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 Hypothesiscame 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.
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.
Over 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 Crowd Source?
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.