Healthy eating for busy people: superfoods for a modern diet
Life in the fast lane doesn’t facilitate healthy eating. New sustainable intelligent food 2.0 products from Exo Protein and Soylent, however, aim to change that by providing healthy eating for busy people!
Challenges to healthy eating for busy people
Despite having good intentions, most of us find that making healthy eating choices in today’s society is next to impossible. Our choices of convenience are limited to a select few protein bars, shakes, and supplements. These options are rarely nutrient dense and they certainly don’t offer the complete nutrition required to maintain full body health on a regular basis. As if that wasn’t bad enough, most of them are also loaded with unnecessary sugars, preservatives, flavors, and artificial ingredients. The truth is, is that most of the “healthy eating” options we have on the go are little more than glorified candy bars.
What is “healthy” food, anyway?
If foods that are promoted as being “healthy” like granola bars or chocolate dipped protein bars, aren’t all that healthy after all, what does constitute a “healthy” food?
Healthy foods offer well-rounded nutrition, that is, a good ratio of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They offer nutrition that our bodies can use efficiently to fuel our busy lives. They eliminate the artificial ingredients that tax our internal system and contribute to illness and fatigue. There are very few products on the market today that meet these demands, mostly because of corporations focusing on profit rather than providing consumers with complete nutrition. Creating truly healthy products would require nutritional research, rebuilding or refitting production plants, resourcing ingredients and approaching advertising from an angle that is far out of their realm.
But isn’t it worth it for companies to make these investments if they mean a healthier population? We might like to think so, but the bottom line is that poorly nutritionally balanced foods promote hunger, foods with artificial ingredients increase cravings, and unnecessary ingredients create satisfaction that keeps us coming back for more. And all of these things add to a company’s bottom line.
Are we doomed to unhealthy snacks?
So, without product manufacturers on our side promoting truly healthy food options, are we doomed? Are we forever limited to short-lived sugary snacks or preservative-laden shakes? The answer is an emphatic NO!
The newest revolution in food manufacturing has begun and this Food 2.0 venture is being pioneered by good intentions. New companies are emerging with products that focus on creating access to complete nutrition, not just for the developed nations, but for the whole world. Additionally, these truly health conscious ventures are focused on creating a much smaller impact on the eco-system so that their products are truly sustainable. In essence, the Food 2.0 project is seeking to solve a whole slew of problems posed to the world today.
But what is food 2.0 ?
The concept of Food 2.0 is the engineering of foods that not only provide more nutrition, but that are more sustainable, eco-friendly, AND affordable. Through the use of food technology, companies are not only creating better nutrition that has a limited impact on the environment, but they are also providing healthy food choices for busy people. Two companies that are making significant headway in this remarkable advancement in nutrition are Exo Protein and Soylent.
Founded by Greg and Gabi, Exo Protein was born out of frustration with the taste trade-off that came with choosing highly nutritious food. Born in 2013, Exo Protein now boasts five flavors and two different dietary options (Paleo and non-Paleo) of their nutrient dense protein bars.
How is Exo Protein different to every other protein bar on the market? They offer the convenience of a protein bar, but their ingredients are like nothing you could ever imagine! Exo Protein bars eliminate the refined sugars, the grains, the gluten, the dairy, and the soy and instead they pack in the protein with minimally processed cricket flour.
Why cricket flour? Crickets are a sustainable source of protein and they contain all of the essential amino acids needed by the human body. Additionally, they are loaded with iron – containing 2.2 times more iron than spinach! Looking for a better reason to eat a protein bar made with crickets? Crickets require 1,999 fewer gallons of water per pound to sustain and produce 100 times fewer greenhouse gasses than cows! Plus, it doesn’t hurt that these protein bars were also designed by a three-Michelin-starred chef.
Like Exo Protein, Soylent aims to pack nutrient-dense ingredients into their products to provide a better source of nutrition. Unlike Exo Protein, however, Soylent focuses on much more than protein!
Soylent (yes, it is named after Harry Harrison’s 1966 science fiction novel) was, like Exo Protein, developed out of frustration. Founders Rob Rhinehart, Matt Cauble, John Coogan, and David Renteln were tired of the money they were spending on unenjoyable food products that provided little nutrition. They turned to experimentation to develop a nutrient dense food that provided high-quality nutrition and was also affordable.
As word spread about Soylent, the company founders realized that they had the means to provide healthy food for varied world populations: from the obese who suffered from malnutrition due to the poor nutrient content of their food to those with no access to affordable food at all! This took the Soylent project to a whole new level – one that aims to feed the world in a quite literal sense.
Currently, Soylent offers a limited range of products, but their hope is to expand their offerings as their reach increases.
- Coffiest – A plant-based breakfast drink that tastes like coffee but offers a full meal of nutrition.
- Soylent Bar – A plant-based snack bar with plenty of protein, this product offers 12.5% of daily nutritional requirements.
- Soylent Drink – A ready-to-drink meal replacement, this plant-based drink provides 20% of full daily nutritional requirements.
- Soylent Powder – A nutrient dense powder, packed with complete well-rounded nutrition. This powder just needs to be added to water.
How do these products differ from other similar products on the market? Aside from the obvious environmental effects and potential impact on world hunger, Soylent cuts out all unnecessary ingredients and meets full nutritional requirements at the same time. Soylent offers plant-based, vegan-friendly products that meet protein needs without using animal products at all. Plus, by engineering ingredients in bioreactors, Soylent eliminates the use of farmland when growing the single-celled organisms that provide their product’s nutrients.
Choosing food 2.0
There is some degree of fear that comes with the concept of “engineering” food like Soylent or the idea of using non-traditional ingredients like crickets. The fact is, however, that all foods utilize some form of engineering and many of the ingredients that we use today are far more foreign than “crickets”! If we can only persuade ourselves to bend to change, products like Exo Protein and Soylent can give us a healthy food choice no matter how busy our schedules are! Not to mention, these uniquely engineered products will contribute to the health of our planet and our fellow human beings as well as to ourselves!