Patrick at Sipi overlook Panorama

About The Work

Patrick is interested in how people think about and pursue health, especially in the fitness, nutrition and weight-loss realms. His work has focused on food advertising, food policy, obesity prevention, health promotion, consumer advocacy, outdoor recreation and fitness, parks and public land, ocean conservation, food justice, and ecological impacts of food production.

Mustain’s multimedia and written work appears regularly in Scientific American Food Matters and The Daily Beast, and has been featured in Alert Diver, Business Insider, Civil Eats, Grist, The Hill, The Huffington Post, The Laura Flanders Show, Medium, The New York Times, Nashville Public Television, North Carolina Health News, North Carolina Public Television, Quartz, Upworthy, The Wall Street Journal, Weighty Matters, and Yahoo! News.

About Patrick Mustain

After competing a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy, Patrick began working as a personal trainer while pursuing an undergraduate degree in kinesiology at the University of Illinois, then a master of public health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and finally a master of arts at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

His focus on public health brought him to the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity where he acted as a communications manager until the research center moved to UConn in 2014. After leaving the Rudd Center Patrick worked as a freelance health and science writer and digital producer in Minneapolis before moving to Washington, D.C. for a writing, editing and multimedia production position for the ocean conservation organization Oceana.

Patrick is a regular contributor to Scientific American’s Food Matters blog. His commentary, “Dear American Consumers,” was the 2013 Scientific American blog of the year, and the highest-read post in Scientific American history at the time of its publishing.

He is also a contributor to The Daily Beast’s weekend series “The Cult of Fitness.”

In 2014, Patrick co-founded NewBodyEthic.org, a project aimed at reforming the health and fitness industry to make it more inclusive, responsible and effective, by bringing together professionals who are dedicated to providing evidence-based, hype free health advice to consumers.

He continues to freelance, working on multimedia production, and health and science writing. When he’s not doing this, he’s probably rock climbing, racing DC traffic on his bike, eating a sandwich, or shredding on his acoustic guitar. As one does.

Contact Patrick Mustain:

Email: patrickmustain at gmail dot com

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32 Comments

  1. Julie Reed
    March 18, 2015

    I am so impressed with the information I read about being heathy. I thought I was doing everything right until you present how to really be healthy!
    I am impressed by the knowledge I read and look forward to learning more.
    Thank you,
    JulieReed

    Reply
  2. William Stuart
    February 27, 2015

    Patrick: Liked the article. Why does no one suggest taxing sugar, itself in all forms? Do we need sugar coated breakfast cereal? Sugar is everywhere. Our kids are addicted before they even reach grade school. We need to go to the source.

    Reply
    • Patrick Mustain
      February 27, 2015

      Thanks William, glad you liked it!

      Reply
  3. Nikki
    July 8, 2014

    This is impressive 🙂 I have to say I forgot the name of the health pledge site you mentioned when I saw you…so had to go to Rudd staff and to your blog/website to find it. Well…found it. Also found this site. Nice work and fabulous messages 🙂 I hope you keep it up. I had a blog for about a year (http://onbecomingmommy.wordpress.com/?s=what+is+healthy+ for a sample) and then got overwhelmed with doing it with all the other stuff in my life (like being active and eating well ;)) Anyway, yay! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world! Go you!

    Reply
    • admin
      July 8, 2014

      Thanks Nikki! And thanks for signing the Pledge, it’s so great to see the response we’re getting from all over the world! Nice blog, and you’re right, it can get overwhelming, but also gratifying, especially when you get such nice feedback!

      Cheers!

      Reply
  4. Gunter Pauli
    January 2, 2014

    Love your writings. It even makes me smile even though the content is not that pleasant to read. While on one hand I undertake innovative projects like regenerating the rainforest (8,000 HA done) and produce paper (without water or trees with 120,000 T/y factory up) half of my time is about writing fables. The Government of China distributes my fables to schools and I plan to transform some of your excellent articles into fables – of course with due reference to the person who inspired me 😉

    Reply
    • admin
      January 2, 2014

      Hi Gunter,

      Wow, thanks for reaching out, I’m honored, and excited that some of my work is still resonating with people. I’m looking forward to the Fables, please keep me posted!

