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6 bold health predictions for 2013

18 Dec

Genome Sequencing for all!

One year ago I discussed my predictions for the health trends of the year 2012.  As 2012 winds down and we all begin to reflect on what we have all accomplished this year, let’s take a moment to look forward to our year ahead, and what to expect in the realm of health and wellness.

But first a recap on prior predictions for 2012:

Functional food has continued to grow at an astounding rate, with more consumers seeking out their vitamins and minerals from food sources, not supplements and vitamins. More and more millennials are seeking their full nutrition from plant-based products, as the market has grown almost 20% over the past year.

Paleo and Gluten free have continued to surge with the Gluten Free market alone reaching $4.2 billion. The paleo explosion is still nigh.

Omega 3 essential fatty acids are now more recognized as ever by the consumer as a protector of heart health with 38% of consumers believing omega vitamins are “very effective” for heart health.

6 Bold Health Predictions for 2012: 

  1. Look for pharmaceutical companies to get a piece of the gluten free pie. I suspect they are currently in beta-test mode for enzyme products to be available over the counter that can help digestive-related issues in those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
  2. Corporate wellness will continue to be a dominant component in the conducting of business. As premiums continue to rise at rates faster than inflation, coupled with the health care law that will force employers to cover their employees or pay penalties, companies will do anything to reduce the burden of health problems on their bottom line. Corporate wellness will be immensely important in 2013 and beyond…
  3. Health technology integration: As we continue to build new apps, technologies, health trackers and health care IT, there will be great fragmentation in the delivery of care and data about our health. Look for start ups looking to create turn key interfaces with all of our health data, stored in cloud technologies. It will look much like the mint.com of health but instead of integrating all of our financial data, it will have all of our health data with web-based portals. It will show trends, data, and even key biomarkers that can help us improve our health, and prevent disease.
  4. Democratized health: With apps and technology on the rise, we are quickly gaining the ability to have complete control to diagnose and treat our own illness. While it’s ways away, Vinod Khosla (famed silicon valley entrepreneur) believes our primary care doctors are becoming even more obsolete than ever with 80% of what doctors do becoming obsolete in the coming years. Silicon valley based start-ups are even offering genome sequencing for $100!
  5. Juice, Juice, and more Juice! People are continuing to turn to “liquid nutrition” diets to “cleanse, detox, and just be health.”  So go ahead and thank your local celebrity for making this trend hot in NYC, LA, and a city near you! Again this is could be considered a sub-category of the growth of functional foods and corporate health too, as many companies are turning to “corporate, office-wide juice cleanses” for improved employee health.
  6. GMO battle will continue to heat up. Yes, prop 37 in california did not pass (thanks in part to millions spent by large agro-conglomerates to spread fear about it), but this war is far from over. Look for more state and federal legislation (farm bill, state bills) that will continue to get more clarity on this emerging issue.

What are some emerging health trends you’re noticing that are ripe for massive growth in 2013?

Craig E. Steinfeld, MPH

Sources:

http://www.ingredientsnetwork.com/news-content/full/top-10-functional-food-trends-of-2012

http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Consumer_Trends/2012/10/Gluten-free_market_to_42_billi.aspx?ID=%7B3BA3114F-5584-4EBD-B052-113B8CF85BD2%7D&cck=1

http://www.physiciansmoneydigest.com/lifestyle/Health-Premiums-Grow-Faster-than-Wages-and-Inflation

http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2012/08/31/vinod-khosla-technology-will-replace-80-percent-of-docs/

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/08/27/juiciest-trends-in-juicing/

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The trend of trackable fitness continues: Misfit Wearables

14 Nov

Check out the video of the beautiful innovation happening with the “Misfit” Shine fitness tracker. Not only will it track your fitness and integrate seamlessly in to your life, but the quarter-sized device is waterproof, wearable, and beams wirelessly on your mobile device.  All-in-all, a product like this can create a paradigm shift in the mobile health tracking and fitness space.

In my view, mobile fitness trackers are beginning to pose serious questions to humanity:

  • At what point are man and our use of technology completely integrated, and when will the age of cyborgs be fully realized?
  • Do we have any remaining excuses to be sedentary anymore? Mobile fitness devices, ubiquitous gyms, apps and motivational tools abound make it difficult to come up with any excuses.
  • Are tools like mobile fitness trackers strong enablers of fitness, or do they distract us from the big picture of what it is to be healthy?

