The Summer Fancy Food Show isn’t just an extravagant feast of international cuisines or a showcase of culinary innovations. It’s a vivid reflection of an emerging, significant trend within the food industry: sustainability and ecological mindfulness. The focus on responsibly harvested ingredients and green-friendly packaging illuminates an essential shift in food trends that cater not just to the taste buds but also to the health of our planet.
I attended the event as part of the Bushwick Bites team, setting out on a culinary expedition to taste a multitude of products while tallying over 30,000 steps. My goal was to spotlight the most delicious, inventive, and environmentally sustainable selections available. After an adventure full of culinary exploration, I’ve distilled my findings to these top 16 must-try sustainable eats. Each one shines for its superior flavor and its role in championing a more eco-friendly food industry.
- Afghanistan Saffron Powder – Heray Spice: Sustainably sourced, this saffron is premium quality and supports local Afghan farmers. Instagram Link
- Antarctic Krill Meat – Krill Arctic Foods: Harvested sustainably from the Antarctic oceans, this krill meat is a unique, nutrient-dense food source. Instagram Link
- Artichoke Hearts Vegetable Snack (Basil + Thyme) – POSHI: Artichokes are a sustainable crop and this snack utilizes them deliciously. Instagram Link
- Beet Puffs – Vegan Rob’s: Made from beets, a very sustainable crop, these snacks are healthy and eco-friendly. Instagram Link
- Desert Salt -Oryx Desert Salt: Harvested in a sustainable and eco-friendly way from desert sources. Instagram Link
- Daisho Teriyaki Tofu Sauce – Daisho: Tofu is a sustainable protein source and this teriyaki sauce is the perfect companion. Instagram Link
- Ground Sumac Berries – New York Shuk: Sumac berries are a sustainable spice source with a unique, tangy flavor. Instagram Link
- Methi Roti – Arya: A healthier take on a traditional Indian bread with fenugreek incorporated into the dough. Instagram Link
- Mushroom Chips – Confetti Snacks: These upcycled snacks are made from ‘ugly’ vegetables to help reduce food waste. Instagram Link
- Pear, Date & Cognac Chutney – Snowdonia Cheese Company: Made from sustainably sourced ingredients, this chutney pairs well with cheese. Instagram Link
- Phycobites Seaweed Granola Snacks – PhycoHealth: These snacks utilize seaweed, a highly sustainable and nutritious food source. Instagram Link
- Quinoa Xander Bar – Rasil Snacks: Quinoa is a highly sustainable crop that’s also packed with nutrients. Facebook Link
- Skinny Spicy Margarita – SAYSO: This margarita is made with sustainably sourced ingredients and packaged in a way to reduce transport emissions by minimizing large packaging. Instagram Link
- Small Batch Beef Crisps – Yays: Made from sustainably raised beef, these crisps are a guilt-free snack. Instagram Link
- Tupelo Honey – Savannah Bee Company: This honey is sustainably harvested supporting healthy bee populations and contributing to biodiversity. Instagram Link
- **Vegan Bolognese Sauce** – Botticelli Foods: This vegan bolognese reduces the environmental impact of traditional meat sauces. Instagram Link
This year’s focus on sustainability was palpable. The Specialty Food Association’s Trendspotter Panel and the sofi™ Awards 2023 winners emphasized the food industry’s shifting gears toward environmental consciousness. From plant-based options to repurposed food, the importance of sustainable choices was unmistakable throughout the show.
The Diversity Pavilion, alongside state/regional and international exhibitions, echoed the global dedication to sustainable practices. Emerging startups and food innovators displayed an array of green products, poised to redefine our understanding of food and its environmental implications. Concurrently, sessions like Giada De Laurentiis’s keynote on The Four Trends in Food That Matter Now offered valuable glimpses into the industry’s ongoing evolution.
A key highlight was the end-of-show food rescue and donation in partnership with City Harvest. This initiative signaled the essential role of waste reduction in sustainability, reinforcing the event’s and participants’ commitment to our planet’s well-being.
At the heart of this sustainability movement is the awareness that our food choices significantly affect our environment. As consumers, our preferences have the power to instigate industry changes and promote more sustainable practices. Every bite can become a meaningful stride towards a more eco-friendly future.
The food industry is in the midst of a transformative era, and events like the Summer Fancy Food Show make this change visible. The show serves as proof that taste and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive – that being eco-minded doesn’t equate to compromising on flavor or variety. This list of 16 eco-conscious eats demonstrates that choosing sustainability can be a delightful journey that we all can savor.
Author: Scott Keatley