This morning as I puttered around the kitchen, thinking about what I would be cooking today, I contemplated how the growth of food blogs, the Food Network's recent launch of the Cooking channel (a second TV channel devoted exclusively to cooking!), and the push toward organic or locally produced food will be reflected in the food offered in our local grocery stores.
Historically, food companies emphasized convenience as they sought to entice busy, working families with wholly-prepared meals that simply needed to be reheated in an oven or microwave. Little thought was given to natural ingredients, additives, or sometimes it seemed, taste, as long as the product was fast and inexpensive. The produce we received reflected demand for variety year round rather than taste that can only be found in seasonal, locally grown varieties.
How will the renewed interest in the quality of food produced in our own kitchens be reflected in what is offered in our grocery stores?
Well, I've noticed that my local supermarket now features locally grown produce on the front page of its weekly flyer. And they've priced it competitively, so you can buy local without ruining your budget.
Our other local grocer offers a free magazine in the produce section that features easy, healthy recipes that can be made with the seasonal produce.
I've also noticed that more and more processed foods are changing their labels and stressing that they've eliminated high fructose corn sugar, or cut down on sugar or salt content, or preservatives.
Perhaps I'm just noticing these trends because of my own interest in cooking healthy, tasty meals, but I believe we will see more food companies react to this demand for more natural, locally produced food at lower prices.