Guest post by Shireen Yates, co-founder and CEO, 6SensorLabs. The views expressed are solely those of the author, and do not reflect the views of Food+Tech Connect.
Food plays diverse roles in peoples’ lives, including comfort, sustenance and nutrition, as well as survival, addiction and poison. In the U.S., we haven’t agreed on what is healthy, safe and sufficient. Four years ago the USDA replaced the food pyramid, long assumed the foundation of a healthy diet, with new dietary guidelines.
Our relationship with food is partially defined by societal and environmental conditions. Public opinion oscillates over what is good and bad for you when it comes to nutrition. Caffeine is bad. Don’t drink coffee. Drink at least 5 cups of coffee. Drink coffee made from low-toxin beans and throw a chunk of unsalted, grass-fed butter in it. Diet fatigue reflects the noise.
The first step to healthy food is determining what is good for YOU. The second step is gaining access to those foods.
New technology and services reflect the needs of people who want access to a recipe with nutritional value that works for them – a customized formula of food that matches their food identity. People want to feel empowered to eat well and stay healthy. They want to know what’s in their food as they become more aware of how food affects them.
Here are some examples:
My own experience with food highlights the various roles food can play in life. Food started as comfort; I could eat anything. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with a number of food allergies and suddenly food transformed into potential poison. Foods I had consumed every day for 20 years could suddenly seriously affect the quality of my life. I started to pay critical attention to what I was putting in my body and how I was physically reacting to food. 6SensorLabs was created to enable the millions with dietary restrictions to trust and know their food.
Over the past century, we have seen technology and business models transform to first provide people with food, then to provide people with food that tastes good. As we become more aware of our food identities and how we are affected by food, we enter a new era of eating, asking ourselves, ‘Is this food good for me?’
Internet of Food is editorial series exploring how we might use technology, new business models and design to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone?” Join the conversation between February 17 and April 2. Share your ideas in the comments, on Twitter using#internetoffood, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Shireen Taleghani Yates has been leading a gluten-free diet for the past 8 years. She is always on the hunt for new gluten-free foods but still finds it risky to eat out safely. After five years in sales and marketing at Google and Youtube, and an MBA from MIT Sloan, she decided to pursue her passion for helping people lead healthier lifestyles by starting 6SensorLabs.