Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
How Our Mastery of Food and Environment May Have
Contributed to Unprecedented Obesity and Chronic Disease
How Our Mastery of Food and Environment May Have Contributed to Unprecedented Obesity and Chronic Disease
1,101 backers pledged $88,217 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Our Broken Plate project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$88,217

1,101

I've been a scientist and publishing in peer-reviewed journals in areas of biophysics, material science, neural networks, and fluid physics for over 25 years. I began my career at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center where I worked in material science/biophysics for 15 years. During that time, along with business partners Peter Diamandis and Byron Lichtenberg, I was at the epicenter for the birth of commercial space flight in co-founding Zero Gravity Corporation, the first FAA-approved commercial parabolic weightless experience.  

After leaving NASA and 8 years of building a composites manufacturing facility, I hit a health crisis largely due to diet and the unending drive of work.  I was fat and sick and I wanted that to change. I too had read a plethora of diet books and simply failed, but it was the contradictions that bothered me most. Since that time I have assembled a world class team of researchers from institutions like Harvard, NIH, and Vanderbilt and want to share with you some of the puzzling discrepancies we have uncovered and perhaps some new explanations for why some old ideas were always correct.  Our first paper, Metabolic Winter Hypothesis came out in 2014 and two more will be out soon.

Our Broken Plate isn't a textbook and doesn't require multiple degrees to read. In fact, I want to substantially simplify things and change the way we talk about food.  

Thank you for helping me with this project. 

Ray

About This Book

During our evolutionary journey, we faced two primary biological challenges: cold weather stress and caloric scarcity. We’ve mastered these domains, but was it in our best interest? We believe balanced meals, proper nutrition, and exercise are key to longevity and health, but what does science and history teach us? Where did these notions come from?

On his five-year exploration of self-experimentation, a quest driven by the desire to improve his health, Ray Cronise found that popular truths he once believed unquestionable seemed to clash with reality. A former NASA Scientist with over 30 peer-reviewed publications, 9 patents and a self-described skeptic who always sought answers to difficult questions, he embarked on an in-depth scientific journey that led him to unexpected places and new understandings about weight loss, metabolism and diet. 

This odyssey, which continues even now, led him to rediscover the past, where he uncovered startling evidence that the popular messaging about metabolism and Calorie has been grossly twisted over time. His disruptive insights into the present obesity epidemic challenge the status quo and raise interesting new questions about how we might reverse this tragic trend.

Ray’s journey winds through two centuries of historical research, beginning with the scientific discoveries of Antoine Lavoisier and continuing through the early 20th Century when the way we categorize food by macronutrient content became firmly established. He juxtaposes historic texts and peer-reviewed articles about nutrition and metabolism with personal experiments in a home-built metabolic lab. 

During the course of his research, Ray collaborates with some of the world’s top scientists. He continually questions many currently accepted, popular, dogmatic ideas regarding diet and exercise. Ultimately, he concludes there are better explanations about what is really happening to make us fat. It’s a very different story from the one we’re most familiar with, but it’s a tale that will resonate with almost anyone who has ever tried to shed a pound.

It’s the story of Our Broken Plate.

Why Kickstarter?

I am raising funds to satisfy the countless requests received to write a book about what I've learned during a five-year quest to understand how we lose and gain weight. I am reluctant to embark on this task because, as a scientist, felt it was necessary to first assemble a distinguished science team and submit some of the more disruptive ideas to peer reviewed journals. I feared, too, that my ideas would only add to the conflicting recommendations and scientific reports that are published by the hundreds each year. There was no sense doing this if it only added to the confusion about diet, weight loss and optimum health. We need to simplify food not make it more complex.

To get this book written, however, I need your help. It requires my full attention for the next five months, while at the same time keeping my research funded. It requires additional costly self-testing to demonstrate parts of my thesis that remain open to debate. And it requires money to fund an initial press run from an independent publisher. 

Why Self Publish?

