Hollywood has its Oscars. The music world has its Grammys. And, of course, the food industry has its own best in show. The Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., is a who’s who of foodies. Over 67,000 industry members attend and forecast the trendiest and healthiest foods we will be buzzing about this year. Unfortunately, Healthy Hollywood couldn’t attend this food fest. I am located in New York City and my budget barely allows for a train ticket to the suburbs. So, nutritionist and author of “Beyond the Mediterranean Diet,” Layne Lieberman, who was headed out to the Expo offered to do some trend-spotting on my behalf. Thank you, Layne!
“There were an overwhelming number of pills and supplements filled with herbs, vitamins, minerals, probiotics and all sorts of potions that were touted as good for you,” states Layne, who also advises consumers to do their research before buying supplements off the shelf.
Layne also noted a lot of health products from other countries, adding, “I found clear agave syrup and powdered inulin from Mexico, maca powder and yacon syrup from Peru, hydrogen-injected water from Mt. Fuji, Japan and dried ginseng and baby food products from Korea.”
The buzzword at Expo West seemed to be “non-GMO,” which are food products that are not genetically modified. Other notable items were siracha-flavored popcorn, raw pet food, coconut chips with Greek yogurt topping and almonds with Japanese plum vinegar.
Layne shared with Healthy Hollywood her top 3 favorite foods trends coming out the Natural Products Expo West.
1. Latta kefir/yogurt:
In addition to being organic, Latta kefir/yogurt is supposedly made from 100 percent natural grass fed milk (a rare find in the dairy category). Grass fed milk is a healthy choice for you and the cow producing the milk. Milk from pastured cows contains an ideal ratio of essential fatty acids. With the right balance of essential fatty acids, evidence suggests a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes and dementia. According to the company, Latta milk also contains nearly five times more CLA “conjugated linoleic acid” than found in milk from grain fed cows. This type of fat may prove to be one of our most potent cancer fighters. Dairy products from grass fed milk are not only delicious but also are higher in beta-carotenes, vitamin A and vitamin E. The coffee, nonfat, organic-grass fed kefir was my favorite and I must admit that after I ate it, my belly felt so good. Latta also produces dairy-free alternatives.
2. Bellucci Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
They claim to track the journey of each bottle of olive oil back to family farms. In addition, growers practice traditional methods for cultivating olives. With all the concern about imported Italian olive oil being cut with cheaper oils and stored for long periods in vats before being bottled, this brand sounds good to me. I would like to know operationally, how and in what time frame the oil gets from the Italian farm to the U.S. table. Although, Italians do know how to make delicious olive oil, I have tasted some of the best in Spain and France.
3. Farmhouse Culture Krauts:
It’s a line of organic, local, sustainable, seasonal and delicious kraut from California that comes in a (well-vented) portable bag ideal for energy efficient transportation. The ingredients are simple: raw organic vegetables and sea salt from the Sonoma coast. According to, “Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy,” culturing cabbage using lactic acid fermentation has been used for centuries to extend the harvest. This method of preservation also provides a good dose of probiotics (good bacteria) known to keep your gastrointestinal system healthy and happy!
For more on the 2014 food trends, check out www.expowest.com.
-- Terri MacLeod