The relationship between food and health is increasingly evident, which is why nutritionists and doctors recommend adding this or removing that from our diets.
This can be enriching but also an obstacle for those who have little time to spare for cooking healthier meals. To develop a better conscience about the food we eat, we need to acquire a lot of information and that’s why technologies can come to our aid processing a lot of data in a short time. News of the day is that the Chilean government has enacted mandatory food packaging redesigns and labelling rules, aimed at changing the habits of 18 million people. Obesity is becoming an epidemic in many countries, both in adults and during childhood. The health care costs of an overweight population are steep (in 2016 it was $800 million, or 2.4% of overall health care spending), so Chile is starting to shift in the direction of prevention rather than care. In Italy, more than a third of the country’s population is overweight. We love our food.
NutriBees is a start-up that aims to bridge the gap for those who lead busy lives but don’t want to sacrifice nutritious meals. Clients, upon signing up, complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their eating habits and dietary needs. Through a proprietary algorithm, the data is used to help the customer choose the dishes that are best suited for them. Once the selection is confirmed, the order is passed on to the kitchen and the meals are delivered in an isothermal packaging that keeps the food refrigerated up to 72 hours. Properly stored in the fridge, it can last up to 20 days.
Founders Giovanni Menozzi and Mario Villani explain that, with the exception of a few (locally unavailable) ingredients, they strive to supply their kitchen with seasonal goods from local producers. They limit the use of animal protein (especially red meat): when used, the meat comes from family-run farms that graze their animals.
To complete our story, I requested a vegetarian meal that was low in fats, high in plant-based proteins and alkalinizing. The proof was in the pudding, or in this case, the millet meatballs with steamed broccoli the algorithm suggested. While millet is nutritious, it can be challenging to make it taste good, but they succeded.