DIGITAL TRENDS: Digital diet status quo in the age of Covid-19

Thursday March 26 2020


By Innocent Swai

Food production technologies are changing. Today, humanity has revolutionised a number of things including their digital and physical diets. The latter used to be stuff like vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, chicken, and meat. Technology advancements in agriculture and the fast food chain evolved into a new flexible mobile society. That resulted in far less wholesome foods which penetrated into the whole society. Manufacturers capitalised on emerging technologies by figuring out different ways to get rid of certain parts of the physical traditional diets. Other ingredients like preservatives were added, so that foods could last longer with less spoilage. That skyrocketed the value of food chain. And the processed food culture was born.

Science and technology was sort of the ‘new god’ - till coronavirus changed everything around. What is happening? Lets play the wait and see game. The world is grounded. Science and technology had shifted the known healthier food culture which was decentralised. That led to a different food taste preferences as the society switched into refined sugar and refined grains. Big malls and supermarkets were born; killing the known corner shops and traditional markets in big cities. Can coronavirus reverse the trend again? Today with emerging technologies, I dare say, we have everything store like Amazon. Change is the only constant as digital diet is taking over. Industrial farms have been designed to feed animals with more cost-efficient grains instead of traditional grass. They are making use of growth hormones in their diet to boost the production cycle, hence more profits. On the other hand, the fast food chain industry has reinvented itself by becoming a cultural staple, as did the processed foods devoid of nutrients but crammed with salt, sugar, and synthetic chemicals. Most of the calories consumed today, come from refined grains, added sugars, vegetable oils, and solid fats.

Today, humanity consumes highly varieties of processed food stuff than ever before. Imagine, the harmful side effects coming from the usage of high-fructose corn syrup, a sweetener made from corn starch. Besides side effects, the place of essential nutrients for the proper functioning of our bodies has taken over resulting to people having lifestyle diseases.

Nanotechnology is a field of applied science and technology whose unifying theme controls matter on the molecular level in very smaller scale (less than 1 micrometre). The good news is that, you are a walking nanotech miracle. Today, with the help of emerging technologies, we are building tiny robots that would circulate through the human body and eliminate cancer cells, repair arteries, etc. hence accomplishing all sorts of other miraculous things. That is what is trending. Interestingly, our human body already has nanotechnology that does all of this and much more. Why not? If humanity can stop fighting nature! Look at the way nature is designed to function just by itself; then brilliance can be borrowed. Design thinking is the way to go. Our own immune system can put most of these man-made technologies to shame. Our bodies without external intervention already knows how to repair itself. Our bodies have their own mechanism of appropriate technologies on how to use optimum nutrition and put it to good use to support not just a healthy organ but the whole body system of yours. If don’t get what I am saying, take it easy. Just look at the human body to see a nanotech miracle. You’re already a walking miracle of molecular technology that works even when you don’t understand how it works. Go figure!