What problems and solutions do you see unfolding as technology and innovation continues to push the progress of humanity in the health and fitness space?

(You can help fund misfitwearables on indiegogo here )

 

Greenlight yourself!

5 Nov

“Greenlight yourself.”

–Charlie Todd

Do you remember when in order to start a business it required massive amounts of capital and labor intensive resources? Do you recall a time when writing a novel required securing  a publisher and producing massive amounts of hardcopy books? How about the time when recording an album or creating a film required an entire studio, mixers, professional producers, etc.?

Well, if you do remember these archaic times, guess what, they’re dead.

The internet and technology has dissolved and eroded all barriers of of entry for whatever creative channel we want to pursue, allowing each of us the ability to pursue our ultimate passions and creative dreams. In essence, creativity has been fully democratized. Do you care to start a business or tech company? There are hundreds of seed accelerators thanks to Y-combinator. Want to make a movie? Get on youtube or vimeo. Care to write a book or blog? Hop on wordpress, tumblr or even CreateSpace to self-publish. Want to build a website or mobile app on the fly? Outsource to some far away place through Odesk.com. How about record a rock album? There’s an iPad app for that 🙂 (see Gorillaz new album, The Fall). Or maybe you wanted to invent a new kitchen or household product? There’s a bit of Quirky in all of us.

What’s holding us back then? Go ahead, greenlight yourself!

Meat Fuels Man’s Greatness

5 Apr

The following is an essay submitted to the New York Times ethicist contest on: “Why it’s ethical to eat meat.”

As humans we have always explored. We have built structures unrivaled by other species. We have pushed ourselves beyond what previous generations of humans thought was possible. Ethically speaking, we have an obligation as a species to progress, to push society forward, and to continue using our intellect and brain-power for the highest human achievements.

Without the consumption of animal proteins, early hominoids would have lacked the energy to keep pushing forward. Our brains would have lacked the essential fatty acids that have allowed them to develop to the bodily super computers they are today. Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA (not found anywhere in land-based plants), as well as cholesterol and saturated fat make up a large majority of the fats that fuel and promote cognitive processes. Ketones, from animal fats, supply carbon for brain lipid synthesis. They provide sure source of brain energy when glucose is not present, a far too common problem for early hominoids.

We have an ethical obligation to fuel our brains properly as they are our competitive advantage over all other species. In fact, we have a distinct obligation to continue pushing humanities development forward. Meat, specifically seafood has played a significant role in keeping our brains sharp and ever-evolving. Early civilizations were most advanced (based on fossil records) when near water sources (ex: Lakes Turkana and Lake Victoria). Shore-based civilizations were breeding grounds for early brain development. In addition, iodine, another essential nutrient found abundantly in seafood, leads to intellectual increases. Many anthropologists posit that Neanderthals died off due to iodine deficiency as they left coastal areas to explore new lands.

From a nutritional standpoint, without animal proteins and DHA fats from seafood, our development as humans would have stagnated around 200,000 years ago. We would not have progressed enough as a species and society to be cognizant of the notion that eating meat may or may not be ethical to begin with. Without animal proteins, we would have not only halted our own evolutionary process, short-changing ourselves as a race and society, but we may have suffered a similar fate as our ancestral Neaderthals. Survival, after all, is our ultimate ethical obligation.

Fortunately, brave many numbers of hominoids continue to eat meat, contributing to our continued development, evolution, and survival.

@CESteinfeld

How to dominate in all phases of life like Chef Ferran Adrià

9 Feb

I had the pleasure of recently viewing the new documentary El Bulli: Cooking in Progress by German filmmaker Gereon Wetzel. If you have the chance, I’d recommend seeing this as soon as possible strictly as a motivational tool. The avant garde, raw, film gives a rare glimpse in to what makes El Bulli and the man who drives it all, function at such a remarkably high level. El Bulli was considered (until it closed last year) at the forefront of the molecular gastronomic landscape, merging food with science, even closing for 6 months of the year to work in “El Taller” or “The Lab” to continually innovate and push the envelope for the next year.

Ferran Adria

Ferran Adria Directing His Staff

Ferran Adrià is the Steve Jobs of the cooking world. You just look at his gaze and it screams: Intensity, immense attention to detail, unparalleled drive, and motivation to push the limits of human innovation through food. Frankly, the man has created dishes that no one even thought were possible and chefs around the world strive to emulate his creations.

