Merriam, Webster defines innovation as a noun, in· no· va· tion | \ˌi-nə-ˈvā-shən \ 1: the introduction of something new 2: a new idea, method, or device: Novelty.
When I state that innovation hits a wall, I am speaking mainly from a nutritional point of view, and I don't mean it as a bad thing. I just wanted to offer my thoughts on a few current "trends" that have caught my eye and how I believe that less is sometimes more and innovation is being confused with some great marketing.
There are so many new amazing innovations in the world of technology and science; I am not sure there is a way to keep up. Looking back on history from where civilization began to today is mind-boggling, take the apple, the "fruit" from the tree of knowledge that the serpent used to tempt Eve in the Garden of Eden. There are now over 7500 varieties of apples grown all over the world 2500 grown here in the USA with over 100 varieties grown commercially. How did we come to have so many apples you ask? Many fruit trees must be grafted with another tree to bear fruit, because of the nature of apple trees many genetic changes might occur from one seed to another. Whether these new strains of apples were just a product of evolution or something produced in a lab, there is one thing for sure, the original genetics of the very first Apple has been altered.
On a side note, after learning there were so many strains of apples, I was moved to search google as to why Steve Jobs named his company brand Apple. I came to learn that Steve was a fruitarian and chose the Brand name Apple after he returned from an apple farm and thought the title was "fun, spirited and not intimidating........." regardless, I don't think Steve could have found a more appropriate name for this incredible, innovative and ever evolving company.
Diet, some of us have reverted to the time of the "caveman" or the Paleo diet; there is also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Keto, Vegan, Vegetarian or carnivore to name others. If a whale can survive on it, then it has to be good for us mear humans right? Other innovations come at a dizzying speed so fast that the electronic gadget you purchased yesterday is outdated today, why shouldn't our diet be the same? The truth is, the menu today in many forms is probably the same our parents, and their parents ate. It is just in the way it is packaged and presented that seems to make things new, better and different. If there is one thing for sure, many of the products we purchase and eat are healthier due to minimal processing and farming methods.
"Got Milk?" Most of the protein purchased as a supplement or additive is in many of the products marketed to us for its nutritional value. Whey Protein is a byproduct of the dairy industry and cheese production; it is abundant and very profitable. Many of us may still remember the nursery rhyme Little Miss Muffit published in 1805 "eating her curd and whey.” Protein in any state at a recommended daily allowance or RDA is valuable to us as it is composed of Amino Acids which help our bodies function and keep us in a state of homeostasis. Whether you consume your protein from plants, animals or through supplementation, it is not the protein itself, but the Essential Amino Acids and BCAA's our bodies require that are important. Amino Acids support, mood, muscle recovery, mental acuity, blood sugar regulation which is why it makes such a great meal replacement as well as many other essential bodily functions. While consuming protein is healthy for you, just because a product has some protein does not make it healthy. I have attached a link regarding Protein RDA's that may be helpful when reviewing your intake.
I have been a vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, carnivore and everything in between not that these diets are innovative, but in some cases, they are the trend of the times. I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Atkins launching the line of Atkins low carb diet products. Dr. Atkins suggested that a very low or carb-free high protein diet was healthier and put many of us through Ketosis to lose weight; (Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution was published in 1972 over 46 years ago) Ketones or Ketosis is indeed nothing groundbreaking. Conversely, before Dr. Atkins I worked with Dr. Nathan Pritikin launching and selling his line of all natural, low fat, whole food based products that supported weight loss and longevity. At the time when I worked with both of these knowledgeable doctors, their diets and philosophies were very innovative and fifty years later are still very relevant.
Is Non-Genetically Modified or Non- GMO essential to our survival and the environment or is it as much about marketing? I am a child of the sixties and would have rathered eaten something that was Genetically Modified versus the foods that were sprayed with known Carcinogens DDT and Alar to prevent bugs and weeds. I am very open regarding my views on Non-GMO. Non-GMO has increased already high food prices which affect the number of children that don't have enough food to eat and families that are not able to afford fresh produce and meats. The projected long-term increases in food prices have given many lower-income families limited nutritional diet choices leading to poor health.
I do draw the line at things we know and understand could have long-term consequences on our health, and I readily admit that we currently are not aware of factors that may arise after many decades of genetically altering our food chain both in plants, animals and human beings. Going back to the proverbial apple, because of grafting, or genetically modifying a plant, we have been able to alter the apple to create thousands of varieties. Through genetically modifying we have created fruits and vegetables that are sweeter, last longer and are pest resistant. In truth, we have changed the genetic nature of so many foods that we can eat watermelon without seeds, corn that is no longer yellow but "sweeter" and we have many "summer" fruits all year long. There is still no definitive scientific proof that eating something that is GMO poses certain health risks.
So why am I talking about innovation and food, in my modest opinion we have come such a long way in creating incredible dishes and menus with the fundamental ingredients we have been cooking with forever. For nutrition, nothing is better than eating a whole food nutrient rich based diet. I suggest only supplementing when a person does not get the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients in their current diet. At GQ-6 we look to sports nutrition the same way, pure nutrients you can find in food and only what you need. No magic pill or promises, just the nutrients that your body may need when you are pushing your body past the limits of its performance and recovery. Ask yourself and do your research on the products marketed towards you, what is the value of this product that I cannot get from proper nutrition. If you find yourself at a loss for something your body is lacking that is when supplementation is useful and many times important to your health and well being.