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The industry was taken aback a little when Tim Cook on Friday told NBC’s Brian Williams in his first TV interview since becoming the CEO that Apple plans to bring some of the manufacturing jobs back home from China. He even went on to confirm that the company pledged to spend a hundred million bucks to make it happen, but stopped short of specifying which Macs would be assembled in the United States.

By all accounts, Apple’s flagship desktop machine aimed at pros – the Mac Pro – is at the center of the company’s renewed interest to bring some Mac production back to the country. First and foremost, the Mac Pro is way overdue for a hardware upgrade, having been last refreshed 427 days ago, or nearly a year and half ago…

We know from Cook’s earlier remarks that a major Mac Pro update is due some time in 2013. Next, Dan Luria, a labor economist at Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center who studies factory operations, told Bloomberg that a $100 million US plant employs about 200 people and produces about 1 million units per year.

In other words, the factory is unable to make more than a million Macs annually and only the Mac Pro and Mac mini sell fewer than a million units per year each.

As for the factory, outside involvement may increase the total of the $100 million investment and watchers think Foxconn is a likely partner on the Mac investment, though it hasn’t broken ground yet.

The Mac Pro, not the iMac, will be made in the US starting next year.

The Mac Pro, not the iMac, will be made in the US starting next year.

Mind you, Apple’s not alone in bringing manufacturing jobs back home.

Lenovo will assemble computers in Whitsett, North Carolina, starting next year. Another example: Hewlett-Packard in its Indianapolis plant, along with Foxconn and 1,300 workers, will assemble around 2.9 million PCs this year.

But why make just the Mac Pro in the US?

For starters, these desktops are considerably heavier and more expensive to ship, hence it makes sense to assemble them at home.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune offers another sensible reason:

Any extra labor costs associated with manufacturing in the U.S. can be more easily absorbed by a $2,500-$3,800 Mac Pro than by an iMac or a MacBook that sell for less than $1,000.

Analyst Rob Enderle agrees Cook was likely referring to larger, lower-value Macs that Apple wants to sell locally. It could also be a matter of pride, Enderle argued:

Cook is looking to give Apple some good news. He doesn’t want people thinking about Apple as a declining company that Steve Jobs used to run.

Obviously, “a big-value product, like an iPhone or an iPad, would be a bigger deal”, per the analyst.

And if I may add, the paper’s iEconomy series could be a factor as well.

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple is adding about 3,600 support workers over the next decade to its 3,500-person customer support center in Austin, Texas.

Apple’s campus in Austin, Texas.

Apple’s campus in Austin, Texas.

The iPhone maker also runs a plant in Elk Grove, California, where it used to make some of the Macs until then op-chief Tim Cook moved all operations to China in 2004. A SEC filing tells us Elk Grove now handles warehousing, distribution and a support call center.

Interestingly enough, the facility has grown in headcount lately though there’s no way of telling whether it’s big enough to produce gadgets in volume.

Of course, if you change an angle then most of your iPhone is actually made in the US.

That is, if you count product design, software development, product management, marketing and other high-value and high-wage engineering functions. The iPhone’s sturdy glass comes from Corning, which has a facility in Kentucky, and its engine is being fabbed by Samsung at the $14 billion facility in Austin, Texas, seen below.

According to The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a product can bear the ‘Assembled in USA’ sticker if a ”substantial transformation” happened in the US:

A product that includes foreign components may be called “Assembled in USA” without qualification when its principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial.

For the “assembly” claim to be valid, the product’s last “substantial transformation” also should have occurred in the U.S. That’s why a “screwdriver” assembly in the U.S. of foreign components into a final product at the end of the manufacturing process doesn’t usually qualify for the “Assembled in USA” claim.

Example: A lawn mower, composed of all domestic parts except for the cable sheathing, flywheel, wheel rims and air filter (15 to 20 percent foreign content) is assembled in the U.S. An “Assembled in USA” claim is appropriate.

The FTC specifically describes what the ‘Assembled in USA’ label entails for a computer vendor:

Example: All the major components of a computer, including the motherboard and hard drive, are imported. The computer’s components then are put together in a simple “screwdriver” operation in the U.S., are not substantially transformed under the Customs Standard, and must be marked with a foreign country of origin. An “Assembled in U.S.” claim without further qualification is deceptive.

Apple’s boss acknowledged as much, suggesting that the return of jobs would go beyond simple assembly procedures. Most of Apple’s gear is currently being done in China by Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer and Apple’s favorite product assembler.

