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The Final Word

January 28, 2010
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Managing editor Marina Mayer is doing the Cupcake Conga in honor of cupcakes placing third on The Food Channel’s Top 10 lists.




Cupcakes Still Rule

Returning to work from a nice, relaxing holiday break is always challenging. I spent the first couple of days cleaning out my email, deleting spam, looking for my to-do list and really just trying to remember where I left off. Did I email that person back? Did they respond? Why can’t I understand my notes?

I was exhausted by noon just from actually using my brain.

I’m sure you can relate.

Now weeks later, I’m still a bit fatigued but not because I’m experiencing vacation withdrawal, but because I’ve been doing what I call the Cupcake Conga. Yes, it’s a conga dance that celebrates the life and success of the cupcake.

You see, last September, I bemoaned about how schools are banning the ever-beloved cupcake from their classrooms. To think that students can no longer experience the enjoyment of eating a cupcake after learning long division and other crap they’ll never use in life is nearly absurd.

But my bitterness quickly migrated to excitement when I learned that the one and only cupcake snagged the No. 3 spot as this decade’s Top 10 biggest trend, according to The Food Channel.

Take that, school administrators. That’s 10 whole years of cupcake consumption (the study went from 2000-2009). Sure the cupcake followed behind the leader of the pack, sushi (enter ack face now), and then bacon at No. 2, but third place is the new best in my book.

TheFoodChannel.com also provided a perspective in other food-related areas, such as Top 10 food influencers, Top 10 food topics and top food people. (P.S. Food bloggers or “foodies” beat out the likes of Martha Stewart, Julia Child and the local restaurant chef. That goes to show that consumers are always right. Or our society has just become too self-absorbed).

After re-reading my September column, I carefully reviewed the Food Channel’s list in search of answers to this whole school debacle over cupcakes.

If foods like cupcakes are being banned from schools because of their not-as-healthy attributes, then maybe similar trends should make the Top 10 food trends chart as well, right?

Funny thing is that obesity, one of the school administrations’ reasons for banning the cupcake, wasn’t even mentioned as a Top 10 anything.

In fact, the Top 10 general news topics impacting food includes food safety, prices, sustainability and get this, McDonald’s innovation. I know that the burger giant doesn’t sell cupcakes, but it certainly doesn’t specialize in healthy eating either.

In addition, the Top 10 lists didn’t mention food allergies as a trend, which is another reason why schools are prohibiting the cupcake on school grounds. According to TheFoodChannel.com’s study, the Top 10 food influencers include organic foods, culinary education and social media.

Talk about sunshine journalism.

Of course, this is not to say that obesity and food allergies aren’t important or that they won’t make the list for the next decade or two, but as of today, something as simple as cupcakes still rule.

Now back to my dance.

Go to www.thefoodchannel.com to read its Top 10 Food Trends results.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about this topic, read my September 2009 column titled  “The Cupcake Controversy” .

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