Plant-based burgers went mainstream with fast food giants Burger King and McDonald’s joining the fray. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper was so successful there are multiple vegetarian options now being planned.
Fish substitutes are entering the market too, including tuna made from a blend of six legumes and algae oil. Such alternative proteins cut down greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock farming and industrial-scale fishing.
Cockroach milk and silk worm vanilla ice-cream are just a few offerings to make insects less icky and more appealing to diners. Bugs are high in protein and vitamins, but low in emissions and require less land and water.
Some are even hoping farming insects could help clean up palm oil’s tarnished image.
To use as straws, of course, as the world steps up efforts to combat plastic pollution.
A Thai supermarket turned to tradition, using banana leaves to wrap fresh produce while consumers are flocking to products such as re-usable beeswax wrappers.
Neglected plants rich in vitamins and can adapt to the changing climate, including babassu oil from Amazon, millet from India and Mayan spinach from Guatemala, made their way onto plates, championed by pioneering chefs and scientists.
With 75% of the world’s foods coming from just 12 plants and five animal species, expanding the diet is also a good strategy for coping with climate-induced crop failures.
Restaurants that use almost every part of the raw materials to cut down on food waste popped up in Helsinki, New York and Berlin - the last one also happened to be vegan.
There’s also Trash Tiki, an “anti-waste” cocktail company that uses food scraps - leftover milk, discarded nut shells, coffee grounds, etc - to re-make beloved classics, bringing their ethos to Toronto, Amsterdam and Rome this year.
Eco-friendly beers - brewed using recycled or waste water, doing away with the plastic six-pack rings, or pledging part of the profits to conserve sea turtles - hit the shelves.
Natural wines, which proponents say are made with organic grapes and no chemical additives, thus purer and more environmentally-friendly, also gained major followings in Europe and the United States.