COMING SOON TO A PLATE NEAR YOU

COMING SOON TO A PLATE NEAR YOU
The American diet is constantly evolving, but the changes that lie ahead are way harder to imagine than kicking gluten. Here’s what your taste buds have to look forward to.

A NEW SPIN ON SALAD
//A mere weed is about to be crowned salad-bowl champion.
A NEW SPIN ON SALAD A mere weed is about to be crowned salad-bowl champion.

Also known as lamb’s-quarters, purslane isn’t new to the greens scen
e (in fact, Gandhi was reportedly a fan), but it has been largely regarded as a weed and only recently rediscovered by foragers. It landed on the menu at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’s famed restaurant in Berkeley, California, but perhaps its biggest selling point is its nutritional profile: Purslane packs the most omega-3s of any leafy vegetable, has seven times the vitamin A of spinach, and contains
seven times more beta-carotene than carrots. Josh Schonwald, author of The Taste of Tomorrow, says that with its nutritional wallop, faintly peppery and lemony flavor, and okra-like texture (crunchy, a tad chewy), this green has all the makings of the next superfood. Pick some up at a farmers’ market and try it with olive oil and sea salt, or chopped into pesto.

EDIBLE INSECTS
 // Crickets and grasshoppers and mealworms…oh my!
EDIBLE INSECTS Crickets and grasshoppers and mealworms…oh my!

If you shuddered earlier this year upon hearing that a certain national chain used a red dye made from crushed beetles, you may not want to read further.
Because entomophagy, more commonly known as bug eating, won’t be reserved for adventurous Anthony Bourdain types for much longer.
In many parts of the world, people already eat bugs regularly as a source of cheap, plentiful protein.
Bugs are also a top source of calcium and tough-to come- by omega-3s. This may be why Daniella Martin, host of the online insect cooking show Girl Meets Bug, observes,
“In my experience, the fitness community has been particularly open-minded to them.”
And bugs, for all their creepy-crawlers, can be a sustainable food source. Restaurants such as Washington D.C.’s Oyamel and Typhoon in Santa Monica, California, have put insects on the menu.
The number of U.S. pro and home chefs that the company World Entomophagy supplies
bugs to has at least tripled in the past five years, estimates owner Harman Singh Johar. (At
the moment, mealworms, crickets, and Lemon Chili Mexican Grasshoppers are the best sellers.)
Flavor alone can determine whether a food takes off. Bugs are often described as having
a nutty taste, though Martin says her favorites— beetles and moth larvae— are soft, chewy, and taste something like shrimp or mushrooms when cooked.
If your curiosity—or, less likely, your appetite—is aroused, Martin suggests oven-drying frozen  crickets, grinding them into powder, and adding them to bread dough or muffin batter. Or buy bug-based powders or bars from companies such as World Entomophagy and Chapul. Earlier this year, Chapul’s founder, Pat Crowley, exceeded his $10,000 goal to fund the
first “cricket energy bar” on the online fund-raising platform Kickstarter. Bugs, it seems, are good eating and good business.

TEST-TUBE MEAT
 // Can science grow a steak?
TEST-TUBE MEAT Can science grow a steak?

By the end of the year, Dutch scientists plan to serve up a truly rare burger. It’s not Kobe beef, although it does come from a cow, or at least a cow’s DNA. It’s the prototype for lab-grown meat, an idea that some groups hope will forever change the way we eat.
Worldwide demand for meat is expected to double over the next 40 years.
Last year, Americans consumed nearly 205 pounds per person, and the tastiest meat substitutes don’t even come close in popularity.
To create in vitro beef, bovine stem cells are extracted and bathed in a nutrient-rich liquid. The cells grow into meat, or what passes for it at a molecular level, and hopefully, tastes like it too (though that remains to be seen, since sampling the meat-in-progress is currently prohibited).
The result will be a burger that’s not genetically modified or cloned, just born in a Petri dish
instead of a field.
Of course, there are still several major hurdles to cross before lab grown meat makes it to
supermarket shelves.
Right now, the cost is prohibitive—the prototype will likely end up having a six-figure price tag—and it takes months to “grow” a single burger. Researchers don’t see lab-grown steaks and sausages selling at a more reasonable price point (comparable to beef today) for at least
10 to 15 years, and that’s only if proper funding becomes available.

THE NEXT BIG FISH STORY
//America is about to get hooked on a new fillet.
As recently as 15 years ago, tilapia wasn’t a fish you’d find on many menus. It might be that way again in the near future, but for a very different reason: Now people are tired of it.
Between overfishing and plain old fish fatigue, it has become tougher to satisfy America’s
appetite for seafood. But there may be a solution to both problems in a species that sounds like an aquaculturist’s wet dream. It’s called cobia or black kingfish—a firm, white-fleshed warm weather swimmer that’s well-suited to farming (it grows 10 times faster than other fish) and has been described as tasting like a cross between swordfish and Chilean sea bass. Right now, cobia is primarily a sport fish, but more restaurants are picking it up. “It could become the tilapia or salmon of the future,” says Schonwald.
Once aquaculturists have perfected how to raise this new-to-farming species (a process that
took roughly 20 years for salmon), Schonwald thinks we may be regularly chowing down on
cobia and chips and fillet-of-cobia sandwiches.

Can’t wait that long? Ask your local fishmonger or fish market. If they don’t have it, they’ll know where to get it.

All Fitness __ COMING SOON TO A PLATE NEAR YOU

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