An Email to Dig Inn

Dig Inn

Dear Dig Inn,

I’m writing because I eat at Dig Inn twice a week. I believe Dig Inn is a forward thinking, and responsible company. I love your mission.

One Request:

Everyday Dig Inn staff ask customers, “Would you like a protein with that?”

It’s clear that you mean “Would you like meat or tofu?”, but the truth is that vegetables have protein! Some vegetables have more protein than meat! The subtext of your question, “Would you like a protein?” is, “If you don’t choose a protein, you aren’t getting enough protein.” Which is false.

I know that sounds like a silly nitpick thing. But Dig Inn serves tens of thousands of people each day. You have a powerful opportunity to educate people about nutrition by using language correctly. Saying “meat is equal to protein” propagates an already false belief that protein only comes from meat.

The second consequence, is that your question “Would you like a protein?” reduces an animal’s life to a single nutrient. Thereby removing us further away from the farm — a direct contradiction with your mission. It also removes us from the conversation that livestock is the #1 contributor to climate change, because at Dig Inn I’m not ordering an animal, I’m ordering a “protein.”

I’d love it if you could ask, “Would you like meat or tofu?” instead of “Would you like a protein?” Maybe other companies will follow suit and you can lead the way in this conversation.

Thanks so much for listening.


Hey Chris,

Wanted to send over a little hello and a big thank you. Your message to us on Medium was heard loud and clear and caused quite a stir at HQ. It really gave us an opportunity to think seriously about our mission, our goals, and our language. As a veggie-centric restaurant that still serves meat, it’s all the more important that we have our priorities straight and communicate effectively.

If it’s okay with you, we’d like to reference your piece in a Medium article of our own that lets our guests know that we’re on top of it and are changing our language to reflect a little more clearly what we’re all about.

In the meantime, if you’d be so kind as to send over your mailing address, we’d love to send you a couple free meal tokens as a “token” of our gratitude.

All best,
(Dig Inn)

The China Study (Book Review)

Food is confusing: One day milk “does a body good”, the next day it causes cancer. One day we hear that eating meat will help us lose weight, the next day it’s the cause of obesity. How in the world can anyone make sense all these conflicting ideas?

Over the past 10 years I’ve read dozens of nutrition books, met many times with nutritionists, and  experimented with various ways of eating. It’s confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. My goal is to make nutrition education more understandable. This is my first stop on that journey.

In this documentary video I tackle The China Study: What’s worth knowing? What’s the main takeaways?

Watch the video and join in on the discussion!

What is the book The China Study about? 

The China Study BookThe China Study is the most comprehensive study of nutrition that has ever been conducted.

It includes results of a research project that included 6,500 people over a 20 year period of time. It’s epic.

The entire project was overseen through a partnership between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. The research is legit. It includes over 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables.

The book is co-authored by T. Colin Campbell (Ph.D in Nutrition and Biochemistry from Cornell University) and his son Thomas M. Campbell.

What are the results of the experiments? 

The research shows a an association between the food we eat, and disease.

To repeat that more simply, The China Study shows that food is medicine. Eat the right food and you can cure cancer,  heart disease, and a litany of other horrible diseases.

I can break down T. Colin Campbell’s advice for you with these three easy to remember steps: 

  1. Eat Plants: eat the rainbow, as many colors as close to their natural state as possible.
  2. Eat less animal protein: less meat, fish, eggs and milk.
  3. Avoid processed foods: less sugars, starchy carbohydrates and vitamin supplements.

Loren Cordain (Paleo) vs. T. Colin Campbell (Plant-based) Debate

cordain vs. campbell Nutrition science is frustrating! A large part of this frustration is because:

  • the experts come with bias
  • the media pares down the argument into sound bites

Case in point, this Larry King Live debate between Paleo and Vegan in 2013: there’s a lot of what they believe, but little scientific justification for why or how they came to their conclusions. As someone trying to learn, who am I to believe? Continue reading “Loren Cordain (Paleo) vs. T. Colin Campbell (Plant-based) Debate”