2013 was a great year for light-weight foodies. Adventurous burger people got the ramen burger, the gluten-averse got rice-flower everything, and the rest of us got the cronut.
Though it's hard to predict what will come next — food trends come and go like pop songs — experts seem to agree that 2014 could be a little... crazier. Here, a few possibilities that might make you cringe.
Early this year, food safety officials in the U.K. found horse DNA in beef samples from four major supermarkets across the region, a discovery that appalled many U.K. and U.S. eaters, who tend to see horses as workers and companions — like big, useful dogs — not food.
But the backlash sparked an interesting debate that endured for months after the initial story settled. The U.K. and the U.K. are essentially alone in their distaste for eating horses. Sakura, or raw horsemeat, is common in Japan, and it's so common throughout non-U.K. European countries that in some place, like Italy, it's mixed in baby food. Fox News even questioned, "Is horse meat really that bad?" arguing, "Nutrition experts say that despite that taboo surrounding eating horses, their meat can actually be a much healthier source of protein than more common forms of meat."
By November, Princess Anne of Britain said the U.K. might want to reconsider its feelings about horse meat. In fact, she said horse owners might take better care of their horses if they believed they could later sell them for meat.
Wanna jump ahead of the curve? Restaurants in Brooklyn, Montreal, and Philadelphia have horse meat on the menu already.
Heads and collars, the flesh and fins behind a fish's gills, are already making a strong showing on menus throughout the South, say the editors of Eatocracy, CNN's food blog. They predict that after years in the spotlight for filets and belly cuts, fish heads might finally have their moment. This includes cheek meat and pectoral fins, which apparently are "easily crisped."
If that sounds gross, remember we have pretty narrow tastes here in the U.S. Quoth CNN: "Heads — especially the sumptuous cheek meat and the full-bodied stock they produce — are a must in many Hunan dishes, Malaysian curries and traditional Gullah recipes that are in the midst of a much-deserved renaissance."
Though the U.S., Canada, and Europe have long been bug averse, the rest of the world — some 80 percent of the population — has been eating insects since the dawn of deliciousness.
And now, creepy crawlies are starting to spread to menus in your neighborhood. The U.N.'s agricultural arm said in May that "insects are pretty much untapped for their potential in food," and gave a kind of greenlight to the green food set.
"[Bugs] emit considerably less greenhouse gases and waste than other animals, they require little to no land, and many species can consume waste products like animal blood, which means we wouldn't need to produce feed (like soybeans or corn) especially for them," reported NPR.
Hope you're hungry!
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- 10 things you need to know today: July 31, 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- How to make salads for reluctant salad eaters
Subscribe to the Week