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These Food Trends Are Gonna Be Big In 2020

Here are 12 popular food trends that are worth adding to your diet in 2020.

Food & Drink

Don't even act like you didn't know this was coming. As we're entering the "out with the old, in with the new" portion of the 2019 program, this is when you won't be able to get online without seeing at least two articles a day on what will be trending in the new decade. However, what might be harder to find than anything else are the healthy food trends that you should take special note of.

In 2020, things will be interesting. "Interesting" in the sense of being a little all over the place, super intriguing and definitely what will require a little more effort on our parts. But if you're looking to expand your palate and also spend a little more time in your own kitchen in the new year, these are things that will help you to accomplish both goals—exquisitely and effectively so.

1.West African Foods

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When I read that West African foods would be big in 2020, I immediately smiled. I know several people from Ghana and pretty much every single one of them are gorgeous. GORGEOUS. Anyway, as far as the types of foods that part of the world eats—millet, teff, fufu, yams, avocados, black-eyed peas, mangos, pineapple, ginger, lemongrass, coconut, peanut oil and the combo of tomatoes, onions and bell peppers as a base for dishes are all extremely popular.

If 2020 is the year that you want to expand your diet with something unique, another popular West African food is sorghum. It's a cereal grain that is gluten-free, rich in fiber, high in protein and iron, and is able to help with controlling your blood sugar levels. You can buy it as a grain; some people enjoy it in syrup form as well.

2. CBD Foods and Drinks

OK, so in the spirit of responsible writing, I would be remiss if I didn't share this off the rip—"CBD-Infused Food and Beverages Are Still Illegal Under US law. So Why Are They Everywhere?". From what I read, this is battle that the FDA knows that they probably won't win; especially since there are currently over 1000 CBD-infused foods and drinks available online alone. That said, yep, it is another food trend that is only going to get bigger in the new year.

And just what are the benefits of consuming foods (and drinks) that have cannabidiol—the non-intoxicating chemical compound that's found in the cannabis plant)—in it? Well, the properties in CBD are anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-spasmodic. This makes CBD great at treating pain, depression, keeping diabetes at bay, strengthening the heart and even getting rid of acne if it's consumed on a semi-consistent basis.

If you'd like to see a few examples of CBD foods, it's worth your time to read "What Are CBD Foods and Why Are They Everywhere?" A Hemp Bar or two might be just what the doctor ordered (relatively speaking).

3. Nut and Seed Butters and Spreads

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If you'd like to put a spread on your toast or crackers, but you don't want it to be butter, go to your local health food store to pick up some nut or seed butters instead. Some examples of a nut butter include cashew, almond, hazelnut, walnut and, of course, peanut. Some seed butters include pumpkin, watermelon and sunflower. All are packed with protein, have their own unique flavor and are full of vitamins and minerals.

4. Jackfruit

Believe it or not, jackfruit is being used more and more as a meat substitute. So, if you're vegetarian or are attempting to go vegan in the new year, this is a food that you'll definitely want to have on hand. Jackfruit contains a significant amount of vitamins A and C. It also has about two grams of protein and six grams of fiber in it per serving. Unripe jackfruit is ideal for meat-like recipes while ripe jackfruit is oftentimes put into smoothies and baked goods. As far as where to cop some, you should be able to find it pretty easily at your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe's stores.

5. Mocktails

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Mocktails (fake cocktails) will also be big in 2020. As I was reading a few articles on this particular food trend, some of the authors brought up a valid point. With mocktails, not only do you not have to work around the after-effects that alcohol can bring, drinking and serving them can save you a heck of a lot of money too. So, if you've got a party coming up, consider offering a couple of mocktails as alternatives. If you have no clue of where to even begin when it comes to building your mocktail mental library, this link features 50 mocktail recipes to get you started.

6. Lotus Seeds

The lotus plant is the kind of plant that is popular in parts of Southeast Asia. The seeds themselves contain a good amount of calcium, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, protein and thiamin.

As far as its health benefits go, lotus seeds have a good reputation for treating insomnia, strengthening your digestive system, fighting aging signs, healing gum disease, giving an energy boost and supporting newly pregnant moms by giving their babies what they need to have a strong nervous system.

