Paper straws and treadmills are my future


As I was reflecting on the past year (2019), I discovered an article from December 2018, that I had saved in my computer. It was about upcoming trends to watch in the coming year. Having just completed living in that “coming” year, I wondered just how well those trends survived.

As it turns out, those trendy happenings didn’t seem to occur, at least not in my world. Now this article was from a reputable news agency, so I made the leap of faith that someone had painstakingly researched these fads. So perhaps they were popular in New York or San Diego. Maybe even London and Paris. But here, in Miami County, Ohio? I didn’t see a lot of them.

For example, the first trend on the list was using “exotic mushrooms” in mixed drinks. The reporter said that according to a study, nearly 70 percent of bartenders were going to experiment with mushrooms in cocktails. They showed a picture — it looked disgusting. Thank goodness my favorite barkeeps did not embrace this concept. But the report went on to note, “There is definitely a trend toward more savory ingredients in cocktails, with a big emphasis on vegetables and vegetal notes.” So watch out for more than celery or olives in your Bloody Mary, I guess.

The second lifestyle trend in the report was that flip phones would make a comeback. If only that were true! The article cited many reasons for this, not the least of which is that it would protect the phone from damage when dropped. But again, in my experience, I saw very few new flip phones.

The most alarming trend that was noted, and one I’m glad I did not see, was called “quick bites” for television shows. The report predicted that a number of networks would begin airing series that would be in 5-minute episodes. I have enough trouble keeping plot lines and characters straight when I watch for an hour, so I’m sure I will remember nothing of a 5-minute episode.

Of course, this made me research what the hot lifestyle changes are predicted for 2020. According to Forbes, we should expect some interesting changes in food service and restaurants, including more “off-site” dining. This means more meal delivery, either prepared or semi-prepared. This same article stated we’d see more “West African cuisine…and ancient grains like fonio, teff and millet as well as moringa and tamarind in more dishes and on grocery shelves.” I have never heard of these foods, but will definitely watch menus for them.

A predicted trend that’s near and dear to my heart is eco-friendly products. Technomics predicts upcoming efforts such as reusable cup programs; strawless lids; wood-fiber utensils; and more investment into compostable packaging. Food service is joining the ranks of many involved in protecting our planet.

These predicted lifestyle fads may give us some fodder for resolutions for the new year. Let’s all try moringa, or stop using plastic straws. I’ll likely do better at either of those than my age-old “go to the gym more often” resolution!

By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy. Email her at [email protected].

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