Some of you may wonder why I did not approach a traditional publishing house and seek an advance to achieve my goal. There was a time when that would have been my only option. But accepting an advance would mean ultimately accepting the publisher’s vision for the book, from the title to the contents to the book cover. And since every publisher told me to write a diet book because “diet books sell” I decided not to go that route. I want to direct the content, not only to ensure the message is the one I intend, but also so that diagrams, illustrations and other explanatory material is included in each chapter. I have also solicited leading scientists and physicians to write essays on related topics to include as appendices, not something a mainstream publisher is likely to support.

Finally, I want to be free to tackle complex scientific topics in simple language that are critical to the understanding of metabolism, Calories, and weight gain. Not everything can be broken down into sound bites. Sometimes one must dig a little deeper, wrap the brain around more complicated systems and ideas in order to appreciate the beauty in how the body works. I am not steering clear of this material just because it’s difficult; I am asking readers to have an open mind and put on their thinking caps for some parts of this book. 

If we are successful here, I am certain there will be many publishers that will gladly take it from that point forward. There's a little in Our Broken Plate for everyone and I am grateful for your support!

Risks and challenges

My real challenge is gauging public interest. I'm certain many more diet books would be sold, but potential impact to the world be much less. My goal is to profoundly impact 10,000 people's lives and change the direction of conversations about food with them, while adding a fundamentally new approach to current food research.

I am confident the book will be finished, but need enough public participation to justify a traditional printing run. At the very least you can be a partner in creating an amazing e-book that helps us all understand this broken conversation about our relationship with food and food science.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Coffee Club - Sure, we'll help

    Think it sounds like a worthwhile project, but want to wait until you finish that other pile of books? Skip a Starbuck's one day and be a part of funding this project. You'll get backer updates and notification when the book is released.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    Our Broken Plate - Get the book before it goes on sale. You'll be credited in the book as one of the contributors that made it happen. There will also be some previews of material in the book and updates on progress.

    (international shipping not listed will be charged separately when ready to ship)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    362 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    Signed Copy - Our Broken Plate

    Our Broken Plate - Get the book before it goes on sale. You'll be credited in the book as one of the contributors that made it happen. There will also be some previews of material in the book and updates on progress.

    (international shipping will be charged separately when ready to ship)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    306 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    Our Broken Plate/Presto

    The Bundle - Our Books tell different sides of a similar story and having read Penn's draft I'm certain it will leave you laughing

    You'll be credited in Our Broken Plate as one of the contributors that made it happen. There also will be some previews of material in the book and updates on progress.

    (international shipping not listed will be charged separately when ready to ship)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 325 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    Spread The Word

    Buy 5 books and one will be signed. You can give the other 4 away and get the message out.

    You'll be credited in the book as one of the contributors that made it happen. There also will be some previews of material in the book and updates on progress.

    (international shipping will be charged separately when ready to ship)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    57 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Let Penn Answer Your Phone

    You get Our Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized.

    Want Penn to record your phone message? Want to send a message to a friend from someone and get their attention? Or do you just need an in your face reminder to step on a Withings scale every day and make it to your goal?

    Penn will record a message for you. It might make them move. It might make you move. Maybe everyone will ignore it, but it will be a lot of fun and you'll help me make this book project happen.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Spend 3 Days with Dave Lakhani and Ray for a Personal Lifestyle Transformation.

    Get Our Broken Plate-signed

    5 people, all meet in Boise (tentatively early February - exact date will be determined after close of kickstarter).

    Work with us one on one in a small group format for 3 days. We'll focus on lifestyle transformation and behavior change: diet, business, personal.

    The package Includes detailed psychological testing and interpretation by a Ph.D psychologist with one on one in person consultation so that you may truly understand motivation, drive and behavior.

    Also includes 90 day follow up program, one call with each of us per month (total of six calls)
    This package is a $7500 value.

    (travel and lodging to event will be at your own expense, but meals will be provided)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    Fire & Water - With Steinhart Aquarium Senior Biologist, Rich Ross

    Get Our Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized.

    Rich is an unbelievably smart and funny guy - this will be an intellectually incredible and FUN two days!

