All the Nutrition You Can Keep Down

Soylent 2.0 and powdered superfoods aren’t about feeding people

The only way to drink Soylent — with your mouth closed.

Welcome to the final era of food. Where companies will battle economically to decide which food-like product you will get to eat. Soylent says, they are the logical conclusion of the processed food era. No more added salt, added sugar or added fat. Just good old fashioned nutrition without the added bother of cooking or shopping or even chewing…

Future Food, now without flavor or flatulence

Let’s play a game: Imagine your favorite food. Mine is a medium rare burger with tart dill pickles, a rich dark steak sauce because of its smoky flavor is superior to mere ketchup. I like Dijon mustard for the same reason.

I need fresh tomato slices, thick and juicy, still crisp if I can find them. A Cheddar cheese is my preferred cheese but I will accept Jack or even Provolone. Any high quality lettuce that isn’t iceberg because no one should eat water in the shape of a lettuce leaf except a rabbit you don’t intend to eat…

The bun should be the richest nine grain I can find, something robust and bouncy, capable of containing the juices from this burger I plan to knock back with enthusiasm to the embarrassment of anyone who happens to be there with me. And if there are any french fries they shall join me in my orgiastic explosion of consumption.

Let’s contrast that with a blender, a dry white, grey or other pastel colored powder, assuming it can be mixed with anything other than water or maybe ice to blend it into a frothy concoction which shall coat every surface of your mouth drowning your tongue in a moment of not-food, but certainly nutritious slurry. Yum, right? This is the perfect eating experience for people who don’t have time for food.

Futurefood? Bah. These things aren’t food. Not on their best white-powder, allergen-dust peanut-free days.

These are powered nutritional supplements, at best.

This ultimate food creation discounts the true value of food is not just nutrition, but a relationship with food.

They are a pale substitute for eating anything resembling real food, lacking the textures, the flavors, the fibers our bodies would crave over time. Not to mention the psychological benefits creating our own food brings to our minds.

Substances like these undermine the other values diverse foods offer that we don’t often think about. Nature made food colorful for a reason, it satisfies our creative urges to find, mix, merge and mingle flavors. While we don’t do as much creative finding of food as we did in the past, the creation of food still lies within our province to do, if we were so inclined.

Naturally prepared food offers a better range of overall health benefits, assuming its prepared with healthy living in mind, than any chemically-derived mixtures created in a laboratory. This material is a psychological land grab trying to convince people they can have the same quality of life with half the preparation time, a sound which hearkens back to the fast and frozen foods crazes of the 1950s.

While both fast food and frozen food still exist, both are poor substitutes for personally prepared fresh foods. Some can be said to be dangerous to the health of the people eating them in large amounts, due to their salt, sugar and fat contents.

You want to eat food? Then take a note from the French and the Japanese. Find a restaurant where your food will be prepared from the freshest ingredients and prepared in a matter of minutes. Sit, drink a glass of wine and mingle with your friends. Nothing like friendship to aid digestion or so it’s been said.

The alternative, which my wife is prone to do: shop for the freshest ingredients and make it yourself to maximize its health benefits, reduce the amount of salt and additives (which you find you don’t need as much of) if the food is fresh, the real flavors of everything become noticeable and significant to the eating process.

Feeding the Organic Robots

Materials like these are just one more way of turning people into organic robots who won’t have to make time to eat. Just drink while you sit behind your desk slaving away until the company can create a robot to do exactly what you’re doing for less money.

Adding insult to injury, I believe the ultimate goal of these food-like products is to eventually be the only food that matters, to replace the ability to provide food for people using a mass production technology and to be the sole providers of food for the world, in the future.

Let’s face it. Companies want to be able to and do provide you with food, water and one day, if they play their hand right, the very air you breathe. Hello, space program! Hello, Oxygen Bar!

Don’t think so? Nestle buys groundwater, even in drought-stricken areas and then turns around and sells the very same water.

Monsanto wants to be THE seed company providing seeds for farmers all over the world. While they claim the ability to cause plants to fail to produce viable seeds is not a product they are selling, the capacity for such technology has existed since the 1990s. Monsanto does hold a patent on suicide seeds, but they claim they don’t and won’t ever use them. We all know such a change is likely just a lobbyist away from becoming reality.

Genetic use restriction technology AKA Suicide Seeds

Genetic use restriction technology (GURT), colloquially known as terminator technology or suicide seeds, is the name given to proposed methods for restricting the use of genetically modified plants by causing second generation seeds to be sterile.

The technology was developed under a cooperative research and development agreement between the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and Delta and Pine Land company in the 1990s, but it is not yet commercially available.[1]

The technology was discussed during the 8th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Curitiba, Brazil, March 20–31, 2006.

Wikipedia

Welcome to the Food Wars

Commerce in America has driven social changes around food since the end of World War II. Processed foods, canned foods, frozen food, fast food, microwave foods and other technologically derived food-like products which continue to fill the isles in supermarkets and continue to be worth BILLIONS to a variety of agri-businesses are always trying to find new ways to convince you to not prepare food yourselves.

Convenience became a commodity and is the heart of the engine of our commercial economy. Products like Soylent, Huel and other technology disruptives hoping to create vat grown meats, cricket powder, or any of a dozen other future-food companies are hoping to create a contending technology with the greatest convenience possible: just add water.

Yes, powered-food products are being marketed and targeted to the upwardly mobile, technologically-savvy, workers of the future who can’t or won’t cook, who lack the time, due to extreme demands from their new-world cubicle farms, to be able to maintain some degree of health, while they grind their lives away just a little bit more for their corporate-investment masters.

Just because you can disrupt an industry, doesn’t necessarily mean its a good thing. All I see is one more means of dehumanizing people by one day in the not-to-distant future forcing them to buy and eat a product which is nutritionally sound but culturally bereft of anything resembling humanity. This means it will fall soundly in the lap of the poor and disenfranchised while the rich get to keep eating what we once knew as food but can no longer afford thanks to their continued capitalistic efforts.

Soylent and other foods like it are trying to become a disruptive cog in the great food machine trying to find new ways to manufacture food-like products in order to mass produce food for parts of the world who can still be exploited by products like these.

But can anything really replace eating FOOD? The Answer-Man says NO. Not if you know what you’re doing in the kitchen.

Is there anyway I could be convinced to eat Soylent or any of its dozen imitators on a regular basis?

Unless I am on a relativistic starship conserving space for my four year journey to Alpha Centauri. Then and only then I am eating this crap every day I have to (with its attendant super-flatulence) until we arrive. Eight years for the opportunity to travel to another star are about the only way you could convince me this was a good deal. EVER.

One day in the distant future, I can see the Food Porn channel… Where we look at pictures of food, the way we used to like it and reminisce about the good old days. Maybe they will even get around to creating smell-o-vision…to enhance your not-food eating pleasure…

References and Interesting Reading :

DAY #30 of my STORY-A-DAY MAY, 2017.

Thaddeus Howze is the Answer-Man. He is also a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding.

You can follow him on Twitter or support his writings on Patreon. (Yes, supporting through Patreon gives him more time to create good stuff like this.) One of the best ways to show you care is to share this story.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store