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What has your food been eating | Laurent Adamowicz

As a native Parisian and a natural born foodie, food has always been a part of Laurent Adamowicz’s life. “I was born and raised in Paris and worked in the food industry for many years in various capacities – bussing tables, as a barista, as a flight attendant, a food writer, food marketer, and executive of Fauchon, a French food company. Food has always been a passion of mine.”

In his mouth watering and at times frightening talk, Laurent exposes what is really in our foods, unbeknownst to us all. He quotes Brillat-Savarin, “Show me what you eat and I will show you what you are,” and challenges us to understand what is in our food. By using the example of the familiar fast food burger, Laurent shows the staggering – and surprising – amount of sugars, preservatives, and additives in each of the elements of burger, bun, and lettuce.

“I was always interested to know where my food was coming from, but then as I worked with chefs who paid so much attention to the soil, and how we feed cattle, I became intrigued and wanted to know what my foods’ been eating.”

The confusion around nutritional information – and its impact on health- certainly contributes to the growing obesity problem in the US. Obesity rates have grown from 10% of the population in 1990 to 30% in 2010, along with corresponding increases in diabetes, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

To understand nutritional labels, which can be deliberately obtuse, we must educate ourselves. A solution, created by Laurent and a multi-disciplinary team at Harvard, is an app that standardizes and streamlines the presentation of nutritional information of many common foods. Accessed on your phone via voice activation, critical information is displayed simply. Laurent instructs, “Speak to your phone to say the kind of food you want. Say “pizza” and your phone can tell you in a language you can understand what’s in that pizza, and how much sugar, salt, and bad fat it contains.”

If you are what you eat, you are what your food is eating, Laurent concludes. And we should understand that completely to make more informed choices for the health of ourselves and our families.

Learn more about the food app here.