The Evolved Eater

A Journey to Eating and Living Better

When Josh Hix and I started Plated in early 2012, I didn’t know much about anything. I was twenty-seven years old, recently married, and fresh out of the Marine Corps.

Me far left, with two of my platoon sergeants at the range.

As a civilian I was working 60+ hours a week, chained to my desk, scarfing down greasy takeout food multiple times a day. I knew there had to be a better way to eat (and live), and Josh and I teamed up to find a solution. Our goal was to start an e-commerce food business. But we knew nothing about e-commerce. Or food. Or starting a business. Our friends and families thought we were nuts. And if the last few years are any indicator, they were probably right.

Josh and me building a fridge from scratch inside the old Guinness bottling factory in Queens. In retrospect, not such an awesome idea.

For being a well-educated, fitness-obsessed person, I also knew surprisingly little about what I should be eating.

As a Marine I had been choking down MREs and chow hall rations for over a year. Back in New York, it seemed like everywhere I looked there was a new set of nutritional guidance or dieting advice. None of it was helpful or sustainable. When my wife got me a colon cleanse for my birthday, I knew things had gone too far.

Next to sex, eating is arguably the most fundamental human activity.

But eating in the 21st century has become overly complicated. Most of us have come to rely on experts and “gurus” to tell us what, when, and how to eat. The pronouncements of doctors, diet-book authors, media pundits, the US government, and nutrition pseudo-scientists create an omnipresent cacophony of confusion.

Every day we are inundated with information, yet the average American citizen still doesn’t know what or how he should be eating.

Trust me: I used to be that guy.

Surprisingly, the more time I spent researching and thinking about how to eat better, the simpler the solution became. I learned that nutrition science is still very primitive.

The food “experts” either don’t know what they’re talking about, or more subversively, they push pseudo-science in order to sell more crap.

As Michael Pollan wrote, nutrition science “is today approximately where surgery was in the year 1650 — very promising, and very interesting to watch, but are you ready to let them operate on you?”[1]

As Josh and I began digging more deeply into the food industry, what we saw horrified us.

Food is one of the biggest industries in the world — more than $1 trillion in annual consumption in the US alone — but it is hopelessly troglodytic.

That’s a big fat fancy word for a system that is inefficient, ugly, and antiquated. Picture a pre-historic crustacean bungling around a murky pool of water — not a creature you’d want to yoke your health and happiness to.

But if food is broken, eating doesn’t have to be.

Today, as cofounder and Co-CEO of Plated, I’ve fed more Americans than all but the largest fast food and restaurant chains. We’ve raised over $20 million in venture capital and we employ more than 300 people in five different locations.

Plated has delivered millions of healthy meals across America, and in many ways, we are just getting started.

Though I am not a nutritionist or chef, I’ve learned what people want, what makes them happy and healthy, and what keeps them coming back for more.

I’ve also learned some things we do know about how to eat and live better. I’ve become what we at Plated call an “Evolved Eater” — and I’m not alone.

More than 31 million Americans are Evolved Eaters.

These are conscientious consumers who care about what they eat and where it comes from. They’re the kind of people who strive constantly to improve and evolve, and eating is an inseparable part of this evolution. They want quality and value in every bite of their lives.

Evolved Eaters are curious, ambitious, highly connected individuals. They want good food and good information. They are foodies and food lovers, couples and singles, men and women from all walks of life who share one common trait: they are voracious for a better way to eat.

We are building Plated for the Evolved Eater.

Are you an Evolved Eater? If so, how can we build a better 21st century food experience for you?

If you’re not, do you want to be? How can we help you get there?

I’d love to hear from you. This journey is just beginning.

[1] Michael Pollan, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (New York: Penguin, 2009), xi.

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