Three Questions about the Future of Nutrition and Health
We are just about halfway through the second decade of this millennium, and some publications are predicting what will be happening at its end! We’re quite interested in how people will be taking care of both their health and the health of our fantastic home planet. How will approaches to diet and exercise change?
Data is driving us more and more, even now. In the next several years, predictions are that wearable tracking devices will continue to measure our food intake and exercise output – potentially with less bulky objects. People will be able to fine tune their personal nutrition and fitness plans on the fly! Might our living spaces become more conducive to exercise? The most “fit” urban areas have easy accessibility to green spaces and are pedestrian-friendly. Many cities are taking initiatives to get fit in a way that is approachable and geared for success. Will food change? Environmentally and socially responsible food choices will reach beyond today’s labels of “organic” or “free-range” to examine the impact from multiple perspectives. The first half of this decade saw big changes in school lunches, food labeling and rolling back of artificial food additives.
But will this carry over to current (and future) concerns regarding pesticides, GMOs and more? Will there be an increase in availability of fresh food in underserved areas (“food deserts”)? While innovative projects such as indoor school gardens are gaining in popularity, studies have indicated that changing people’s approach to food, from shopping to cooking, isn’t that simple. Research also indicates that fewer people are cooking from scratch. Instead, they are looking for convenience in order to “compose” meals of varying healthfulness and quality. You’ve probably noticed fruits and vegetables at the store that are already prepped and ready to use, as well as items such as freshly cooked poultry, hard-boiled eggs and shredded cheese. (The grocery store of 25 years ago did not provide these things!) Can we balance health and sustainability? The new USDA guidelines for nutrition, published every five years, seem to broadly echo common sense. Lean proteins, less sugar, healthy fats, and sustainably grown and raised food. Delightful!
But at the same time, our environment is changing. Populations of ocean fish, upon which billions depend for their nutrition, are threatened on multiple fronts as water temperature rises from global warming and unchecked overfishing. The oceans are so important, not only for food but also as a transportation mechanism for goods worldwide and a source for oxygen and healthy nutrients, including algae that is rich in omega-3. To balance recommendations of governments and agencies all over the world such as the World Health Organization, the American Heart Association, the United States’ Institute of Medicine and the UK’s National Health Service with our concern for the state of the oceans, we are proud to be on the cutting edge of sustainable omega-3s. It is possible to enjoy the health benefits associated with long-chain omega-3s created using solar power and ingenuity! We’re excited to see what the next five years will bring us, and how the answers to these questions will be shaping our world in the future.