Two public health grads walk into a startup…

Thoughts from the intersection of public health, technology, and food

Sika Gasinu
May 5, 2016 · 4 min read

  1. I wanted to work quickly. In public health nutrition, every intervention is angling for long-term impact and it’s likely that it could take years, even decades, until we see broad-scale shifts in eating habits. I wanted to be part of expediting these shifts and at best, public health departments move at a snail’s pace. Improving the way our nation eats is too important of an issue to meander towards a solution. I wanted to work somewhere that is structured to be nimble and averse to stagnation.
  2. I wanted to work in a place filled with imagination. As a student, just about every public health nutrition intervention I learned about was either focused on nutrition research or education. The idea behind this thinking is that if we better understand what people eat, in what contexts, and how much, we can teach better eating habits, leading to a nation of healthier eaters and healthier people. All of that’s true, but as a student, I was frustrated by only having two options to make that happen. I yearned to be part of something that wanted to improve the way that people eat by actively and quickly changing an individual’s food environment. I wanted to work somewhere that believed in a not too distant future where people eat better. A place where we could try a new model for feeding each other and see if it worked. A place where it felt like every single day, I was helping to move the needle, no matter how imperceptible the shift.

So, why Josephine?

Although the three factors I mentioned above could apply to other food-tech companies, I chose Josephine because we aren’t disrupting anything and we don’t aspire to.¹ I chose Josephine because our entire company is centered around something that isn’t novel at all: a home cooked meal.

I’ve spent years thinking about what people eat and how it affects their health. And after all these years of study, I think that home cooked food is what matters most.

Research shows that foods prepared at home are generally healthier than foods prepared away from home,² but most Americans don’t cook.³ Although attempting to get an entire nation of busy, on-the-go people to stop, learn how to cook, and then actually cook is a noble goal, it isn’t the most realistic.⁴ Instead, what if we met this nation of busy, on-the-go people where they are and made it easy for them to buy home cooked meals? What if in doing so, we were supporting local food entrepreneurs and local economies? What if the easiest way to improve how our nation eats was that simple?


The Dish

Musings on slow cooking a company in a world built for the microwave @Josephinemeals #withcare

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Sika Gasinu

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I like building thoughtful + efficient tools and helping teams work better together. I get to do both @asana

The Dish

The Dish

Musings on slow cooking a company in a world built for the microwave @Josephinemeals #withcare