      Reply
  5. Elizabeth
    September 30, 2013

    This sounds like an amazing resource for me, more importantly for my work and patients I work with in the field of psychology – specifically, helping people improve their overall health & well being more holistically through mindfulness, exercise & Whole food choices. It’s refreshing to read your articles and your perspectives – looking forward to more.

    Thank you for sharing both verbally & visually!

    Reply
    • admin
      September 30, 2013

      Great, Elizabeth, I’m so happy to hear this work is useful! Keep checking in and follow on twitter! I make sure to update the blog whenever I add new content. Thanks for the comment, and good luck with your great work!

      Reply
  6. Susan Evans RN MSN
    September 16, 2013

    I taught healthy cooking to kids for over two years at a local Boys and Girls Club. I used ,mostly vegetables to cook. I would hold up the vegetable culprit and got the usual faces and groans. then we would roast the veggies. I took them out of the oven and much to my suprise the children could not eat them fast enough.. I told people that it was like i was cooking M and M’s. They loved them and ate them all and begged for more. I do not believe that kids will not eat veggies.. they just have not been exposed to them before.

    Reply
    • admin
      September 18, 2013

      Hear, hear!

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Susan. And keep getting those vegetables out there! I recently made the discovery that raw yellow squash is a tasty snack. Who knew??

      Reply
  7. Silver
    May 23, 2013

    Greetings Patrick,

    I enjoyed reading your guest blog post in SA. Nice balance of humor and fact without being preachy. Best of luck to you in your career and congratulations on your recent degree(s).

    Reply
  8. Ilene K
    May 23, 2013

    Hi Patrick. I found you via a link to your article in Scientific American from a Facebook friend. Your article really hits on the truth no one wants to see. I’ve always been interested in health and fitness probably because I was very ill as a child. Although I have never worked in the health/fitness industry I’m constantly pulled towards finding ways to improve my health. This has led me to become plant-based and a regular at the gym for the first time in my life. I’ve learned all about the Food industry and what a mess it really is. Just look at the weekly grocery advertisement to understand what’s wrong with how food is promoted and sold. Almost everything on sale is junk. There’s a very small space for produce while meat, chips, soda and cookies jump out at you from every page. It’s very hard for anyone to avoid the constant marketing of this non-food. And so few people know what is really healthy. Too many messages and no single place to get trustworthy information. I really like your thoughtful discussion here. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • Dana
      June 16, 2015

      Meat is not a non-food, but thanks for playing. It’s sustained us for a good million years now. When it’s winter and you live in a higher latitude and there’s nothing left to harvest from plants, at least you won’t starve. And people’s bodies develop better and have better resistance to disease when they eat it–not just the muscle meat, but the broth from the bones and some of the organs. Something that is always left out when we find ourselves discussing endlessly confounded research studies being twisted inside out in a desperate attempt to paint meat as a ruthless killer. No, you want to look at grain for that one. In every culture where grain has become a staple, human health has deteriorated. If the elderly in some grain-eating cultures manage to make it to 100 anyway, some of them ate organ meat all along while others did not stay independent the whole way.

      Reply
  9. Charlie Seltzer, MD
    May 22, 2013

    Patrick- Great stuff! If you ever want an opinion on the obesity trend, food industry, etc. please feel free to get in touch. Thanks!

    Charlie

    Reply
  10. Tonya Gonzales
    May 22, 2013

    I really enjoyed your blog on the Scientific American site and look forward to reading and learning more. Being a nutritional health coach in a retail setting is challenging and rewarding and provides me with a platform to educate people on the exact things you discussed. Have a blessed and joyous day!

    Reply
  11. Kathleen Nay
    May 21, 2013

    Hi Patrick! I, too, found your site by way of your “Dear American Consumers” article at the Scientific American blog. I became interested in the food industry and its effects on our environment and health when I was a Junior in college (studying things mostly unrelated). Five years later the food industry still fascinates (sometimes infuriates) me. Lately I’ve been considering grad school and am looking for programs that will allow me to apply my interests in food, environment, health, and policy. I don’t have a clear idea of where this will take me, but I’m inspired by what you’re creating! I plan to keep following you. Maybe one of these days I’ll find my own path.

    Thanks,
    Kathleen

    Reply
    • admin
      May 21, 2013

      Awesome, thanks for the comment Kathleen. Good luck finding a school that fits!