But 9to5Mac thinks some new iMacs could already be made in the US, shipping from Fremont, California, where Apple in the 1990s had been building Macs before it outsourced manufacturing to China.

Here’s a nice video of the Fremont, California plant where Macs used to be made.

A spokesman for Foxconn, which also has plants in Texas and California, confirmed the company is looking into “doing more manufacturing in the US”. Its CEO Terry Gou thinks the U.S. has “high-value engineering talent” (as opposed to China’s “low-cost labor”).

At any rate, I’m betting you must be glad Mac manufacturing is returning home, no?

And does a ‘Made in USA’ Mac Pro tell us anything about the machine itself?

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How Apple’S Next Macbook Pro Could Be The Most Flexible Laptop Ever

How Apple’s next MacBook Pro could be the most flexible laptop ever

Apple has been tipped to be speaking with Foxconn startup Sonder, a company which creates some of the strangest keyboards in the world. The keyboards Sonder makes don’t look significantly different from Apple’s current MacBook Pro and iMac offerings – just so long as their keys keep their standard characters. Sonder’s big differentiator in keyboards is their ability to switch keys at a moment’s notice using E-Ink technology.

Back in 2008 a keyboard was introduced to the world as Optimus Maximus (as seen below), the first of its kind. This keyboard was designed by Art.Lebedev and featured keys with their own tiny displays and individually programmed actions. Industrial designer Timur Burbaev and engineers Maksim Pavlukhin and Grigory Annenkov made a keyboard that may have been 8 years before its time – or at least before its preparedness for mass adoption.

Sonder makes a couple of products right now, one of which is a standalone keyboard. This Sonder keyboard costs $199 and uses E Ink to alter the visual content behind each of most of its keys. There’s also a notebook implementation of this technology from Sonder being prepared for release right now.

Sonder’s laptop webpage says it’ll be delivering the “future at your fingertips.” Clearly they mean they’re the future of keyboards – but also your touch interaction. They also suggest that, “Partnering with experienced manufacturers, Sonder will redefine laptop keyboard design and user experience.”

UPDATE: As of 12-noon Central Time (possibly before), Sonder’s website has gone down. It is possible that this down time is happening due to increased traffic. On the other hand, it could also be because Apple asked Sonder to take down their webpage temporarily – we do not have confirmation either way, yet.

If Apple is indeed creating a MacBook or MacBook Pro with a keyboard like Sonder has mocked up for the public to see (at least until this afternoon), we can see why. Above and below are a number of images rendered by Sonder of an unnamed notebook with Sonder’s keyboard but without a brand. We can safely assume these were meant to resemble a MacBook Pro.

Apple could at last be aiming some of its notebook resources at versatile gaming applications. While it’s been fairly standard practice for some years now that more casual games are developed for both Windows devices and Apple’s desktops, Apple could be expanding. Gaming is the industry in which PC sales are growing quickest – Apple may want a piece of that pie.

Keyboards made by Razer have backlighting that’s able to change color based on various stimuli. SteelSeries keyboards have reprogrammable keys and have their own rainbow color backlighting. More keyboards have odd keys, lights, and added functionality than ever before.

If Apple does implement Sonder technology into their MacBook of the future, users will have some adjusting to do. First, it’s possible that Apple will allow a seasoned MacBook user to work with this new MacBook without needing to learn how to utilize the new keyboard display technology. E Ink allows this without needing the keys to be lit up with any significant battery drain as a result.

If Apple does use E Ink, as Sonder does, users won’t actually need to physically SEE the keyboard to use it. They wouldn’t need to see this hypothetical MacBook’s keyboard to use its basic functionality, that is to say. There’ll still be hardware indicators of where the keys are – F and J, we “see” you.

If Apple implements either a touchscreen above the keyboard or a whole new keyboard with hyper-interactive keys and functionality, we’re in for a change. A change of epic proportions, along the lines of the change Steve Jobs addressed in the video above as he explained the company’s first touchscreen interface. We’re in for a change not just for the MacBook, but of our expectations of what a keyboard on a notebook computer can do.

Rumors suggest that October 27th could be the date of the Apple event where a new MacBook Pro (or just MacBook) is set to be revealed. As 9to5Mac suggests, that’s just two days after what very well may be a slightly “disappointing” iPhone sales quarterly earnings call. Stick around SlashGear’s Apple Twitter portal for more as we continue to investigate.

