RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
As we start the new year, we're going to look forward to what will be on your plate in 2016. Food writer Bonny Wolf stopped by to talk about this year's food trends. And she gave us the answer in just one word.
BONNY WOLF, BYLINE: Vegetables in the center of the plate. Vegetables are sort of the new meat. Michael Pollan 10 years ago said, eat food, not much, mostly plants. And that's become real. And it's - it's developed over the last 10 years.
MARTIN: So how is that change going to happen? 'Cause what you're saying is a big deal. The American diet is based on this idea that in the middle of your plate you've got, like, beef or chicken or fish. And then the side dishes are the vegetables.
WOLF: Well, it's happening in a variety of ways. Meats are being used as condiments or as side dishes. You know, you'll have a dish with a lot of vegetables, a lot of spices, a lot of other things and a little bit of meat or fish or some other protein. Some of this is in response to concerns about food waste. About 40 percent of food is wasted in this country every year. And so just as in the last few years we've eaten the whole animal - nose to tail - now we're going to eat the whole vegetable sort of root to stem.
MARTIN: So you literally mean, like, the stem of a carrot or, you know, off of a broccoli crown.
WOLF: There's a whole movement to make salads out of trimmings. They take a core of a cabbage and trimmings from carrots and leaves from broccoli and put it all together in a salad and put some kind of anchovy dressing on it and some Parmesan cheese and mix it all together and...
MARTIN: I mean, it sounds good.
WOLF: Yeah. There are going to be more big bowls where grains and nuts and cheese are mixed up with vegetables. And the U.N. has declared this the international year of the pulse.
MARTIN: We're not talking about my heart rate.
WOLF: We are not. We're talking about dried peas, lentils, dried beans. Chickpeas are going to be the star of the pulse show.
MARTIN: I love a chickpea. That's good news.
WOLF: Well, this is very good news.
MARTIN: This is my year.
WOLF: Yeah. There's going to be flour made from chickpeas, so you can bake with it - flours made from nuts, other legumes, which addresses gluten-free concerns.
MARTIN: So vegetables front and center.
WOLF: Vegetables front and center.
MARTIN: Let's shift gears a little bit and talk about different generation because you've noticed some trends when it comes to how different generations eat or think about food.
WOLF: Well, millennials are huge. There are now more millennials than there are baby boomers. And I think they are going to change not only what's on the plate but how we eat. They don't sit down generally. And of course, this is a great generalization, but they tend to snack. Their snacks are very involved, made with good-for-you foods and all sorts of things. They order ingredients online. And millennials get a lot of meal kits that deliver prepared ingredients. Everything is cut up and ready for you to just make into a dish. They use food delivery services rather than shopping. And I think this is - this is going to really change the way people eat 'cause they're very influential.
MARTIN: Food writer Bonny Wolf. Thanks so much, Bonny.
WOLF: It's a pleasure.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.