Mermaid food, freakshakes, and pumpkin spice-mania, these are some of the horrible food trends that caused few too many food nightmares for us in recent years. Of all the food trends that come and go, there are some that you just couldn't believe they actually came, and can't wait to see them go.
Here is a roundup of the worst food trends that we at FDL HQ hope to leave behind in 2020. Let us start fresh, and may they rest in peace.
1. Açaí bowls
Açaì, the super berry, started its life in the rainforests of South America but has taken on a new life on social media, driven by health-conscious millenials. Açaì undoubtedly comes loaded with health benefits but you might be better off sticking to simple açaì smoothies in a glass rather than the Instagrammable bowls that can easily be overloaded with added sugars and calories.
2. Rainbow, unicorn, mermaid foods
The rainbow came first, then along came the unicorn with its pastel hues. Somehow the unicorn ended up getting dusted with glitter which then turned them into mermaids. Or was it the other way around? Anyway, there's nothing natural about pastel glitter-covered toast and it's certainly not ok to add colouring to regular ice-cream and sell it 'mermaid ice cream'.
3. Gold leaf
There was a time when a touch of gold on a chocolate eclair felt luxurious. Then we got golden chicken wings and soon after, gold-covered Thanksgiving turkey. There are 24-carat gold coated burgers, and for those with a smaller budget, gold-covered ice cream, too.
Gold leaf is safe to consume, but there are no reported nutritional benefits. You're way better off putting your money away for a meal at one of these Michelin star restaurants.
Spiralized vegetables look nice in salads but don't you dare try us with z'paghetti bolognese. Or any zoodle outfitted as a pasta or noodle dish. Sorry to break the bubble for all the keto dieters out there, but it's time to call it what it is: sauteed vegetables.
5. Avocado burgers
They're keto-friendly, they're cute, they're Instagrammable, but they're certainly not burgers. Give us a burger that we can eat with our two hands over this monstrosity any day.
What a way to undo all the hard work during the week in just one #cheatday.
7. Sushi burritos, sushi pizza, sushi everything...
Because regular sushi was not enough, the world had to supersize it, pizza-fy it, and also make sushi 'brain' bombs. There is no need to ruin an already perfect dish that has been loved for centuries.
8. Glitter food
Let's hope that the only glitter we see next year stays in the ballroom and on holiday decorations.
9. Broccoli coffee
Broccoli ruined the perfect morning ritual. Broccoli powder per se actually doesn't sound bad, in fact, if you're unable to always grab fresh broccoli it could be an easy way to sneak in some extra nutrients. Add it to your green smoothie or soup, but broccoli should have no place anywhere near coffee.
10. Dessert hummus
In recent years, chickpeas have been turned into highly suspect flavours such as brownie batter, chocolate, pumpkin pie, snickerdoodle and more. We also suspect that a good homemade savoury hummus is a lot healthier than these unidentifiable 'hummus' lookalikes. Time to ask, do you really need this in our lives?
11. Pumpkin spice
Pumpkin spice is the Thanksgiving flavouring that never stops giving. This is not a drill, pumpkin spice Spam actually did happen, and we think it should have been stopped.
12. Activated charcoal foods
When the world got bored of Millenial pink foods, it turned black. And activated charcoal fit the profile - it made whatever you cooked with it a dark black, the antithesis of cutesy, lovely pink, and it also came with a range of health claims, from removing toxins from kidneys to even reducing cholesterol.
Scientists have always been skeptical of the purported health benefits, but New Yorkers need not be concerned - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of activated charcoal as a food additive or food coloring agent as of mid-2018.
13. Clean eating
With an overwhelming source of evidence on the negative impact of highly processed foods on our health, it's no wonder that #eatclean became the mantra for many seeking to lead a healthier life. But it seems innately wrong to label certain foods 'clean', which by default, assumes other foods are 'dirty' - what happened to plain old 'nutritious' foods?