Subscriptions, Not Specs, Could Settle The Next

Subscriptions, not specs, could settle the next-gen Xbox vs PlayStation war

Generally speaking, the console wars come down to one of two things for a lot of people: hardware and games. Some people compare spec sheets to determine which console is for them, while others look at launch titles and exclusive game lineups to make their decisions. This generation, though, subscriptions may wind up being the difference maker for some, specifically in the case Xbox Game Pass.

Earlier today, Microsoft held an Xbox Series X game showcase where it revealed a number of first-party titles in development for the new console. There were several big names dropped throughout the showcase, including Halo Infinite, Forza Motorsport, and Fable. Even more impressive, however, is the fact that all of these games will be available through Xbox Game Pass on both Xbox Series X and PC.

Xbox Game Pass is something of a wild card heading into the next generation. Perhaps born out of the fact that Xbox One played second fiddle to PlayStation 4 in terms of sales throughout the current generation, or perhaps the product of some divination when it comes to where the industry is headed, Xbox Game Pass was rolled out in 2023 as something of an all-you-can eat subscription for Xbox One owners (and later, PC players).

Not every Xbox One game is on Game Pass, and not every Xbox Series X game will be on the service either. Microsoft has, however, committed to putting all of its first-party games on Xbox Game Pass, which could be a big deal for people who plan to buy an Xbox Series X. More importantly, Xbox Game Pass could sway those who are on the fence and trying to decide between buying an Xbox Series X or a PlayStation 5.

— Xbox Game Pass (@XboxGamePass) July 23, 2023

Think about it: if someone is primarily making their console buying decision based on the exclusives, they stand to save a lot of money by going with Microsoft’s console instead of Sony’s. On the PlayStation 5, those exclusive games will cost at least $60 a pop (but there’s evidence that game prices might be going up with new hardware). Game Pass, on the other hand, costs $10 a month – if you play more than two $60 games a year using Game Pass, you’re technically saving money over buying those games outright.

Considering that there are now 14 companies under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella, it seems safe to assume that Microsoft will be releasing more than just a couple first-party games each year. For someone who’s interested in the games Microsoft revealed today, Xbox Game Pass can make an Xbox Series X buy look a lot more attractive.

Sony, by comparison, doesn’t really have an answer to Xbox Game Pass. It has PlayStation Now, but the hook there is game streaming and not necessarily acting as a “Netflix but for games” type of service. I think PlayStation Now is a good service – especially after it cut prices last year – but it doesn’t compete with Xbox Game Pass in terms of getting new games up quickly, let alone on the day they release.

We’re just talking about the first-party games here, too. There’s also the fact that Xbox Game Pass has been and will be home to a number of big third-party titles, with Bungie even confirming today that Destiny 2 and all of its expansions will be available through Game Pass on Xbox Series X. The more third-party developers Microsoft can woo with its Game Pass pitch, the easier it will be for gamers to justify dropping $10 a month on it.

Granted, Xbox Game Pass may not be the difference maker I think it’s capable of being in the next generation. Since Microsoft is offering Game Pass on PC as well – and has committed to bringing first-party game to PC on the same day they launch on Xbox – that could stop some from buying an Xbox Series X at launch.

That’s the position I’m in at the moment. Since I already have a capable gaming rig, there’s no real reason for me to buy an Xbox Series X next generation; I love the Fable series and I’m excited to see it come back, and Halo Infinite looks great, but I also won’t need to buy an Xbox Series X to play them because they’ll be coming to PC.

It isn’t hard to believe that there are a fair few gamers out there who are in my position and would have bought an Xbox Series X at some point in the next generation were it not for the fact that all of these games are coming to PC.

Then there’s also the fact that you never truly own the games you’re playing when you’re using Xbox Game Pass. That might not be a big deal when it comes to first-party titles from Microsoft because they’ll presumably always be available on the service, but third-party games regularly rotate in and out of the Game Pass lineup.

That, by extension, means that a game might rotate out of the lineup before you’re finished playing it. Or, say you do finish it but months or years down the line you get the urge to revisit it only to find that it’s no longer available through Game Pass. In both cases, you’re stuck buying the game anyway if you want continued access to it, though it is worth pointing out that Game Pass subscribers get a discount on the game if they buy it while it’s available through Game Pass.

So, Game Pass isn’t perfect, but to someone who is about to drop hundreds of dollars on a new console, it could be enough to sway their their decision on which platform to get, especially if they don’t have any feelings of brand loyalty as we jump into the next generation. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see if Game Pass has a quantifiable effect on console and game sales in the next generation, but at the very least, I expect it to be a popular subscription among Xbox Series X owners.

