If you’re like many, you may start to increase your food canning or preserving in 2011, according to the Food Channel’s Top 10 food trends for the New Year.. “As we head into 2011, we see people beginning to cherish simplicity” says the report.

Just as a good writer understands that writing fewer words is harder than a lot of words, removing things from our lives is harder than adding to them.  And, yet, we see that the 2011 Food Trends are about embracing what may be a little more difficult, because it has proven its value.

The trend to local foods will continue, according to the report. We value things that are, if not exactly close to us, are at least close to the little guy. The new food simplicity is about putting value on the independent grower. In 2011, the consumer is all about buying from a business that is dedicated to creating a quality product, dedicated to doing the right thing, regardless of the size of the business or the number of products they produce.

Here are the Top Ten food trends for 2011:

1. Food preservation has a rejuvenation. They used to call it “putting up,” as in putting up tomatoes or corn for the winter ahead. Maybe your grandmother still refers to it that way. What it means of course is canning, pickling, and preserving—and more and more folks will be getting into it for a number of reasons.

2. A gender role reversal is bubbling up in the kitchen. The slumping economy has hit men harder than women, with job losses in traditionally male fields such as finance and construction. Women, on the other hand, are employed in fields that are expected to flourish in the years ahead.

3. Support a local grower . . . anywhere. Politicians say that all politics is local. It's becoming more and more evident that the same is true for food. This trend understands that mindset—that it’s all about eating local, but that local goes beyond a geographical definition.

4.  Sometimes we don't want to know the nutrition numbers. Politicians on the local, state and federal government level are stepping up efforts to legislate healthier eating. These well-meaning efforts have led to calorie counts on restaurant menus, bans on trans fats, and a war on sodium. Let’s face it. Some things we just don’t want to know.

5.  Discount eats make the new smart phone apps delicious. Just as the adorable antics of cats have become the unexpected stars of the Internet, food has become the dominant attraction of smart phones. It seems like there’s a new mobile food app popping up every time you start to feel hungry.

6.  Getting closer to the customer.  As anyone who works for a big corporation knows, the bigger your brand, the larger a target you may become. In today’s world, a corporate mindset might be bad for business.

7. Rediscovering the butcher, baker and cheese maker. We see American food shoppers going about their marketing a bit more like our European counterparts in the coming year. People will be returning to the neighborhood butcher shop to pick up fresh meats and grabbing their specialty breads and pastries at the corner bakery.

8.  Living up to their pledge, chefs join the cafeteria crews. This will be the year we finally get really serious about feeding our children healthier, better quality foods.

9.  Eating your way out of your comfort zone.  This trend is about consciously trying new things that stretch our food vocabulary and experience.|

10.  Looking for foods that keep us young, strong and active. It’s no secret that Americans are reaching retirement age in record numbers, now that the Baby Boomers are starting to hit their mid-sixties. And, as they have since they first began to walk, boomers will influence nearly everything in 2011, including foods.

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Source: The Food Channel