7 Habits of Weight Loss

Organic Food Trends

Organic food trends are indicating that we are making smarter food choices and eating healthy. Once the exclusive domain of health food stores, foods such as organic produce, organic cereal, live culture yogurt, and a plethora of other organic foods are now mainstream supermarket fare.

Two of the hottest organic foods trends are in a couple of the world’s favorite foods; chocolate and sugar.

Dark Chocolate

With recent research surrounding the beneficial properties of dark chocolate, in the last 10 years chocolate has moved from king of all junk food to become a mandatory health food item, with organic chocolate rapidly becoming one of the leading organic food trends. Hundreds of new cocoa and chocolate companies have sprung up recently in response to the growing demand for this rich, delicious delicacy. The sweet and sinful art of chocolate-making, which used to belong exclusively to German and Swiss chocolatiers, has blossomed in companies rooted in environmentally friendly practices like rain forest preservation.

Cacao grows on cacao trees which grow in tropical climates, with about 70% of all cacao emanating from Africa, and the remainder from Central and South America. Respectable producers respect Fair Trade conditions and support practices that encourage social and ecological responsibility.

The cocoa bean is bitter. Milk chocolate uses cocoa butter, full cream milk and plenty of refined sugar to take the bitterness out. Dark chocolate uses almost no cocoa butter, less milk and more of the bitter cocoa powder to give it that rich, dark taste which is why darker chocolate is considered better for you.

Sugar

Unrefined sugar is another hot organic food trend. White sugar goes through several stages of processing to reach its sparkling, white crystalline state. Molasses and brown sugars undergo the least amount of processing and have more of a nutty flavor and treacle-like consistency. Along with the stickiness, sugar loses all of its nutrition as it passes through its processing stages to full refinement. Worse than that, refined sugar depletes our body of resources like B vitamins and other nutrients which, in turn, induces cravings for other foods.

Muscovado sugar, which is brown and soft, retains minerals and vitamins natural to sugar cane. Beware of supermarket brand brown sugars that are sometimes no better than white sugar and may contain coloring. Look instead for organic unrefined sugar. Other types of healthy brown sugar include Turbinado sugar and Demarara Sugar. Turbinado is good for dry climates because it is in the form of dry crystals so it runs smooth and doesn’t harden or pack. Demarara is also crystalline, but it contains a rich molasses content which gives it a delicious, sweet, nutty flavor. Both Demarara and Muscovado are hard to keep in dry climates because they dry out quickly even when well wrapped and can pack together to form a solid mass.

In order to preserve the soft, moist flavor in brown sugar, buy it in small quantities and double wrap it by placing it in a zipped storage bag and then putting the bag inside an airtight container. This extra level of protection goes a long way towards preserving the original flavor and texture. Then use it within a few months rather than let it sit in storage for long periods of time.

It is good to see these organic food trends moving in a direction that lets us reclassify food once considered junk food. Now we can begin enjoy these sweet, natural indulgences without the guilt.

Philip Kustner

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Definition of Organic Food
Who Should Eat Organic Food?
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