Apple’s New Thunderbolt Technology Could Eventually Come To The Iphone

Apple recently introduced a new connection technology dubbed “Thunderbolt.” In Apple’s MacBook Pro refresh, the Thunderbolt port has been added as a new wired connection architecture that Apple hopes will unify its connection technologies.

The key feature for the Thunderbolt architecture is speed. Thunderbolt promises to be lighting fast (pardon the pun) and offer incredible speeds for data transfers. The need for Thunderbolt is evident for the desktop, but it’s not a stretch to imagine that Thunderbolt could eventually make its way to iOS devices.

Macworld explains Thunderbolt,

“Thunderbolt (previously called Light Peak) is a new peripheral-connection technology, developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, that combines data, video, audio, and power in a single connection. Based on the PCI Express and DisplayPort architectures, Thunderbolt allows for high-speed connection of peripherals such as hard drives, RAID arrays, video-capture solutions, and network interfaces, and it can transmit high-definition video using the DisplayPort protocol. Each Thunderbolt port also provides up to 10 Watts of power to connected peripherals.”

Thunderbolt offers a lot of speed and efficiency enhancements for those involved in production and media. Photographers, videographers, or any other type of data-reliant professionals will be able to increase their productivity with the speed and ease-of-use that Thunderbolt offers.

Rumors are that Apple will eventually use MagSafe as the replacement for the classic 30-pin connector that iDevices use now. With the introduction of Thunderbolt, Apple could eventually replace the 30 pin connector with a Thunderbolt port on the iPhone.

Thunderbolt is not designed to compete with USB 3.0, and it makes sense that Apple would want their proprietary connection architecture to run on all iOS devices.

Macworld speculates further on the possibility of Thunderbolt coming to iOS,

“As noted above, Thunderbolt relies on PCI Express, the architecture that underpins Macs and most PCs. But iOS devices don’t use a PCI Express architecture, which would presumably make it difficult to simply stick a Thunderbolt port on an iPhone. Plus the dock-connector port on iOS devices provides quite a bit of additional functionality—it’s got 30 connection pins for a reason, after all. Finally, it’s not clear what benefits Thunderbolt would provide that the dock-connector port is missing. We suspect it’s far more likely that Apple will eventually sell an optional Thunderbolt-to-dock-connector cable for charging and syncing.”

theAppleBlog believes there is a good chance Thunderbolt will become the iDevice standard,

“A Thunderbolt connector makes a lot of sense for Apple’s iOS devices, since it would mean syncing even large libraries could happen in a few seconds instead of over many minutes. Thunderbolt also supports video and audio out, making it the ideal all-purpose A/V connector. A Thunderbolt connection would even provide Apple with an excuse for further delaying the introduction of wireless sync capabilities for iOS devices. It does require a small Intel controller chip to manage traffic, but that doesn’t necessarily preclude its use in Apple mobile products.”

So, essentially, a Thunderbolt connector on the iPhone would mean super fast syncs with iTunes. An all-in-one A/V connector is also an appealing thought for the iPhone and iPad. You can read up more about Thunderbolt on Apple’s official Thunderbolt page.

Whether it’s MagSafe or Thunderbolt, Apple is certainly working on faster and more efficient connection technologies for the iPhone. That’s good news.

Jupiter’s Icy Ocean Worlds Could Be Cool Travel Destinations In The Future

It’s time for JUICE to get to work. The European Space Agency’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer blasted off on an Ariane 5 rocket yesterday to begin its eight-year journey to the Jovian system to study Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, three of the largest moons in the entire solar system.

Together with NASA’s Europa Clipper, which will launch in October 2024 but arrive at its destination a year earlier than JUICE, the missions will get the first close-ups of Jupiter’s icy moons since NASA’s Galileo probe visited the gas giant from 1995 and 2003.

“We learned about Europa having a subsurface ocean as a result of the Galileo mission,” says Emily Martin, a research geologist in the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian’s National Air And Space Museum. The Galileo finding ignited interest in so-called  “ocean worlds” that have liquid water under their thick surface ice and might be the best place to look for alien life in our solar system. Ganymede and Callisto are likely ocean worlds too.

