technology and the future of health

the below snippet is from my 1x/mo newsletter, The Next Brand. if you enjoyed, sign up here for more –

the tech sector is fascinating. i used to live in Silicon Valley and still have a soft spot for all things tech. it’s inspiring to see great entrepreneurs building new things at the forefront of technology, literally inventing the future #props.

health is the opposite. in my opinion, the food + wellness trends that are here to stay are a return to a past state where humans (on average) were healthier. not a progression towards a techno-utopian world where every human has Soylent on IV drip.

the default state of an organism is health, which means we don’t need technology to make us healthy. in my opinion, the Great Health Challenge™️ of our century is reversing the damage done by the last 75 years of packaged foods and junk science. removing glyphosate, sugars, carbs, processing from our foods… all that jazz that’s made Americans both richer and sicker than ever before.

this is why shit like Soylent and Beyond Meat really piss me off. oh, you want to improve human health by introducing tons of canola + vegetable oils to people’s diets and pass that off as healthy? please, tell me how many times your ancestors would be able to take the following steps to extract the oils from a canola*:

the answer is clearly never. your ancestors would never be able to regularly consume canola oil, especially not in the quantities Beyond Meat suggests. Soylent? nah: i’ll take real foods humans have eaten for millions of years over a bunch of junk ingredients that satisfy “everything i need” in a shake.

*(sidenote – wtf is a canola? has anyone ever seen a canola plant? picked one from a tree? no, because canola oil is made from rapeseed, the seed most likely to get canceled in 2019).

what does this mean in practice? it means getting back to eating real food that grows, demanding sourcing and ingredient quality from food brands and entrepreneurs you may or may not support (????), and being willing to call bullshit on brands that purport health but will make you sicker. looking at you Dr. Longo for selling people a “fasting bar” to eat while… fasting. (yes, a doctor is trying to tell you that you can eat ONLY HIS BAR while fasting and still be fasting. insanity).

this is a fundamental principle i think many people (especially in tech) miss. optimal health is a return to our ancestral roots and reflects our animal biology: technology shapes the future.

until we’re 3D printing sexy little bodies for us all to walk around in, i’m highly skeptical of the techno-utopian vision of “reinventing food”. tech should focus on making the transition to organic, regenerative agriculture more efficient and scalable, not trying to introduce weird processed ingredients into a complex system like the human body. keep that in mind each time you evaluate the latest hot health and wellness brand.

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