Food and Beverage in America since 2000
Food is an important attribute for each population in the world and it is a uniting factor for major world cultures. During the years, various food lovers have invented different dishes so as to feed the population. In America’s case, people consume more food and beverages as compared to other nations; thus, there is a need to invent a variety of foods and food-related products to ensure that the country’s need for food is fulfilled. Some of the food-related inventions enhanced the food processing sector, while others aid the cooking itself. In the 21st century, Americans have the food that they consume on a daily basis, while other dishes are closely related to different countrywide celebrations, such as turkey which marks Thanksgiving. Therefore, the food industry has pushed for the innovation of various food-related equipment, and the development of laws to control the entire sector. This paper discusses the primary food and beverages in the 21st century, the inventors and inventions that are food-related, the significance of those inventions, and the food-centered laws introduced in the 21st century.
The 21st century has seen different overly enthusiastic interests in food relevant for the current generation. One of these fads is the cupcake craze witnessed from the year 2000. According to Tannenbaum (2009), the trend was ignited by the TV series Sex and the City after Carrie Bradshaw hit the Magnolia Bakery. It is from here that popular cupcake shops, such as Sprinkles, started their expansion into recognizable franchises. In the neighborhoods, local ‘cupcakeries’ started sprouting to serve the people’s demand for cupcakes. Different authors began writing cupcake cookbooks which in 2009 2009 were referred to as a ‘deluge’ by the Publishers Weekly. From this cupcake haze, it is clear that what people of the millennium watch can quickly dictate their eating trends.
Sliders are another trend that was adopted during the early 2000s by the Americans. Generally, sliders are small burgers that the chefs turned into a cuisine. The meal is served on a small bun and mostly with French fries. Another food that joined the millennium’s food haze is bacon. Bacon has been a food that people have added in their cuisine for ages. However, during the millennial age, chefs became innovative and started adding bacon to other foods, hence, creating foods such as bacon donuts, bacon chocolate, and bacon vodka, among other delicacies. Lastly, after 9/11, Americans developed a food craze to foods that became known as comfort foods. These foods include meatloaf, chicken potpie, pizza, mac n’ cheese among others. With a reference to this situation, events can lead to the developments of food trends in a certain population.
Another factor that has determined this century’s food trends has been the televised cooking shows, especially those putting emphasis on dietary foods. The televised shows have encouraged dieting; thus, people have started consuming organic foods in enormous quantity. Additionally, the organic food movement started trending after Walmart started stocking organic products in its stores. Another reason why this trend was followed was because of that Walmart offered organic products at a discount of 10%. Lastly, an emphasis on locally produced foods has been practiced by the Americans after they learnt the dangers that came with consuming food processed in industries. Therefore, the century has also had its share of organic products, such as fruits, legumes, and grains among others.
Shifting to the beverage sector, one of the trends of the century has been the coffee people take, the soft drinks, and the energy drinks. The beverage sector has also been on the shift to healthier consumer choices, such as beverages that were low on fat. One of the restaurants that has dominated the coffee industry has been Starbucks whose franchise by 2009 had more than 16,000 coffeehouses worldwide. This great number of coffeehouses for a single franchise shows how much Americans love coffee. For most Americans, it is never a morning without a nonfat Caramel Macchiato. Soft drinks have determined the development of the American beverage industry as well. This sector is mainly dominated by two companies: The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. Americans have also taken up energy drinks from 2000 (Bailey, 2016). Moreover, smoothies have been a trending beverage since 2000. Americans now make their smoothies at home or purchase them from their favorite fast food restaurants (McNamara, 2009). Such smoothies include fruit smoothies, vegetable-inspired smoothies, and protein-packed smoothies, to list a few. Thus, Americans have a range of beverages that they can choose from during their day to day activities.
Another food trend of the century in America is the recession recipes. In 2008-2009, the economic recession saw people tighten their food budgets by preparing food at home and packing the food in brown bags to eat during the day (Olver, 2015). This aspect has been a trend that has continued till today where Americans pack their home-cooked foods to work for themselves or school for their children. Lastly, people from the 2000s developed the culture of buying whole-grain products, including rice, corn, and wheat flakes among others. This new trend was mainly for the children as most parents even to date feed their children with whole-grain products for their healthy growth.