      Reply
  12. Mary Moore
    May 21, 2013

    Years ago, I did a study regarding the consciousness change in housewives during the late 40’s and 50’s. I happened to have a “Betty Crocker Cook Book” that targeted women after WWII in a subtle attempt to move them out of the workforce and back into the home, presumably to allow more jobs for the men coming home from the war. On the front of the book were pictures of a happy housewife preparing home cooked meals for her family. On the other side was a picture of a housewife heading out the door of her home toting a set of golf club, implying that with new technology (such as modern appliances, canned foods and packaged products) she could free herself from the “drudgery” of being a mere housewife.

    This was an interesting study. The movement was very subtle. Advertizing of new conveniences in major magazines of the time also lent to the shift in consciousness. With your interest in “how commercialization shapes the way people think”, perhaps this will add to your insight.

    Blessings.

    Reply
  13. WL Wiesser
    May 20, 2013

    Hi Patrick

    I loved you article in Scientific American and have been sharing this on both a personal and professional level.

    Like you, I am a passionate believer in good food for all and that people need to be responsible for their own health.
    Your article covers the issues perfectly – money in the corporate coffers to make supposedly healthy food and then more money for the medical sector when everyone gets sick!
    It is criminal and we need to convince others to vote away from this!

    Sadly, most people prefer to turn a blind eye as the alternatives – buying and preparing fresh food – seem too hard… a lot of people only start to become interested in the food conversation when there is a health issue at risk…. We need to be taking more preventative action.

    I’m a passionate Ambassador for the Food Revolution (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution/Food Foundation) as I believe we need to help educate those around us who are still walking around with their eyes closed and wallet wide open…

    Keep up your great work, I look forward to more inspiring articles from you.

    Way

    Reply
  14. Brian Donais
    May 20, 2013

    Patrick, I almost gave up hope that things could change because of all the greed in the food industry.
    Reading your article has been my argument with people for years we have been taken advantage of .

    Reply
    • admin
      May 22, 2013

      The conversation is changing! Don’t give up hope! It’s a big hill, but those are the most rewarding to summit!
      Thanks for the comment, and keep up the dialogue.

      Reply
  15. Caleb
    May 20, 2013

    Yes, Patrick, well-done on your “Dear American Consumers” article. Hopefully we can look forward to similar “letters” in the future from the other usual suspects mentioned at the end of your article — the pharmaceutical industry, the health and fitness industry, and the healthcare industry. And you certainly wouldn’t want to leave out the supplement industry… I think they’ve managed to make a dollar or two off of clever marketing.

    Tongue-in-cheek aside, thank you for speaking out. Keep up the good work.

    Caleb

    “The time is always right to do what is right.” –MLK Jr.

    _

    Reply
    • admin
      May 22, 2013

      Thanks Caleb! Love the MLK quote!

      Reply
  16. Danielle
    May 20, 2013

    Great blog in Scientific American. I am preparing a college course focused on writing about food, and this would be a perfect text to include when I cover issues related to tone and audience. Do you mind if I use it?

    I also appreciate what you have to say here about how your personal experiences led you back to college. I teach at a community college where we see a number of returning vets as well as students who were uninspired in high school. I think it’s important to help them see that a personal investment and genuine interest in what they are studying is, in the end, more important than find a “safe” major.

    Reply
    • admin
      May 20, 2013

      Hi Danielle,

      I’d be honored! Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  17. Emma Lowrey
    May 19, 2013

    Just found you, through your letter from the food industry. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • admin
      May 19, 2013

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  18. Heather
    May 19, 2013

    Great column in Scientific American! I’m a recovering 20-year journalist who covered health, among other things, and just loved it. You need a Facebook page… so I sent you a friend request instead. Great work!

    Reply
    • admin
      May 19, 2013

      Well, coming from an experienced professional, that means a lot. Thanks!

      Reply
  19. Molly
    May 2, 2013

    Patrick – I am really looking forward to reading your articles and musings about fitness! Working with you helped shape my attitude about health in such a positive, sustainable way. Glad I’ll be able to keep up with you long distance!

    Reply
    • admin
      May 2, 2013

      Thanks Molly! You were always one of my star clients, your attitude made my work not seem like work at all. I’m excited to see you embrace an active lifestyle, what, with the blog and your cycling classes. Way to go! And yes, great to keep in touch. Take care!

      Reply

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