National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Don't look for the obvious and easy when you examine the multitude of "food trends of 2013" lists we see circulating. For example, don't expect "local food" to always be named as one of the prominent food trends, simply because that type of fearless forecasting isn't given much respect.

We want, somehow, "trends" that we have never heard before and are about to explode on Americans like the finale of a July 4 fireworks show.

Let's take a gander at a few Food Trends for 2013 and see what we can uncover.

Baum Whiteman released this list of hot 2013 dining trends, heading the list with extensive discussions of robots, flavored cocktails, ATMs that distribute cupcakes and other urgent exclamations about dining trends that few people can fathom. Still, you may like this. I found the last trend listed in the 15-page report - food suppliers opening their own retail business - a captivating idea.

This accounting of 2013 trends is provided by the The top choices "vegetables," "grains" and "chicken."

Here, Betty Crocker talks about food trends for the holidays. Not much produce related here, predictably, with "sweet surprises," "layers, layers, layers" and "comfort food remix" topping the chart.

This piece from Restaurant News talks about top restaurant trends for 2013. "Local" is nowhere to be seen, with the top trends identified as "vegetables take their star turn," "great grains," and "chicken surprise."

The National Restaurant Association is keeping it real and gives us a common sense list. Finally, "local" makes a list.

The top five menu trends from the NRA are "locally sourced meats and seafood," "locally grown produce," "healthful kids' meals,"  "environmental sustainability as a culinary theme," and "children's nutrition as a culinary trend."

Those actually sound plausible.

But wait, there is more..

5 food trends to taste in 2013

Sterling Rice group names 2013 food trends

One "take away" from the various lists is that many folks expects vegetables to play a more prominent role in restaurant menus in 2013. That's good news for the industry.

Readers, feel free to link to other Food Trends lists you see for 2013. Also answer the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group question about fresh produce trends for 2013.