6 Food Trends From 2015 That Would Shock "Back To The Future's" Marty McFly

October 23, 2015

On the 21st of October 2015, Marty McFly arrived in “the future” during Back to the Future Part 2. Sadly we don’t have self-tying shoes, flying cars, or instant giant pizzas. But we do have video phones and hoverboards – kind of (thanks, Lexus!).

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The future is close, and we can’t wait. Photo: The Conmunity: The pop culture geek

And while we aren’t as far into the future as we may have hoped, much has changed in the world of food (and drink) since 1985.

Here are six food trends sure to have Marty yelling for Doc Brown.

1. Bacon On (Or In) Everything

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Get some bacon and put it in a pancake. Photo: Opacity / Flickr

When Marty left 1985, bacon was just a sizzling side dish one had with breakfast. Now bacon is on everything from burgers to donuts. We even drink bacon-flavored beers and sodas, not to mention the existence of bacon bed sheets, phone cases, and other accessories. We’re obsessed.

2. When Did Everyone Become So Thirsty?

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Everyone’s parched: In 2014, the U.S. bottled water market topped $13 billion. Photo: Cory Doctorow / Flickr

In 1996, Comedian George Carlin made the astute observation, “Everyone is walking around with their own personal bottle of water. When did we get so thirsty America?” And it’s true. Sales of bottled water are up nearly ten-fold since 1985, and they’re all chock full of unique characteristics like extra electrolytes and vitamins.

3. How Did “Juice” Become A Verb?

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Great Scott! How is that juice $8?

Back in the day, juice was something that you drank with breakfast or kids brought to school. Now it’s a lifestyle choice. You don’t drink juice, you just juice. And it’s no longer just your standard orange, apple or grapefruit. Leafy greens, roots, and other exotic plant-based fauna are all part of our regular diets.

4. Why Is Everyone So Damn Tired?

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Today, the term “coffee break” means taking a break from drinking coffee.

In 1984, Starbucks had six stores. By the end of 1987, it had grown to 17. Today, Starbuck’s operates more than twelve thousand stores in the U.S. alone. Between the monster Seattle chain and its competitors, a grande soy, no foam latte is available on nearly every block of every major city. When did we suddenly need that much caffeine?

5. What Is Gluten?

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Damn you, gluten! Photo: Whatsername? / Flickr

Back in the '80s, egg, meat and fat were bad, and bread was fine. Today gluten is food enemy numero uno. What used to be a niche market for people with celiacs disease (approximately 1% of the population) has grown into a full-on lifestyle choice that rakes in billions of dollars a year. While people claim it helps them lose weight, waistbands continue to expand. What gives?

6. Farm To Table? Like What We Did In *Back To The Future Part 3.

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Ask anyone from 1985 and they would have thought bigger companies would only become more prominent. While true for banking, the winds have changed for the food industry, and we’re now seeing a push towards smaller, more local, organic and sustained produce. Much of this has to with climate change. Global warming, as we called it then, was a future problem. Thirty years later we’re dealing with its effects, and these trends have been one weapon in a larger fight.