Food and Food-related Inventions
Although most foods and food-related inventions were made before the 21st century, the period of the 2000s has also seen some great inventions that have changed the food industry. One of the foods that was invented in this century is the South Beat Diet developed by Arthur Agatston who is a cardiologist. The driving force to develop this diet was to reduce the carbohydrate intake by the population which has been one of the acutest health concerns of the century. The cardiologist published his recipe in 2003 and the dieting recipe took up the country by storm. Shifting to the food-related inventions, one of these inventions is the induction cooker. The cooker uses radio frequency identification of the object that is being heated. This type of induction cooker was invented by Thermal Solutions Inc. whose patent was published in 2001. Induction heating heats an object through magnetic induction instead of the regular flame. Since the heating process directly heats the object, the very high temperatures can be achieved. In the United States, induction cookers are mainly used in commercial kitchens. This is because of that the initial set up of an induction heater can be expensive for some people.
Another prominent invention of the 21st century is the ice ball mold. This piece of equipment that is mostly used in bars both for commercial and home use is a perfect invention to spice up anyone’s bartending experience. The Ice Ball Mold invented by Katsuzo Somura creates clear, solid ice that varies in shapes from being spherical to other shapes in a mold quickly, efficiently and is able to utilize the energy at the same time. This invention is mostly used to make the ice cube experience a great one and, as a result, is used both at home and for commercial use. The equipment ranges from $200 to $1,700 depending on the customization (Mai, 2011). For instance, Americans use this technical appliance in their homes to customize their parties.
In addition, sous vide cooker invented by Michael R. Eades has become one more important food-related invention of the 21st century. The cooker was patented in March 17, 2011 and it is used to cook foods at regulated temperatures that can cook for long hours of time up to 6 hours (Shingler, 2015). Foods prepared by this cooker mostly include meat and vegetables. In America, this type of cooker is mostly used by high end gourmet restaurants, thus is mainly a commercial piece of equipment. It is also common in television cooking shows.
Lastly, another food-related invention has been the uptake of foods from food trucks. In the US, food trucks offer a variety of foods that can be prepared in a short duration of time. During the analyzed timeframe, Americans have become busy people, spending much of their time on their jobs. This factor has resulted in the uptake of fast foods on the food trucks including burritos, sandwiches, coffee, among others as the people head to work or are on their way home (Tannenbaum, 2009). Food trucks have been greatest valuable invention offered to the Americans.
Different laws and regulations related to the food industry have also been made during this period. Most of these legislations revolve around consumer protection and labelling which has been a critical issue in the 21st Century. These regulations have initiated the increase in the consumption of organic products. The first of these regulations was enacted in 2003 by the Department of Health and Human Services (Food and Drug Administration [FDA], 2014). This regulation aimed at helping consumers choose healthy foods by requiring the entire food processing industry to include the trans-fat content of their foods on the labels. In 2004, the Food Allergy Labelling and Consumer Protection Act was passed that required that foods containing any protein derived from the following groups of food that account for the highest cases of allergic reactions, including eggs, peanuts, cow’s milk, wheat, crustacean shellfish, soybeans, tree nuts, and fish (FDA, 2014). The impact that this law has on the consumers is that buyers who develop these allergic reactions from the proteins can be able to choose the food that will not have allergic reactions to them.
The last important food-related law passed is the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011. The FSMA provided the FDA with new enforcement authorities related to food safety standards giving the agency the tools to hold food that are imported to the same standards as the foods that are available domestically. The impact that this law had on the foods industry is that the FDA built an integrated national food system in conjunction with the state and local authorities. Therefore, imported foods were treated with the same standards that the local foods, thus ensuring equal measures for all sorts of food. It is evident from the laws passed in the 21st century in the US that the main issue revolving around the food industry is caring about consumers.
Undoubtedly, the food industry is an important aspect of today’s society. Different parts of the world have different cuisines that keep on advancing depending on the culture found in those regions. In the US, distinct regions have different cuisines that have been influenced by the different cultures in those regions. Consequently, the 21st century is also characterized by significant inventions related to the food industry that have helped in the preparation of food or even in the betterment of the cuisines that people enjoy. These food-related inventions include the ice ball mold, the induction cooker, and the sous vide cooker among others. Finally, different laws and regulations have been enacted to protect the food industry and its consumers. Most of the laws and regulations in the 21st century are related to an important issue in the food industry that is food labelling.