Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius said in the 1st century BC that what is food to one, may be bitter poison to others. In 2019, hyperconnected, health-focused consumers return to this premise and claim the obsolescence of one-size-fits-all dietary guidelines in favour of personalised nutrition (PN) approaches. Drawing on the recent advances in self-quantification technologies, affordable machine learning, and genome sequencing techniques, PN practitioners experiment with food products and services tailored to their individual lifestyle preferences as well as phenotypic and genotypic traits. ​These practitioners are often motivated by their distrust in official dietary recommendations issued by food and health authorities, and prefer a knowledge derived through self-experimentation. By measuring and quantifying their everyday food intake and outtake, they aim to develop a — supposedly precise — data-driven understanding of their bodies and diets. ​PN provides opportunities for empowered human-food relationships but also risks regarding limited scientific validity, health safety, and data security.

This talk presents findings from our long-term research on emerging PN technologies, practices, and issues. I will discuss a three-year ethnographic study of the ​Complete Foods​ community of ‘diet hackers’ replacing their daily meals with personalized food powders, and share insights from our recent ​DNA Diets​ project exploring the risks and opportunities of gene-based PN. The ​Complete Foods​ (CF) study ​(2014-2017) involved interviews with 65 ​CF dieters, a content analysis of three ​CF​ ​community forums, and two autoethnographic self-experiments where I probed the opportunities and limitations of the diet on myself. The ​DNA Diets​ study initiated in 2019, involves experiments with the Promethease service enabling a DIY analysis of personal DNA test reports, and crafting of dinner menus tailored to my and collaborator’s genetic codes. ​Findings from both case studies will be discussed within the broader context of food-tech innovation and data-driven optimisation of everyday food and health practices.

#hcpp19 #optout #paralelnipolis #instituteofcryptoanarchy

Post Author: hatefull