Generation Yum: So much more than just avocado toast

It seems that every generation has an item or three that defines them. For those boomers in your life, it is most likely connected to the Summer of Love and loads of drug culture experimentation. For Gen X, most likely our legacy is a string of contact work and a fascination with the film “Reality Bites.” 

But for the Millennials, they clearly own avocado toast, which in my opinion is quite delicious, and for Gen Z it will mostly be their every growing fascination with YouTube videos. 

If we have learned anything from the past, it is that experiences made in one’s youth often shape our future.

And so for Millennials and Gen Z, trends that cross their taste buds today will power as well as reshape tomorrow’s food, according to Eve Turow Paul, author of “Taste of Generation Yum: How the Millennial Generation's Love for Organic Fare, Celebrity Chefs and Microbrews Will Make or Break the Future of Food,” who will be speaking at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s Culinary Conversations speaker series.

Turow Paul, a journalist and researcher, has spent nearly decade writing about food culture and the many innovations of the 21st Century with an emphasis on how Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping how we approach food.

“On the surface, Millennials and Gen Z are filled with apparent contradictions. While many struggle to pay the rent, they frequently invest in food experiences and consciously spend more on organic, local and non-GMO food,” said Turow Paul. “The challenge for restaurants and food producers is to harness this and create intimate connections between people and their food while marketing to these groups without losing authenticity.”

Ideally with all the attention placed on starting something in Grand Rapids, if you have wondered if a career or any food-related pursuit is for you, then this inspiring Culinary Conversation with Turow Paul is just the ticket. 

Culinary Conversations stands out as a speaker series since it is harnessing another generation’s innovation, the Meetup, as the preferred format to attract and facilitate peer-to-peer collaborations and networking opportunities for our food (and food curious) industry professionals, including growers, producers, chefs, bartenders, restaurant owners, and entrepreneurs.

The series is brought to our Downtown Market via the partnerships between Start Garden, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), and Michigan State University Extension. The lead sponsor for February’s event is Spartan Nash and the supporting sponsor is Experience Grand Rapids. This Meetup costs $20 to attend and includes both networking and educational opportunities. Please register at this link to attend. 

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