Two nutrition trends to watch this year, according to marketing communications branding agency J. Walter Thompson’s 10th annual trends report, The Future 100, are (1) “hipster matcha,” the Japanese powdered green tea that’s been tagged as the new health drink among hipsters; and (2) “cold-pressed,” the new byword for purity and quality (think juices, beauty products and nut milks). Hipster matcha with cold-pressed almond milk, anyone?

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), former mayor of Newark, may prove to be a welcome champion for progressive U.S. food policy. A vegetarian for years, he is experimenting with veganism to see how feasible it is for him. Aside from minding his health, Booker is concerned about the disconnect between government recommendations for USDA’s MyPlate (half fruits and vegetables, and about 25% each of protein and whole grains) and how agricultural subsidies are applied. “It’s dramatically out of whack. We’re subsidizing the very thing we tell people they should be eating less of,” he told Philadelphia Daily News columnist Vance Lehmkuhl in a recent piece. “If we’re concerned about high medical costs, we should have a government that’s making sound investments with taxpayer dollars that don’t contribute to the problem but actually help [solve] the problem,” he said.

Most of us have heard of and tasted some of the newer hybridized vegetables, such as rainbow carrots and broccolini. But have you feasted your eyes or taste buds on Broccoflower® or Kalettes™ yet? While it’s been available in the U.S. since 1989, Broccoflower—which looks like a chartreuse cauliflower and tastes slightly sweeter—is just beginning to hit wider distribution. As for the Kalette, also known as Flower Sprout® or Brussel Kale, it may be the vegetable match of the century. Considering the popularity over the past many years of both Brussels sprouts and kale, how could this cruciferous powerhouse go wrong? Resembling a small head of purple kale, it reportedly has a subtler flavor than a Brussels sprout, suggesting raw, lightly sautéed, blanched and roasted preparations will work nicely.

What would your dream vegetable hybrid be? Share your thoughts with [email protected]

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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