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Eating Well Using App Recovers Our Fathers' Knowledge, Artichalk

Eating Well Using App Recovers Our Fathers' Knowledge, Artichalk

We wear them on our wrist, we take them in our pockets. Fitness trackers like FitBit, Jawbone, or WiThings monitor calories burned and measure heart rate. Artichalk uses the wearable technology data to improve our nutritioning. It’s an app that connects you with nutritional planning online tools and helps you plan and order an healthy lunch at work, according to the Mediterranean lifestyle. It operates even if you don’t own a tracker: all you have to do is to answer a few questions about your activity level. The starting point is the awareness that when we’re at work we forget about the practices of healthy eating because of many constraints. “How can we improve our lunch and eat something different than the usual sandwich?”, asked Fabrizio Germani. 

Reading the book Eat Well Stay Well reinforced the project. The author is Ancel Keys, an American biologist and physiologist who in 1961 graced the cover of Time magazine because of his studies on the health value of the Mediterranean diet and ended up living in Italy to follow the same lifestyle that Artichalk promotes. “Being able to buy your meal completes the whole cycle”, says Bisan Abdulkader, “It’s not just about having information on how much calories we consume or the glucose level in our blood. You can take action. Italian and Mediterranean people didn’t need to have a nutritional plan because they simply acted like their parents and grandmother used to do. Yet now they’re losing this knowledge because of a frantic lifestyle and the constraints on getting healthy food. We try to maintain it and give it a digital touch”.

Mauro Ferraresi has simplified and visualized the idea, which was an important task. There are a lot of platforms about nutrition on the web, but visiting them is like entering the office of a financial adviser. We visualize the concepts instead. Artichalk will be easy to use on smartphones. We’re starting in Milan. We want to take advantage of Italy as a brand of high quality food, and then we plan to move towards the English speaking area. Nutrition and biology researchers are involved in the project too”.

The app is free, but more specialized plans, interaction with the nutritionists’ team and access to the e-commerce platform for quality food are reserved for premium users. The start-up is working with the SDA Bocconi incubator Speed MI Up in trying to get involved with EXPO 2015. They expect to launch a version of the app during the world exposition at the latest. Artichalk was also chosen to take part in the FT Sharing Economy European Summit, a conference organized by the Financial Times that took place in London on 17 March. “We’re working with scientists. We have the visual thinking and the commercial knowledge. We can do it”, Abdulkader says. And remember, Ancel Keys died at 100.

by Claudio Todesco