As we approached the end of December, we at 225 Dine were busy putting together our end-of-the-year recaps on the best new restaurants in Baton Rouge and the food trends that made an impact during the last decade. And looking ahead to the rest of 2020, we were also researching what’s next.
The term “plant-based” came up quite a lot.
Whether it’s the surge of vegan and vegetarian options on menus or the new trend of meatless meat like the Impossible Burger, plants are definitely cool right now. And marketing experts are zeroing in on the fad.
Companies are hawking the plant-based nature of their cold-pressed juices, or the plant-based nutrients found in their sweet potato pasta. Never mind that those products would already be considered plant-based anyway, and virtually any type of pasta is going to start with a plant, be it wheat or some other type of flour.
A recent article from Eater argues that the term is quickly becoming a marketing ploy to make products we’ve known for years suddenly seem healthier. Country Crock, for instance, recently introduced a “plant butter” that you might also recognize as just plain old “margarine.”
And who’s going to argue with us if we say that bag of Zapp’s Spicy Cajun Crawtators we just bought is plant-based, too?
But that shouldn’t deter us from seeking out more veggies for our diets. Baton Rouge restaurants are right to start joining the trend of decreasing meat portion sizes in entrees and upping the colorful, nutritious vegetables—many of which are grown nearby. Replace that enriched white flour pasta with spaghetti squash, a la this recipe we just published. Wrap up those chicken tacos in Bibb lettuce rather than a plain tortilla.
We’re happy to see the change, and in the long run, it will help our local farmers, our climate and our waistlines. Just please don’t tell us that bright green detox juice we’re sipping is “plant-based.” We know it is.