As a food editor for a site that specializes in what’s good for you—“healthyish,” if you will—I’m bombarded with pitches for healthy food and drinks on a daily basis, from probiotic elixirs (bio-fermented! with natural flavors!) to $799-dollar juicers, to vegan steak sauce harvested from the blood of plants by deep-sea divers. OK, maybe I made that last one up, but you get the gist. Here at Greatist, we love finding new ways to treat our bodies with the best—and then we share the really great ones with you.
One thing we’re sort of over: fleeting food trends. They’re usually just ingredients that already exist with bloated social media followings. We’re not about it. I compiled my top five pet peeves of 2016’s food trends, then opened it up to my coworkers to add a few more. Are you as over smoothie bowls as we are? Or do you wish everything were sprinkled with chia seeds?
1. The avocado “bun”
I know avocado is delicious. I feel the gluten-free burger-eater’s pain. But using an ingredient known for its spreadable, silky, smushy qualities instead of a bun? I do not, and will not, understand why this was ever a thing.
2. Throwing the word “superfood” into everything
Whoever coined the term “superfood” probably gave themself the biggest pat on the back for such a snappy catchall. But after this year, the word is pretty much meaningless. If the superfood-madness doesn’t stop, I’m predicting that by October 2017 I’ll be writing articles about how pancakes fit into the category.
3. Avocado toast piled so high with toppings that you can’t eat it without spilling all over yourself
Again, I have no problem admitting that I love avocado, even smeared on toast. But when it’s piled with fat poached eggs, chopped almonds, cherry tomatoes, and a mountain of alfalfa sprouts, how (how, how) do you expect me to eat it? The restaurant is too trendy for silverware. One bite and it all goes to hell. Should I just take pictures for Instagram and leave?
4. Breakfast being up for debate
Does it kick-start your metabolism? Is it better to have a muffin or a donut or bacon-egg-and-cheese for my first meal? Does eating in the morning make you lose weight? Gain it? Who cares?! Eat when you're hungry.
5. Sites publishing articles saying that they “discovered” healthy foods that other cultures and communities have been eating forever
No, you were not the first to figure out that kale, quinoa, Kefir, ghee, kombucha, matcha, tofu, and rice flour (I could go on… ) taste good and are good for you. Quinoa was a staple in Andean civilizations thousands of years ago; ghee is used all over Indian and Pakistani dishes; kombucha dates back to 220 BCE.
From the Greatist team:
“It’s dirt. It’s worse than dirt; it’s chalky black sh*t. Why would you want to drink that? What possible benefit could there be from drinking the remnants of a fire? Why don’t you just leave charcoal in your barbeque grill where it belongs! Think of all the things you could spend your hard-earned $12.99 on, instead of a 16-ounce bottle of dirt water.” —Bailey, growth editor
7. Flavored chlorophyll water
“It claims to have tons of health benefits like every other fad out there, but how do you know if it’s really working for you? How much do you have to drink to feel a difference? Does it even work, or am I shelling out my money for green-tinted water? They try to mask the odd slightly chemical tasting flavor with ‘watermelon’ or ‘hibiscus,’ and it doesn’t work.” —Kim, senior designer
8. Smug fad-dieting
“How do you know if someone is doing a fad diet? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you. Yes, you are a pillar of clean-eating perfection. Can we please stop talking about it now?” —Amy, senior editor, special projects
9. "Treat yo'self"
Stop treating yo’self. What does it even mean? That you’re eating dessert? A few chicken wings on Sundays? Three glasses of wine on a Thursday? Congratulations, but please stop saying that. Let’s all eat and drink what we want, when we want (as long as some vegetables are involved), and treat ourselves by going to the spa. —Jamie, senior food editor
10. Bone broth
“If you’re a real foodie, this is probably more of a 2015 trend, but it went more mainstream than I ever expected in 2016. It’s the base of chicken noodle soup, not some magical elixir.” —Jeff, news editor
11. Sweet potato toast
“When I first saw sweet potato toast, it seemed like a good idea. A new vehicle for avocado? Heck yeah! TBH, it’s not that great and is kind of more hassle than it’s worth. 2016 was hard enough; let’s go back to bread, people.” —Madison, editorial intern