, and info for your eating life.

First up, what's expected to be hot, hot, hot in 2016? The National Restaurant Association has come up with this handy graphic:

Courtesy of the NRA What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast

Absolutely, fascinating, if you ask me. First off, just because  an item is waning doesn't mean it's going to go away anytime soon. It just means your restaurant (or trendy kitchen) won't be cutting edge if you say things like, "You've got to try my new recipe for Agave-Sweetened Quinoa-Kale Porridge Coated in Bottom-Feeder Weirdfish Flakes." But people will ooh and aah if you brew your own alcohol and pair it with African Curried Egg Gelato in your backyard pop-up restaurant. (Eggs from your own hens, of course.) Oh, and insects are out, so put down the freeze-dried crickets.

If "hyper-local sourcing" is in, that's all the more reason to grown your own, pickle your own, brew your own. Sure, you say, but even if I had time to garden, who has the space? We live in Bellevue, not on our own three acres! In 2016, that excuse won't serve any longer because this Mental Floss article claims we can all grow fruit-bearing bonsai trees.

My Science Academy pic. Photoshopped? I hope not.

Of course, it looks like one awesome apple is about all that little tree can bear at a time, lest it suffer the fate of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, so I'm guessing you would need a grove of the little bonsais to keep a family going. Another possible use for the family dining room, that nobody dines in?

The Paleo diet receives another body blow, this time from a Stanford dissertation. The author argues (you probably will not find it necessary to sit down to read this) that all that hankering after a caveman diet is actually our longing for a simpler, utopian world, unplagued by the plagues of civilization. Never mind that your average caveman had a pretty short lifespan, and what life there was was often rough stuff. Good old Otzi the Iceman, for example, the 5300-year-old corpse discovered in the Alps, suffered multiple bone fractures, Lyme disease, food between his teeth, and even an inflamed stomach from that troublesome Helicobacter pylori microbe, which still gives us literal ulcers today.

Otzi, Paleo spokesman.
A reconstruction of what we hope was one of his good days.

Well, fine, you say. Any advice on what we should be eating this year, apart from African spices and our bonsai apple?

Just the usual: more home-cooked, less processed. More produce, organic where necessary and possible. Robyn O'Brien gives some tips on affording organic in this article, and I would just add that you don't need to buy organic if the fruit/veg is on the Clean Fifteen (or if you grew it in your grove of bonsai trees).

That'll do it for this week. Happy, healthful eating in 2016!