    Rich is a glass blower (see atomicglass.com) and on day one he will give you and your guest a 3 hour hot glass blowing lesson in Alameda, CA. Rich will also help you create your own glass artwork. Look at his gallery - this isn't your grandmother's fancy glasses that were never used. You'll sketch some ideas with him and watch them grow out of molten glass.

    On day two, he will give you and your guest a 2 hour personal tour of the Steinhart Aquarium in the California Academy of Sciences with a peek behind the scenes. Rich is a renowned cephalopod expert, having made a variety of breakthroughs in breeding and displaying the class of marine animals which includes cuttlefish, squid and octopuses, known for their intelligence and unique anatomy.

    (travel and lodging to San Francisco will be at your own expense)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,300 or more About $1,300

    Crowdsourced Book Cover Design Sponsor

    Help me fund the book cover. I want to involve everyone in this process. You'll be sponsoring the book cover design with credits on the crowdsource page and on the on the back credit.

    Also included is the Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized to you.

    (international shipping will be charged separately when ready to ship)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Pitch your tech company to Tech angel - Cyan Banister

    Get Our Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized.

    Forbes listed Cyan as one of the top 3 female angels in tech. She will host you and your guest for dinner at San Francisco's exclusive restaurant, The Battery, a private social club. It won't be the hectic pace of an incubator and startup meetings. Time to relax and share your vision. She's been an incredible inspiration for me in writing this book and her advice is always valuable.

    If you're in the tech startup now, you won't get a better opportunity than this. No crowds, no fatigue, no rush - a relaxed evening.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Pitch your tech company to tech angel - Cyan Banister

    She offered two more rewards! Wow!

    Get Our Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized.

    Forbes listed Cyan as one of the top 3 female angels in tech. She will host you and your guest for dinner at San Francisco's exclusive restaurant, The Battery, a private social club. It won't be the hectic pace of an incubator or startup meetings. Time to relax and share your vision. She's been an incredible inspiration for me in writing this book and her advice is always valuable.

    If you're in a tech startup now, you won't get a better opportunity than this. No crowds, no fatigue, no rush - a relaxed evening.

    (travel and lodging to San Francisco will be at your own expense)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Dinner, show, and book bundle with Penn & Ray

    Get both Our Broken Plate and Presto - signed with an amazing Penn and Teller evening.

    Penn and I will join you and your guest for an AMAZING 4-star dinner prepared by renowned Chef Andreoni and hosted by Vincenzo Granta at Panevino - Las Vegas's premiere authentic Italian grille. Penn and I had dinner here after shooting the kickstarter video and it was fantastic.

    We'll head over to the Rio and attend the Penn & Teller show. While the crowd is getting autographs and taking photos with the guys, you'll be hanging out in the monkey room where Penn & Teller and Mike Jones will join us later (the new aquarium from Tanked is amazing). There's no telling what other guest might show up - they have a lot of interesting friends.

    (travel and lodging will be at your own expense)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Afternoon with Astronaut Scott Parazynski and Ray in Houston

    You will receive our Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized to you plus an amazing afternoon.

    Scott Parazynski, MD has flown on 5 shuttle missions and spent 47 hours in EVA spacewalks constructing and repairing the International Space Station. Scott has summited Cerro Aconcagua and Everest along with all 59 of of Colorado's peaks over 14,000 feet. He recently served as Founding Director and Chief Medical Officer of UTMB's Center for Polar Medical Operations where he oversaw the medical screening and on-ice care of the National Science Foundation's US Antarctic Program.

    (travel and lodging to Houston will be at your own expense)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    Personal Coach with Ray

    Get Our Broken Plate/Presto Bundle - both books will be signed and personalized.

    For the last 3 years, I've coached Penn along with over 100 others to help fund my research, but I plan to get out of the coaching biz to focus on research.

    With this donation you'll have weekly calls from me once a week for 12 weeks and I'll monitor your progress remotely using a Smart Body Analyzer provided to you by Withings. It's a great tool. As soon as you step on the scale, I'll have the weight on my phone. If you don't step on it, I'll also know. You won't be able to run and hide.

    If you want to transform your relationship with food, learn to cook some tasty meals, and are otherwise healthy, this is the opportunity to make it happen.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (42 days)