The night before our Donor Lightning Session, we gathered with an incredible mix of people on Clubhouse to discuss Hacking the Aging Clock: how Longevity Starts in Childhood. Here is just a peek at what we covered, along with some of the incredible knowledge shared by the group. I hope to “see” you on the platform soon to keep learning together.
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Marques Anderson shared that “Covid-19 has shown we need to future-proof our food system by making it healthier.”
Schools can build health equity through healthy food. We explored how we can redesign our food system for our children’s health, especially for BIPOC children. We agreed that every school could become a food oasis instead of an institution that perpetuates “food-lining” and food apartheid.
We talked about the top levers to shift our food culture: schools as a platform for innovation, education within families, awareness building, policy change, regulation/consumer pressure, community activation, and beyond.
According to Dr. Greene, ⅔ of American kids have at least one adult metabolic disease (i.e., their accelerated aging) predominately from processed food.
Dr. Greene reminded us that it’s said, “the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, and the next best time is now.” It’s the same with nutrition, and we need to move towards a real food culture now.
Dr. Greene helped us visualize how entrenched the USDA is with the big-food industry. He walked us through how he could “win” an online game they created for children with a diet of sugary cereal, juice, fried foods, and ultra-processed foods. He suggested that food policies – especially for schools- should instead be overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in coordination with the USDA and other agencies.
We talked about the importance of enjoying food as an offline experience to be shared with others. The doctors, Dr. Greene, Dr. Riva, and Dr. Lustig, all discussed slowing down to enjoy food. They shared how digestion begins as you prepare food, smell it, hear it, and taste it. This preparation phase is called the cephalic “head” phase of digestion, during which 20-30% of pancreatic enzymes & stomach acids are produced. The mind-gut connection is real and important. Yet another reason to slow down and cook food. #knifeskills
“Food is connective. Real food is medicine. If we give kids the full experience with engaging with food, it will help them live their full purpose.” – Stephanie Erazo, CEO Prana wellness + Eat REAL Philanthropic Leadership Board Member
We asked, if you could go back and give your 10 year old self one piece of advice to boost your longevity, what would you say?
- Learn some knife skills. There is power in being able to cook your own meals.
- Avoid added sugar.
- Get your hands dirty in the garden.
- “We are taught taste. We learn taste. Gardening helps you learn to love healthy foods.” – Dr. Greene.
- Spend time cooking with family and relatives. Learn your family’s traditional cooking style and recipes.
A few top foods we’re using to hack our own aging clocks:
- SMASH fish: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring
- Bone broth + mushroom adaptogen mix + collagen
- Unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with spices like cinnamon, cayenne, and nutmeg + Coffee or yogurt, etc
- Sea Moss and seaweed
It was a fun conversation with everyone sharing their personal experiences, perspectives, and tips. What a brilliant and passionate group of leaders! Eat REAL is very lucky to have them leading the way.
Together, we can increase real food access and education to leave the next generation better.