[Related: Astronomers find 12 more moons orbiting Jupiter]

While Galileo captured some images of the lesser-known siblings, it couldn’t analyze their surfaces as well as originally plannedspacecraft was hamstrung from the beginning, when its high-gain antenna, necessary for sending back large amounts of data, failed to fully deploy. Consequently, when JUICE arrives at Jupiter in 2031, it will begin providing the first truly high-resolution studies of Ganymede and Callisto, and add to the data on Europa collected by the Europa Clipper. JUICE will use its laser altimeter to build detailed topographic maps of all three moons and use measurements of their magnetic and gravitational fields, along with radar, to probe their internal structures.

“Galileo did the reconnaissance,” Martin says, “and now JUICE gets to go back and really dig deep.”

Is there water on Jupiter’s moons?

If people know one Jovian moon, it’s likely Europa: The icy moon’s subsurface ocean has been the focus of science fiction books and movies. But Martin is particularly excited about what JUICE might find at Callisto. Jupiter’s second largest moon, it orbits farther out than Europa or Ganymede. It appears to be geologically inactive and may not be differentiated, meaning Callisto’s insides haven’t separated into the crust-mantle-core layers seen in other planets and moons.

Despite the low-key profile, data from the Galileo mission suggests Callisto could contain a liquid ocean like Europa and Ganymede. Understanding just how that could be possible, and getting a look at what Callisto’s interior really looks like, could help space researchers better understand how all of Jupiter’s moons evolved.

“In some ways, Callisto is a proto-Ganymede,” Martin says.

What comes after Mars?

It’s not just Callisto’s interior that is interesting, according to Scott Sheppard, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science. It’s the only large moon that orbits outside the belts of intense radiation trapped in Jupiter’s colossal magnetic field—radiation that can fry spacecraft electrics and human explorers alike. “If humanity is to build a base on one of the Jupiter moons, Callisto would be by far the first choice,” Sheppard says. “It could be the gateway moon to the outer solar system.”      

JUICE will fly by Europa, then Callisto, and then enter orbit around Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system. With a diameter of around 3,270 miles, it’s larger than the planet Mercury, which comes in at 2,578 miles in diameter.

This image of the Jovian moon Ganymede was obtained by the JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its June 7, 2023, flyby of the icy moon. At the time of closest approach, Juno was within 645 miles of its surface, closer to Jupiter’s largest moon than any other spacecraft has come in more than two decades. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Geoffrey Collins, a professor of geology, physics and astronomy at Wheaton College, says he’s most excited about the Ganymede leg of the mission. “It will be the first time we’ve orbited a world like this, and I know we will be surprised by what we find.” 

If Ganymede hosts a liquid water ocean beneath its frozen shell how deep its crust is, and whether its suspected subsurface ocean is one vast cistern or consists of liquid layered with an icy or rocky mantle. JUICE will be the first mission to give scientists some real answers about to those questions.

“Even if JUICE just lets us reach a level of understanding of Ganymede like we had for Mars 20 or 30 years ago, it would be a massive leap forward from what we know now,” Collins says. “This will be the kind of thing that rewrites textbooks.”

[Related: A mysterious magma ocean could fuel our solar system’s most volcanic world]

Any clues that JUICE gathers from Ganymede and Callisto could apply to more than just Jupiter and its icy moons. They can tell us more about what to expect when we look further out from our own solar system, according to Martin.

“It contextualizes different kinds of ocean world systems and that has even broader implications to exoplanet systems,” she says. “The more we can understand the differences and the similarities between the ocean world systems that we have here in our solar system, the more prepared we’re going to be for understanding the planetary systems that we’re continuing to discover in other solar systems.”

Five Diets That Could Be Deadly

There’s no shortcut to a healthy diet. Eating balanced meals, tons of fruits and veggies, scant fatty red meats, and no processed junk food requires time and planning. Americans find regimens with strict rules (no carbs! high fat! eat all the apples!) and big weight-loss promises far more alluring. ­Forty-​five million of us will try such a scheme each year, and many will go to extremes. These drastic plans aren’t just ­useless—most people gain back the pounds—but they also can damage our vital systems. We analyzed how five of today’s popular food trends throw the body out of whack.


Chowing primarily on produce leaves muscles to wither.

