Biggest Food Fads of 2018

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Popped sorghum

Sorghum is a grass, and one of the world’s top five cereal crops. The popular of the “popped” grains is doubtless due to the facts that they are naturally gluten-free and have fewer calories than popcorn. They’re a little sweeter, too, and don’t stick to your teeth.

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Hydrogen water

Celebrities are embracing hydrogen water these days, and producers are selling it for $3 per 11-ounce bottle. Is it worth the price? There is no scientific evidence suggesting hydrogen water — which is simply water that has extra hydrogen gas added — offers any more benefits than plain tap water. A study test its supposed effects on nerve and cognitive function showed no significant difference between people who drank hydrogen water and those who had the ordinary stuff.

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Alternative milks

Plant-based milks — particularly those made from soy and almonds — have been a popular substitute for dairy milk for years (just ask your local Starbucks barista). Now we’re seeing milks made from flax, hemp, cashews, oats, and — the latest craze — dried yellow peas.

Another newly trendy item is turmeric milk. This is conventional cow’s (or soy) milk turned golden with the spice turmeric, touted as a superfood for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (though new research suggests that it might not actually have significant health benefits.)

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Alcohol-filled doughnuts

Donuts with non-traditional filling, such as peanut butter and jelly, Snickers bars, taro root, and Earl Grey tea, have been on the market at least since 2012, and are getting more popular all the time. If you are of appropriate age, you can now choose doughnuts made with various kinds of booze, as well, including vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and banana liqueur.

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Cannabis-infused edibles

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in ten states and the District of Columbia and decriminalized in 13 more. For those who prefer not to smoke, cannabis is appearing infused into a wide range of products, including candies and baked goods, vitamins, non-alcoholic beverages, and even wine — in which it may replace the traditional alcohol. According to one survey, 43% of people would try cannabis-infused products if offered. The next obvious step: serious chefs working cannabis into their culinary creations — like Miguel Trinidad, who stages private dinners around the country featuring such dishes as steak tartare and lobster risotto infused with pot.