Ignite Charlotte: Technology, Food & You


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Presentation with speaker notes at Ignite Charlotte, held Aug. 4, 2010 at the Neighborhood Theater.

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Ignite Charlotte: Technology, Food & You

  1. 1. Technology, Food (Health) & You all images (c) Jason Silverstein unless noted; find this presentation at jasonsilverstein.com/ignite @sleuth #moreyouknow 1
  2. 2. @sleuth #moreyouknow 2 How familiar are you with what you eat? When my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer this year, that pushed me to a check-up I’d been delaying. I got bad results related to food, and my life changed forever. I am up here to share what I’ve learned... for my girls.
  3. 3. Technology, Food & You 1.Revolution history 2.Sugar, salt & fat (Food) 3.Symptoms vs. prevention (Tech) 4.Uh, now what? (Future) @sleuth #moreyouknow 3 Why Technology and Food? There are several revolutions responsible for the diet changes we’ve seen over the last fifty or so years, and there’s definitely time and money involved. We’ll review those and a few future solutions in the next five minutes.
  4. 4. @sleuth #moreyouknow 4 First, let’s remember the Industrial revolution, one about as old as our country. Automation and process changed everything. Before, we used our bodies much more; now many of us get in our cars, sit at desks, get back in our cars, drive-thru, then... sit on sofas.
  5. 5. @sleuth #moreyouknow 5 Just as impacting, today we’re experiencing what I call an “internet revolution.” We have access to almost all the world’s information, and we have it at our disposal at any moment... just ask any husband or wife about the other’s iPhone habits.
  6. 6. Source: http://slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2 @sleuth #moreyouknow 6 Before this ability to connect so effortlessly, many of our relationships fizzled over time. Now we use social media technology to link to our past, our like interests, companies, causes... it’s the real promise of technology, and it’s all related.
  7. 7. 5,000 (cc) image: http://flickr.com/photos/scandic-hotels/4327863806/ @sleuth #moreyouknow 7 Finally, he’s not really a revolution except on TV, but Jamie Oliver has made popular his desire to remove processed food from schools. His work showed me that in 2005 more than 5,000 schools in US had contracts with fast-food companies. That’s only part of the problem... let’s begin.
  8. 8. 3 @sleuth #moreyouknow 8 Food industry consultants and scientists are quoted stating three key ingredients to increase sales are: sugar, salt & fat. You’re surrounded by these additives....Chicken waffles with bacon & syrup. Bloomin' Onions cut for maximum surface area AND fat adhesion. Look at menus next time you eat out!
  9. 9. 53 @sleuth #moreyouknow 9 Foods just don’t get this way... they’re engineered. Sugar is a key ingredient in salad dressings. Milk. Soda. I grew up with only a handful of ice cream flavors, now there hundreds. It’s no surprise then that Americans eat 53 teaspoons of sugar a day.
  10. 10. 98 @sleuth #moreyouknow 10 Food scientists KNOW exactly the right amount of salt and fat to add to increase your satisfaction and dopamine levels. An industry trick? Make food “lighter” and easier to break down -- 98 percent of the flour eaten in America is refined, white and worthless health-wise.
  11. 11. 40 to 5 @sleuth #moreyouknow 11 Another food trick? Deep frying. That crunch we love comes from taking water content from 40 percent down to five, replacing with easily-swallowed fat. An average of twenty bites to eat is now 10, while our portions have gotten much larger. We eat more in less time.
  12. 12. marketing > regulation @sleuth #moreyouknow 12 Engineered modifications are often hard to spot, too; marketing dollars usually outweigh regulation. Even a “100% Natural Flavors” mention is possible bullshit... artificial flavors, dyes and chemicals exist.. but in fine print.
  13. 13. 100s (cc) image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/caese/2323293757/ @sleuth #moreyouknow 13 I’m not even including what gets into our food via pesticides, feed and poor meat practices. Tests show some burgers end up having hundreds of cows in a single patty... and that’s not just mud these cows are standing in. So what the hell are we to do?
  14. 14. @sleuth #moreyouknow 14 We can use aggregated data PLUS social technology, using network effects and prevention as protection. Constant tracking of health data started in Framingham, Massachusetts... much of our health knowledge started here with citizens logging what they eat... and having this data is how many cures originated.
  15. 15. $8B (cc) image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/selva/7637352 @sleuth #moreyouknow 15 Yet it’s treatments where the big corporate money is. Pharmaceutical companies spend $8B annually on just cancer research, and marketing and product development can not be separated in such a high stakes game... Prevention versus treatment has to happen outside of food and drug corporations.
  16. 16. @sleuth #moreyouknow 16 We -- as individuals -- need to change our own perception of health. Did you know only five to 10 percent of cancers have been linked to genetics? By contrast, 70 to 80 percent have been linked to diet and behavioral factors! We’ve had the revolutions, and now you can avoid engineered foods and understand when you’re marketed to.
  17. 17. @sleuth #moreyouknow 17 Web and phone applications help by tracking health details... We can check ingredients or restaurants on the go. We can learn about dyes. Using the technology basis again... if we were inherently opposed to hard work, now it’s just not hard.
  18. 18. @sleuth #moreyouknow 18 And... by linking our data to closed or open social networks, just like fax machines the effects tend to magnify. MyFitnessPal helps you log food and exercise daily. PatientsLikeMe.com tracks illness symptoms by location and disease. Both are as connected as you want them to be.
  19. 19. 28 lbs. 4-5 sizes 1/7 trig. 1/2 chol. @sleuth #moreyouknow 19 Don’t think this works? I suppose it does depends on individual will to some extent, but take a look at how I’ve been affected in six months... keep in mind I was considered “normal” before. Yet I am only one person. The power of these revolutions lies in more people.
  20. 20. (cc) image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/121436128/ @sleuth #moreyouknow 20 As consumers, when we make choices the big brands do notice. McDonald’s is now the largest buyer of apples in the U.S... put aside that influence for a second and think, where’d that come from? Demand. A healthier alternative to fries that come with kids meals. This generation of change is changing, one family or person at a time.
  21. 21. Today’s slides available here: jasonsilverstein.com/ignite • See sources, including End of Overeating (book), The Decision Tree (book), The Food Revolution (book), and multiple blogs @sleuth #moreyouknow 21 Want to know more? Use the revolutions! The internet, books, blogs, apps... there are more voices screaming now more than ever. I’m also posting information at the above address, or talk to me personally after the show. Thank you.