Innovative Food Trends Leading to More Clean, Healthy Eating



Every May, my photographer-and-husband, John Ivanko, and I trade our Wisconsin homestead for a few days in Chicago to attend the National Restaurant Association Show held in the sprawling McCormick Place Convention Center. It also gives our hands and back a break after getting our crops planted on our farm. As writers covering food and farming trends with a passion for sustainability, we’re inspired to see the continued innovative new products that champion eco-values and healthy eating at this annual event bringing together over 43,000 attendees and covering a wide range of food service products and services.

We’ve seen, tasted and written about and shared with Mother Earth News readers this sustainability and clean eating movement brewing for the last couple of years with everything from plant-based meats to clean drinks to compostable disposables. These trends root in two important factors: Increasingly, people are searching for more healthier products that tread lighter on the earth and creative companies and entrepreneurs are serving up products that reflect these values.

“Change starts with the consumer. When the consumer asks for something that expresses their values, companies will respond,” explains Gilmar Arellano, founder and CEO of HAY! Straws offering natural straws made from wheat shafts. In the case with straws, increasing shifts in policy also help propel sustainability innovation. Recent laws banning plastic straws now reach from the state of California to Washington, DC, spur ingenuity in new approaches.

The following are three new innovations we discovered at the 2019 National Restaurant Association Show.

1. Improvements to Stevia as a Sweetener

Are you someone who tried stevia and just couldn’t warm up to its taste? Did you feel it left a bitter aftertaste? Now is the time to give stevia another try as recent product innovations amazed our taste buds with how stevia has improved in taste and usability.

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