"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis
The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even lol on occasion.
Friday. Remember when owning a Peloton felt like the only way you could do fitness during the early days of the pandemic? I mean, if you didn’t take out a second mortgage on your house to afford one of their bikes, did you even care about your health? Well, according to a recent recall, it turns out the bike seat post can break while riding, leading to injury. And speaking of broken things that need fixing, several “food tech leaders” were on Capital Hill a couple of weeks ago pushing for their solution for our broken food system. Let’s dive in.
Fake Meat Hits Capitol Hill
Last month, a group of food tech leaders descended on Capitol Hill for a fly-in focused on the farm bill. For anyone not familiar with the term, a fly-in is an event where people come to Washington to hold meetings with lawmakers.
So who were the “food tech leaders” attending this fly-in?
Leaders from Eat Just, Finless Foods, Impossible Foods, Next Gen Foods, Oatly, the Plant Based Food Association, and the Good Food Institute were all part of the event. So basically, the usual suspects of plant-based everything. Their goal with the fly-in? To raise awareness for diversified, innovative agricultural tools and foods that utilize technological advances for the benefit of human and planetary health. Translation: they wanted to talk about food tech’s role in producing food that is both healthy and good for the planet.
Interesting. The event culminated in a reception at the Consumer Technology Association’s Innovation House, where attendees enjoyed plant-based burgers, fake chicken nuggets, and oat ice cream because nothing quite screams health like faux chicken nuggets and ice cream made of grains.
While the food tech industry has made strides in developing protein alternatives, there is growing concern that these products may not be as healthy or environmentally friendly as they appear. Many of these alternatives are highly processed and rely on unsustainable monocultures for their ingredients. Just look at the ingredient lists on some of these products next time you are at the grocery store. Can something like that really be the solution to our broken food system?
The truth is that the plant-based food industry is contributing to deforestation, habitat destruction, and climate change by relying heavily on crops such as soy, corn, and palm oil. These crops are often grown in monocultures, leading to soil degradation, water pollution, and biodiversity loss. Also, many protein alternatives are highly processed, with added sugars, oils, and other additives that can be detrimental to health.
The food tech industry has also been criticized for its reliance on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While GMOs may offer benefits such as increased yields and resistance to pests and diseases, there are concerns about the long-term effects of these organisms on the environment and human health.
As the food tech industry continues to grow, it is important that we remain critical of the products and practices these companies are pushing. Usually, these products are simply ultra-processed foods masquerading as healthier options.
The key takeaway? Instead of relying solely on protein alternatives, we should focus on more sustainable, regenerative farming practices that promote biodiversity and healthy soil. This includes supporting local farmers and food systems, reducing food waste, and supporting the growing handful of brands doing the right thing.
As consumers, we can help shift our food system in the right direction, one buying decision at a time.
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Improve Your Diet, Improve Your Mood
It turns out your diet impacts everything, including your mood. A recent study explored the connection between diet, gut microbiome, mood, and happiness.
The results? Not surprising.
While research on the gut microbiome is still in its early stages, it has been established that it can have an impact on both the brain and the body. This particular study found that consuming higher levels of fat and protein and lower percentages of carbohydrates was associated with lower anxiety and depression, whereas a higher percentage of carbohydrates was linked to increased stress, anxiety, and depression.
These results suggest that humans may be designed to eat more fat and protein and less carbs. While this does not mean you have to eliminate or minimize carbs altogether, the findings do highlight the negative impact of the current food system on our health and well-being. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is very carb-heavy, which might explain why many Americans struggle with stress, mood, and more serious mental health problems.
Nothing quite says summer like fish tacos with watermelon salsa. Check out the recipe.
Food tech is getting stranger and stranger. A company just developed the first ever 3D-printed fish filet. Call me crazy, but I don’t think we should eat anything from a 3D printer. Read more.
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