This diet is exactly what it sounds like: You eat nothing cooked. Seem doable? Try downing an entire crudité platter, warns Christopher Gardner, a nutritional scientist at Stanford University. Taking in the FDA-­recommended 2,000 calories per day would require chomping 60 cups of raw kale, 38 of carrots, or 90 medium-size tomatoes. That much raw roughage is wholly unpalatable, says Gardner. Cooking produce not only makes it tastier, but research shows that heating it also can aid digestion and boost antioxidants, such as phenolic ­acids. One study found that 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men who ate raw for 3-plus years were too thin; 30 percent of women stopped having monthly ­periods—a consequence of too little body fat. Also, fresh everything can be risky: ­Unprocessed dairy can cause a listeria infection; raw eggs can carry salmonella; and uncooked meats invite a host of gnarly bacteria—and deadly cases of diarrhea.


Lard, butter, and oil contribute to clogged blood vessels.

Neurologists developed the ketogenic diet in the 1920s as a therapeutic tool for epileptic children. The idea: Deprive the brain of glucose to change its chemistry and curtail seizures. No one’s sure when or why the plan became a popular tool for zapping body fat, but one theory credits the Atkins diet, which relies on a two-week keto phase. Absent sugar, the body will convert its own blubber stores into ketone bodies—fatty acid byproducts structurally similar to glucose—to use as fuel.

Classic keto requires consuming 90 percent of daily calories as fat, 7 percent as protein, and 3 percent as carbs. Studies suggest that people on such plans experience a 50 percent increase in ­artery-​­clogging low-density lipids and triglycerides, effects that can last for a year after stopping the diet. Three-​­quarters of patients develop GI problems such as reflux and constipation—sometimes severe enough to require an enema. Ketone bodies are also highly acidic, and, in some cases, come with an increased risk of kidney stones.


Elimination diets can easily mis-hit on food allergies.

For one month, dieters on this plan give up added sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy—chemicals and processed junk too. The program’s devotees claim that these foods mess up our metabolic systems and contribute to immune dysfunction, hormone imbalances, and even diabetes. Cutting them out, practitioners say, hits the reset button, and can pinpoint food sensitivities. To date, there’s little or no evidence to support either claim. And these largely unfounded assertions have big consequences. Our gut microbiomes—the bacteria that help us digest grub and absorb nutrients—rely on a diverse menu and feed largely on the fiber in grains and legumes Whole30 nixes. Messing this up can lead to extreme constipation. Plus, axing dairy cuts Americans’ number-one source of calcium. Worse: Once a dieter starts reintroducing foods, their tummy can get upset as it readjusts. The reaction can falsely ID a food sensitivity, prolonging the ill effects past the 30-day window.


Ignore beans?

Proponents of the ­paleolithic diet believe that human digestion evolved from the eating habits of our ancestors, therefore we should consume meat and produce exclusively—and ignore grains, dairy, and legumes. (Sorry, but archaeological findings regularly disprove the ­existence of such a meal plan.) Modern zealots trumpet it as a cure-all for everything from muffin tops to ­lethargy and depression. Not exactly. Meat is higher in artery-­clogging saturated fat than plant-based protein sources, and cooking flesh over 300°F produces carcinogenic heterocyclic amines. Red meat, specifically, increases your risk of colon cancer by 17 percent for every 3.5 ounces consumed per day; the heme molecule, which helps turn it crimson, promotes growth of N-nitroso-­compounds—another carcinogen. Cutting dairy and fiber-​rich foods also messes with the microbial colonies that make our guts work. Without the probiotic benefits of yogurts and the prebiotic effects of fibrous foods (beans and whole grains), our tummies struggle to block pathogens, maintain metabolism, and extract calories and nutrients.

Related video:

The vegan diet

Because the decision to eating plant-based is so often based on ethical (rather than health) concerns, many new vegans don’t fully consider the overall nutrition of the lifestyle shift.

A life free of all animal products can be good for your heart, blood sugar, and waistline. But Coca-Cola, white bread, french fries, Oreos, and Spicy Chili Doritos are vegan. Stanford ­University nutritionist Christopher Gardner says that many Americans opt for a vegan diet for ethical reasons rather than health concerns, and thus don’t fully consider the overall nutrition of the lifestyle shift. While study after study confirms the bodily benefits of plant-based meals, the research applies only to those who follow a balanced plan to the letter. When done carelessly, cutting out all animal products risks deficiencies in iron, B12, and calcium—nutrients we typically get from meat, seafood, and dairy. Vegans have an increased risk of osteoporosis later in life, and, in the short term, too little B12 can cause weakness and fatigue. If plant eaters take the proper approach, they can get the nutrients they need from produce such as beans, broccoli, and leafy greens—without the need for artificially fortified processed foods such as breakfast cereals and nut milks. But, Gardner says, that rarely happens.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2023 Danger issue of Popular Science.

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