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
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- The worrying rise of the anti-vaccination movement
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
Subscribe to the Week