Robert Lustig: "Processed Food, Metabolism, and The Ills of Society"

In this episode, Dr. Robert Lustig joins Nate to dive into the metabolism of the micro level of human systems - the humans ourselves. Over the last century, accompanying the transformation of our energy systems, our food and consumption patterns have been massively transformed. One of the biggest areas of change is the dramatic increase in sugar consumption. But are our bodies adapted to eating such high sugar, processed foods? What are the health effects connected to this way of eating? And, writ large, how does our metabolic dysfunction as individuals contribute to the energy hungry global Superorganism? What are the systemic drivers that currently prevent a shift towards healthier food systems? Can changing how we eat make us healthier - and thus better equipped to face the complex challenges of the metacrisis?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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These podcasts are so insightful. Excellent one again. We of course know how bad processed foods are for us. But this episode goes into detail of how bad exactly and how to differentiate between different categories of processed foods. It turns out society is addicted to category 4 for different reasons, which has a huge impact on our health and economy.

They also highlight it’s a structural health problem that deeply affects our society. On a basic level our physical and mental health, but as an affect of course also our productivity and behavior. And it’s difficult to change. The processed foods simply taste very good, are cheap and readily available with ease. And since we’re in a society of constant stress, a tasteful and quick dinner/lunch/snack easily wins it. They also discuss the market influence of not only the food industry that ignores these effects, but also the health industry.

There are also some positives sides to it, like how easy and beneficial it is to change your diet and improve your health. But real change will likely only happen when we change the way we organize our society and economy.