Like any good entrepreneur, Nick Taranto, co-founder of Plated, has had his share of big ideas. Before blowing out the candles on his 30th birthday, he had picked up dual graduate degrees, traveled the world as a volunteer and marine, got married, had a daughter, and came up with the idea to deliver pre-portioned ingredients and chef-designed recipes fresh to people’s homes with his classmate from Harvard Business School, Josh Hix.
But bold thinkers are not immune from (comically) awful ideas, too. If you’re lucky, they sometimes even lead to places of ingenuity, as is on full display in his compelling new book, The Evolved Eater.
Nick’s memoir tracks his meandering (and sometimes rocky) road to uncovering what it really means to eat well and identify as an “evolved eater,” a title and movement shared with 31 million other Americans who are asking questions about what they’re putting in their bodies, and how it impacts their health and community. Before he comes to any answers in the Evolved Eater book (and ultimately explains how he and Josh discovered an opportunity with Plated), he details how he ate a lot of CRAP— or Consumable Riskily Altered Provisions.
Nick writes of his unbridled love of junk food from an early age, including Halloween candy that he illegally peddled door-to-door when his mom wouldn’t let him eat it all. He grows up, but his habits don’t. He packs away 10,000 calories a day (with an emphasis on cookies) during an ultramarathon that he didn’t train for. He dabbles in fad diets and contradictory nutrition advice (Eat carbs! But only on Tuesdays and every third blue moon!) in hopes of losing weight and feeling better. In short, like many of us, Nick’s relationship with food wasn’t always straightforward or enjoyable.
Still, the more he dove into the misguided (or just plain missing) standards on how to eat well for the long term, the more he was terrified by what he found. Studies on nutrition just don’t happen anymore, and if they do, they’re funded by massive food conglomerates with a stake in the data. On top of that, he explains how the very broken food industry hasn’t evolved in nearly 100 years, making it an undeniably inefficient machine that’s out of touch with evolved eaters’ busy lives and desire for better transparency around their food.
While this book is about Nick, and about Plated too, it’s also about you, whom we’re guessing by having reading thus far care about what and how you’re eating, too. Becoming an evolved eater, as you’ll find out in the book, isn’t just a conceptual playground for talking about food standards or the importance of home cooking for our health—it’s a space for actually doing it together.
If you’re interested in learning more about Nick’s food philosophy and how to become an evolved eater, be sure to visit the site and sign up for updates on when the book will be available to purchase (with proceeds benefiting No Kid Hungry). You’ll learn about Nick’s formative years prior to starting his own food company and the trials and tribulations of being the CEO of a startup, as well as how fundamentally broken our food system is, and what we can do to change it.
Visit The Evolved Eater to learn more.