A Health food restaurant is a restaurant that serves primarily, or exclusively, health foods. Health Tips for Today - Health Food Trends and Restaurants. The history of health food restaurants includes their influence on other restaurants, including fast food establishments. The types of foods found at health food restaurants has changed, alongside the changing definition of what constitutes a health food. Other types of restaurants and menus included in this general category include vegetarian, vegan, raw, macrobiotic, organic, and low-fat.
This is a summary timeline of important events in the development of the health food restaurant.
- 1906 – The health food obsession began by introducing "Alcohol Free Restaurants" and by promoting unprocessed foods
- 1912 – Ganda Chagan Kapitan opened GC Kapitan, one of the first vegetarian restaurants.
- 1927 – Due to William Childs' concerns about health, the Childs Restaurants began serving only vegetarian food, known as the Child's Unique Dairy Lunch. However, this meatless menu led to a severe loss of business, and the policy was soon revised.
- 1930 – Fresh yeast was found to be beneficial for certain ailments: skin blemishes, headaches, and colds.
- 1943 – By the middle of World War II in Toronto, the public was complaining that conditions in restaurants had deteriorated significantly. In September 1943, The board of health, the Food Control Director, and six restaurant inspectors, decided to meet and to implement improvements in sanitation, and to mandate a semi-annual health inspection and certificate for food handlers.
- 1965 – Subway was founded by Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck. Subway offered submarine sandwiches and salads as healthy alternatives to fast food restaurants, with franchises throughout the United States and in other countries.
- 1970s – Good Earth, a health food restaurant franchise based in California, was founded, then eventually purchased by General Mills in 1980.
- 1999 – Restaurant Nora became America's first certified organic restaurant, which meant that 95% or more of everything that you ate there had been produced by certified organic growers and farmers who share Nora's commitment to sustainable agriculture.
- 2011 – KFC's parent company, Yum Brands Inc., committed to placing calorie counts on menu boards at corporate-owned restaurants nationwide by January 1, 2011. A new US federal law eventually will require all chain restaurants to do this.
Types of health food restaurants
Organic food is food grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, using only natural fertilizers. Health Tips for Today - Health Food Trends and Restaurants. While there are relatively few organic restaurants, organic ingredients are showing up increasingly on menus at many mid priced and higher priced restaurants.They are GMO free.
Vegetarian restaurants do not serve meat, but do serve dairy products and eggs. They are generally seen as a healthier type of restaurant, though nutritionists have not identified them as such. There are thousands of restaurants catering to vegetarians around the world. Many restaurants have vegetarian menu items, based significantly on the pressure from the vegetarian movement.
Influence on other restaurants
Fast food restaurants have included some menu items touted as healthier, including Taco Bell's new Cantina Menu in 2012. Health Tips for Today - Health Food Trends and Restaurants.
There are many types of food trends and fads, not only including weight loss or diets. Recent interest (especially in North America) in health foods such as quinoa and soy beans have cause prices to skyrocket and production to vastly increase. This affects the communities in which these foods are grown or produced, and also has environmental impacts. Each food that suddenly has a popularity spike affects those who produce it and the area it comes from.
Health food trends
This antioxidant-packed fruit became popular in 2008 for its health benefits. It contains anthocyanins and flavonoids which act as antioxidants by bonding with free radicals that could otherwise affect cells and cause irregularities. Health Tips for Today - Health Food Trends and Restaurants. This quality of acai berries made their juice, pulp, and other products made from the fruit very popular in health food circles, and increased their price and production. This fruit requires a warm environment to grow, and is common in Brazil, where acai tree groves are growing with the demand of product. Since replacing rainforest with different trees could have a negligible carbon effect, there is little controversy over the growth of this industry.
This "superfood" became popular in North America in 2005 as a high protein grain-like pseudocereal that's as easy to cook as rice. Its original use centred in South America, where it is easy to grow. This grain made up a large part of the local people's diets, and sustained a large population (especially in Peru and Bolivia) with high protein and carbohydrate components. With the recent boom in popularity, the price of the grain has tripled since 2006, making the once staple food of Peruvian and Bolivian villages suddenly very expensive. Farmers are having difficulty being able to eat their own grains, since it is so profitable to sell the majority of it to North American retailers, and the replacement grains the people of the area are using don't have the same nutrient composition as their original quinoa diets. The effects of this change are not yet realized, and should be re-evaluated in the future.
Soy beans are being used to produce a huge number of products for vegetarians, vegans, and people with allergies to certain foods. The range of products produced using soy beans is extensive, and includes tofu, soy sauce, lecithin, meat analogue, miso, soy flour, soy milk, tempeh and yuba. They are high in protein, fibre, and calcium and are very filling, making them a popular choice for health-focused consumers. With the increase in demand, new crops have to be planted and the environment soy beans generally need to grow is warm and humid, making the tropics an ideal choice for new plantations. Unfortunately this is causing large portions of rainforest to be cut down for the productions of these crops, which has a severely negative net carbon effect. In the past 15 years, soy food sales have increased from $1 billion to $5.2 billion, meaning the amount of product being purchased is growing substantially. It should be noted that 97% of the soybeans produced are used for animal feed according to the UN, so the increase in popularity due to consumerism of soy-based products isn't the main cause of the increase in crops and destruction of forests.
This species of blue-green algae became popular in the 1980s due to its high protein levels, complete amino acid composition, and the unproved claim that it had the highest chlorophyll content of any plant species. Health Tips for Today - Health Food Trends and Restaurants. Since spirulina is an algae, it is farmed in ponds in warm environments that allow lots of cell reproduction and algae population growth. The algae is then filtered out with nets, and dried as paste in the sun before being grinded into powder and sold as powder or pills.
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