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Food trends for the new year

(article, Culinate staff)

Ah, the new year. Time to assess not just the edible year past, but cast tempting predictions for the year to come. 

The megasite Allrecipes likes to have its cake and eat it, too, studying search data on its website to make both predictions (here's its forecast for 2012) and hindsight assessments (seeing which of those predictions actually panned out in 2012). 

The only problem? The pre- and post-lists don't match up. Still, it's amusing to see that Allrecipes readers apparently dig kale chips ("The 'gateway drug' to adding this leafy green vegetable to every meal!") but not as much as grilled bacon jalapeño wraps. 

Other media outlets are weighing in, too, including Bon Appétit magazine (yogurt is going to be the next big DIY trend), Epicurious (cauliflower will eclipse kale in popularity), and the Food Network (Asian fusion cooking, apparently, is coming back).

Of course, some trends repeat (wacky vegetables and fermented foods are popular on lists this year), and some lists contradict each other. Epicurious thinks cake pops have had their party, but ABC News disagrees. Epicurious also thinks that artisanal food producers are only going to get hotter — but the Atlantic begs to differ, with an article pointing out the economic challenge of trying to make a living off homemade pickles or jams. (The Atlantic also thinks farmers' markets and home births are both part of the same trend: a conservative DIY ethos masquerading as liberal piety.)

And, finally, there's the heavy annual roundup: lists from AlterNet and Grist of the year's biggest stories in food politics, including drought, pink slime, GMO labeling, and the slow die-off of crops.