You can read part 1 HERE.


It is appropriate that in January—the month of renewal—we complete the amazing story of Renova Worldwide, the Emmett-based nutritional supplement company that landed here in April and launched itself with two employees in May of last year. Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, Renova’s products are designed to restore, renew, revive and rebuild one’s body and mind.

It is also fitting that for a city whose second strategic pillar encompasses building a “health conscious city” that Scott Malone was led here to launch his worldwide headquarters. Nutrition is every bit as important to good health as exercise; but we need to understand that our Western diet is built on maximizing profits for Big Food, not to build healthy minds or bodies.

Here in North America, we are self-destructing through our diets not unlike the Phoenix before it rises from its ashes. Moreover, the real problem is not exclusively the quantity of our caloric intake, though that is a problem. Indeed, our greatest problem may lie in the quality of our food. The World Health Organization recognizes three food types: Whole Foods, Processed Foods and Ultra-Processed Foods. Ultra-Processed Foods comprise those “foods” made of mostly chemicals with little nutritional value: think kids’ cereals.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota, we’ve known since 1950 what happens when 50% of proper nutritional value is removed from our caloric intake for any good length of time. Couple those findings (see below) with Bonnie Kaplan, PhD, professor emerita from the University of Calgary School of Medicine, who tells us a 2012 study demonstrates that US citizens get 61% of their caloric intake from ultra-processed foods. What happens, then, when we fail to consume 50% or more of the good nutrients we should?

According to the 1950 Minnesota Study, when 18 healthy adult males were deprived of 50% of their normal caloric/nutrient intake for six months, they suffered from depression, hysteria, irritability, self-mutilation, apathy and lethargy, social withdrawal and the inability to concentrate. Nevertheless, the control group eating healthy did fine.

In a March 2019 posting on Science Daily, dealing with mental health issues plaguing young adults ( a summary of the article states: “The percentage of young Americans experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to new research.” The article complains most people don’t have the necessary insurance to pay for it. Maybe that’s because we use the wrong treatment model.

In an informative 2014 Ted Talks episode, Professor Julia Rucklidge, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand ( argues that poor nutrition is a significant and modifiable risk factor in the development of and treatment for mental illness. Her interest in doing the research arose out of the severe earthquakes experienced in New Zealand in the 1990s causing severe psychological trauma to children. She noted that traditional therapies (e.g., the medical model of psychiatric medications followed by psychological therapies and other forms of support) did not work well. However, she discovered that micronutrients not only worked more effectively, but cost less than traditional therapies in successfully treating the traumatized children. Please view this remarkable video yourself.

A recent article in Pediatrics based on research conducted by the University of Alberta also suggests North Americans have significant problems attributed to the Western diet in the mental health arena. In 2011, the University evaluated 3,436 children aged 10 and 11 who had  nine health recommendations made to them involving dietary, screen time and physical activity (most recommendations were dietary). In 2014, the same children were again evaluated. The study found 15% fewer physician visits for mental disorders resulted on each health recommendation met. [Loewen, et al., Pediatrics, 2019]

Why is nutrition so important? According to Dr. Kaplan, it’s because specific minerals and vitamins are necessary not only for healthy bodies but also healthy brains. These vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) work as cofactors necessary for certain metabolic brain functions. Not enough micronutrition results in not enough healthy bodies or brains. If these cofactors are not present (of course 50% statistically are not if 61% of our caloric/nutrient intake is based upon ultraprocessed foods as found in the previously referenced 2012 study) we become mentally sluggish and often suffer the kinds of pathologies mentioned in the University of Minnesota study.

We can be proud Renova Worldwide is doing its part to produce the right micronutrients for our bodies AND our brains. As mayor, I couldn’t be happier they chose Emmett to fight the good fight and to grow a worldwide company! Visit their website, and see for yourself. What remarkable neighbors.