Believe it or not, Walmart sells lotus seeds. So does Amazon. As far as how to eat them, many mash the seeds up with some sugar and salt and serve it as a paste on pancakes, etc. You can check out an easy-to-make recipe here.

7. Middle Eastern Spices

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If you enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine, commit to preparing more dishes from the comfort of your own home by stocking up on some traditional Middle Eastern spices. Ones that top the list include turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, Baharat, sumac, nutmeg, allspice and anise seed. If you want to impress your own damn self with your knowledge of Middle Eastern foods, also pick up some ras el hanout. It's a spice that is a combo of sweet, spicy and savory. It's so good that its name literally translates to mean "top shelf". (You should be able to find all of those at your local grocery store, by the way.)

8. Fruit and Veggie Flours

Here's the deal—when things are refined, a lot of what makes them good in the first place are removed. Such is the case with refined white flour (read "The Dark Side of White Flour"). But if you like to bake, even half as much as I do, an alternative you might want to try that just happens to be another big food trend for next year are flours that are made from fruits and vegetables. Two that are going to be getting a lot of shine are banana flour and cauliflower flour. Both contain a similar texture to refined white flour while also having the nutrients that naturally come with them. It truly is the best of both worlds.

9. Biodynamic Wine

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C'mon, wine experts. You tell me what biodynamic wine is. Basically, it's the kind of wine that is prepared in such a way where it has no chemicals at all in it; not only is this kind of sustainable processing good for the planet, it's healthier for you in the long run as well. This is an alcohol trend that's been growing for a couple of years now, so it's not hard to find. But if you'd like a cheat sheet on how to get the best kind of biodynamic wine at an affordable price, check out "The Best Biodynamic and Organic Wines For Under $30".

10. Alternative Sweeteners

If there are two things that all of us could stand to consume a heck of a lot less of next year, it's dairy (eww) and white sugar (double eww). As far as sugar goes, consuming less of it doesn't mean that you can't still appease your sweet tooth. The key is to do it in a healthier fashion. Molasses is packed with iron. Coconut sugar is unrefined, so it contains all of the nutrients that coconuts do. Monk fruit is actually 150 times sweeter than sugar, which means you can use much less of it, which means you don't have to worry about accumulating as many calories as with sugar. All you need to do to enjoy date paste is to combine ¾ teaspoon of water, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a cup of dates. Mash it all up and you're good to go.

And then there's honey. Honey helps to lower cholesterol levels, is an energy booster, is a great sugar substitute for diabetics, is loaded with antioxidants and, has antibacterial and antifungal properties in it too. The best kind of honey to get is raw (unrefined) honey.

You can click here to figure out which brand would prove to be best for you.

11. Supporting Local Farmers

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Another way to be more responsible with your diet is to support local farmers by going to farmers markets more often. The food is fresher, it helps to stabilize our local economies, it's sustainable, it's a wonderful way to stay connected within your community and, oftentimes it's cheaper than going to the grocery store. Everything about farmers markets are worth making a weekend run. Try and do more of that next year, will you?

12. Meal Kits

Just last week, I was talking to a male friend of mine who is the consummate bachelor. He admittedly sucks in the kitchen and shared that one of the best things that's happened to him lately are meal kits. His exact words were, "It's a lot healthier than eating out and it makes me feel like I know what I'm doing, even though I don't." If you can relate to where he's coming from, meal kits are also pretty cool because they come with all that you need to prepare a full meal in a box. If you'd like to try "meal kitting" next year—Sun Basket has a great reputation among vegetarians and Home Chef has the best reputation overall. Some other companies that are also popular include Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot.

Or, if you still want to go out, but you want to eat healthier and preferably at Black-owned establishments, check out Eboneats.

Or, if you happen to live in Georgia or New Jersey, Eat Clean Bro does meal prepping. Here's to eatin' right in 2020, y'all. For real, for real.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Plantain Flour, Spirulina & Other Uncommon Foods To Add To Your Diet

The Foods You Should & Shouldn't Be Eating On A Plant-Based Diet

10 "Healthy" Foods That Actually, Well...Aren't

Here Are Some "Holiday Season Foods" That Are Actually Good For You

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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