Los Angeles

Where Do Food Fads Come From?

David Sax

Grand Central Market
317 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Free parking at 308 S. Hill St., just south of 3rd St. Validation will be distributed at the event.

A few years ago, it felt like you couldn’t walk into a bakery, celebrate a birthday, or even attend a wedding without coming across a cupcake. Just as suddenly, kale salads colonized restaurant menus, supermarkets started selling out of quinoa, and everyone had an opinion on the best brand of Greek yogurt. Food fads are, in a sense, inevitable: Once we developed the economic means to select from a variety of foods, some tastes became more popular than others. But what determines which foods become trendy when? How do marketers, farmers, scientists, doctors, and even governments create food crazes? Journalist David Sax, author of The Tastemakers: Why We’re Crazy For Cupcakes But Fed Up With Fondue, visits Zócalo to explore why certain dishes take hold of our collective passion, why others, like Crystal Pepsi, lack staying power, and what impact trends like putting bacon on everything and the rise of the food truck have on our economy and our culture.