What makes Ferran Adria one of the premier innovators and motivators on the planet, and what can we learn from people such as him?:

1. He pushes those around him to function at a higher level than they ever thought possible. He extracts the most out of his employees, sous chefs, and executives and forces them to innovate, pushing the limits of cooking that no one thought possible. If you have a comfort zone and work with Ferran,  it’s out the window. Chefs from all over the world would kill to work with him despite his intensity. Why? Because by pushing the chefs even harder, they grow and learn in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

2. Attention to detail: On any given dish or experimentation process, everything down to the last grain of salt is handled with extreme precision. Chef Adria even uses his own industrial designer to create the perfect serving vessel for each dish. His cleanliness in his workspace, restaurant, and kitchen are pristine, creating an environment conducive to invention. All dishes are catalogued, photographed, and documented as if a chemistry experiment to make sure than any new creative ideas are logged and recorded in full.

3. Continual drive to do things better than ever before. Even if  Adria and his staff created the world’s greatest dish last year, the next year it’s off the menu. Why? Because Chef Adria feels an innate desire to continue to push and do better than he has previously done before. At one point in the film, Adria lambastes his Executive chefs in the test kitchen for “bringing him something that isn’t good,” and something that remotely resembled something they had done in years prior.

4. It does not matter what happened last year, yesterday, or five minutes ago, for Chef Adria, it’s about what you create in the given moment. A Chef is only as good as his last dish. For entrepreneurs, innovators, and athletes this means that we need to find new ways of looking at things, pivoting or changing if necessary, and pushing forward to do things better than ever in order to succeed. Past failures and successes should mean nothing to you or anyone else.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Be crazy. Be fearless. Despite the doubters and contrarians, Adria continually pushes ahead with his grand vision, brushing aside harsh criticisms and detractors. He fears nothing and no one.

Ferran Adria "Disappearing" Ravioli At El Bulli

We can all take away lessons from the great innovators and leaders of our time. Even if we never reach the heights of our heros, we can still strive to achieve and innovate in our own little universe.

Always going for glory,

Craig E. Steinfeld

@CESteinfeld 

Entrepreneurs push beyond the limits of mere mortals

24 May

Sir Richard Branson has announced that he will be swimming across the Irish Sea in order to fund cancer research. This from a man who runs a multi-billion dollar, multi-national company -Virgin. Branson has crossed oceans in hot air balloons, sail boats, and whatever other craft you could dream up.  He’s building a private space program called Virgin Galactic  and plans to go to the depths of the ocean in a specially designed submarine via Virgin Oceanic.

Mere mortals might ask: How does this Branson guy run a multibillion dollar empire, jet from private isles across the world, break world speed and aviation records, and have time to develop new projects simultaneously?

Another question is simply why?

It’s simple:

  • Drive
  • Desire to push the limits of humanity
  • Zero fear of failure
I believe these attributes are qualities that are the driving force behind all successful entrepreneurs and organizations.  Most people are content with the status quo and as a result, never truly reach for their own version of the stars (in Branson’s case, both literally and figuratively). On the other hand entrepreneurs not only reach for the stars, but they ask themselves: What’s beyond these stars and how the heck are we going to get there?
I’ll leave you with a quote from Sir Richard himself from his book, Business Stripped Bare:
“Enterpreneurship is business’s beating heart. Entrepeurneurship isn’t about capital; it’s about ideas.”
Take an idea. Run with it. Rinse. Repeat
Always going for glory,

The concept begins to take shape

15 Mar

And so it begins...

This is a basic sketch of the concept and invention that has been convalescing in my mind now for months.  I have been hard at work fleshing out the minutiae and tailoring the product to the correct target market.  All of my heart and soul are in this project and I have enlisted the help of both an MIT engineer and engineering firm in Austin to help make this dream a reality.  I believe that ideas + products are merely the culmination of concepts that people absorb around them.  At the recent trade show the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA, I had a minor epiphany: there’s no better time then the present to pursue a concept that I consider to be groundbreaking.  I met a plethora of entrepreneurers who fought tooth and nail to get their product to market at all costs.  For some that meant 5 years of unprofitability, while for others, it meant keeping a day job and working 18 hour days until the product was fully realized.

In the prophetic words of Ayn Rand:

“The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed. Every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid – but they won.”


Always going for glory! HE @CESTeinfeld