Our wonderful nutrition
One human gut has a surface the size of a soccer field: a membrane in the form of so called “villi”, morphologically highly elaborated and extremely well organized. The purpose is not to miss any molecule or atom, no rare element nor any protein which passes by.
The biochemistry inside of us, the microbiome and the process of digestion make sure that the whole “input” - food and beverages - to this system is used in the most optimized way for the organism. A soccer field is about 7,000 sqm and 7 billion (world population) “human gut equivalent soccer fields” would cover an area of approx. 50 million square kilometers (the landmass of the earth is 150 million square kilometers…). In our gut there are around 40 (to 70?) trillion living microbes (unique, by itself able to duplicate).
Worldwide, we see about half a quintillion animals which have more or less the same digestion system: a gut soccer field. Plants are not counted here. We do not know the figure exactly, but in total, the earth may host around sexdecillion microbes (1051) in gut systems and on the skin, lung surfaces etc. only! Not counting the earth microbiome, sea microbiome, airborne (even in the troposphere they are…). During the days prior to the advances in hygiene in medicine and infectiology as a specialty of medical sciences, the headline would have been: “Wow, what a “contamination”! Estimated number of stars? Peanuts: 10 22 in the whole universe.
What we are feeding are microbes and the maintenance of their home structures: our bodies. Each day there will be – or should be – 21 billion meals for humans: is all this nutrition making our microbiomes and brains happy?
In technically advanced civilizations we have created systems and feel responsible for observing and controlling what we eat. You will LOL, and yes, their power of control is quite limited but, nevertheless, their knowledge is excellent. Lets look at Germany: an army of health insurance experts, scientists, occupational health doctors and public institutions watch and advise on what should be eaten in controlled environments. Some controllable environments for the quality of eating and food are the industrial companies, public institutions and, in a way, even restaurants, which are forced by law to engage dieticians, occupational health physicians, healthcare facilities and are all submitted to canteen laws…The rest of us are confused by internet information and educational efforts.
Only one worrying thought: how big is the gap between insights from genomics and microbiomics and the food actually provided to people at work – all in alignment with regulations? What is the half-life time of science-up-to-date feeding instructions of modern civilians?
If you share this train of thought, then it’s a must for you to visit the next AIRS conference in Barcelona: whether being an insurance company, an EU health regulation body, an occupational health doctor, a healthcare facility, an organization feeding the public or an industrial company with obligations against your employees.
We hope we can feed you properly…We expect a gut surface to be served at the conference of only 3.500.000 sqm size. So this should be doable!
Welcome – and see you in Barcelona!