Dana McCauley’s 5 Plant-based Eating Trends

The Toronto Veg Food Fest is coming up September 7-9 (Harbourfront Centre).

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Dana McCauley, Canada’s best known food trend expert, is dishing on the latest plant-based foods that are being gobbled up by vegans, vegetarians, and even meat-eaters, just in time for the Veg Food Fest, September 7-9 at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.

Attended by 40,000 visitors each fall at Harbourfront Centre, the Veg Food Fest is North America’s largest celebration of all things veg. Experience North America’s best veg fest with over 150 top vendors and more than 40 hours of presentations and workshops featuring popular speakers. Music is curated by Toronto Downtown Jazz. Visit http://vegfoodfest.com for more information.

Plant-based foods aren’t just for vegans and vegetarians – everyone can enjoy a growing selection of food products that are better for you, better for the planet, and offer exciting, different tastes and flavours.

According to Google Canada, the phrase “plant-based diet” was a top search in their “Kitchen” category in 2017. This news isn’t surprising as over 40% of Canadians say they want to include more plant-based protein in their diets.

Why the new interest in plant-based foods? According to Dana McCauley, health is certainly a key driver but so is eating in a way that’s more sustainable and has lower impact on the planet.

“It’s cool to be kind,” says McCauley.

Until recently, it was fairly difficult for busy people to find and prepare plant-based ingredients and there wasn’t much choice.

“It used to be lonely to be a vegetarian,” says McCauley. “But today, there’s been an explosion of innovative products, which are making it easier for Canadians to embrace healthier and truly delicious plant-based foods whether they are vegetarian/vegan or not.”

Dana McCauley’s 5 Plant-based Eating Trends

Join the Avo-lution – It’s no secret that avocados have become a favourite healthy food choice for Canadians and now you can access the goodness of this fruit anytime (Yes, avocados are technically a fruit!) with a variety of products made with avocado, ie. Mayo, oil, dressings, etc. New avocado oil based products are great for sautéing, marinating, roasting and baking. Also, with a smoke point of 500 degrees F/260 degrees C avocado oil is the ideal choice for grillers! (Tip: You can try Chosen Foods avocado oil and vegan mayo at the Veg Food Fest!)
Say Vegan ‘cheese’: Becoming increasingly popular with baby boomers who want to have something on their cheese board for every guest, nut and other plant-based cheese-style products do triple duty in that they are perfect for people concerned with cardio-vascular health as well as for vegetarians and those who want — or need– to avoid dairy products.
Better Faux Meat: The reign of the tofu hot dog is officially over! Thanks to the ingenuity of food scientists and the growing meatless market, more effort is being put into creating truly palatable meat substitutes that have great texture and taste.
Fermented Foods: The health appeal of plants goes beyond replacing traditional animal-based foods with new-fangled substitutes. Another plant-based food trend that is being embraced by vegetarians and carnivores alike is fermented foods and drinks. Research is increasingly showing that fermented food can be beneficial on a number of levels. From enhanced mental acuity to better digestion, fermented foods and drinks are mainstreaming with all age groups.
Say Soy: As an increasing number of working women age into peri-menopause and menopause, many among them are embracing the benefits of adding soy to their diets for managing symptoms such as hot flashes. Products such as beverages, frozen desserts and dairy-free yogurt-style snacks made from soy are increasingly targeted at this market segment.

About Dana McCauley: Dana McCauley used her fascination with what’s next in food to be a successful food journalist, a Food Network judge, a food innovation executive and now she’s using her experience and insight to help University of Guelph researchers to create cutting edge agri-tech and food businesses that will transform how we feed the world.