Jurassic Park Meets Soylent Green
All Artificial Mean Cuisine
Today’s journalistic special is a colorful tasting sprinkled with generous portions of the cold, hard truth requiring an acquired taste but which strengthens the intellectual, ethical and moral immune systems against governmental and food industry attempts at misdirection. Without further ado, we begin with our journalistic tasting as follows:
APPETIZER | AMUSE BOUCHE
It’s in the best interests of governments worldwide to insure that their citizenry can purchase affordable culinary essentials otherwise they risk social unrest, instability and potential regime change. As pre-condition for economic aid for emerging economies the World Bank and IMF mandate cuts in subsidies which apply to essentials such as foods and cooking oil. For this reason these emerging countries comply as a last resort because of the inevitable immediate and fierce social unrest.
A dark scenario now looms over developed countries because of supply chain problems that are resulting in exploding food prices, and sometimes outright shortages, which are creating an ever-increasing percent of the food insecure population.
The illusion of the bottomless breadbasket of plentiful and cheap food are over. A tsunami of simultaneous occurring crisis have brought about a host of interconnected problems which compound the crisis: higher global temperatures, longer-lasting extreme conditions ranging from heat waves to cold snaps and from droughts to floods. Furthermore chemically stressed farmland and pesticide resistant pests have exceeded the ability of modern science to mitigate the shortfall in food production.
On the other hand by reducing the many uncontrollable risks of cultivating natural foods the food industry with the collaboration of biotech industries with favorable government laws thanks to powerful lobbying efforts, are making windfall profits – the proverbial icing on the cake with the imposition of a new culinary way of life on society.
For this reason, the aforementioned problems and fragile inter-connectivity of domestic and international supply chains which threaten food supplies is a huge technical impetus to scale up the production of more lab-produced and plant-based foods that are considerably less affected by floods and droughts.
THE MAIN COURSE
The thought of consuming 100% animal-free- foods may seem alien and perhaps repulsive however most Americans have been weaned on artificial ingredients in nutrient poor foods for decades. It’s called junk food, farm-raised fish & animals growing to Jurassic sized beasts loaded with antibiotics and growth hormones, and neon-colored fruits & vegetables that are genetically modified organism (GMO).
Furthermore the greater the percent of artificial ingredients the better it tastes not to mention the “unheralded” emulsifiers which makes chewing far easier which in turn encourages greater consumption of calorie-laden, nutritionally empty foods. In other words the food industry is literally and figuratively shoving artificial foods down our throats.
Just as tech firms hide behind the proprietary nature of their AI software, the food industry continues to battle furiously to conceal the actual ingredients in their processed food. This legal protection shields their proprietary “black box” through the creation of something unique to maintain their capitalistic competitive advantage while at the same time assuring that their Franken-product is no threat to public health.
Saving the Environment
The food industry’s misdirection is a guilt ploy in saving the environment from irreversible degradation and how present-day farming methods to feed over 7.4 billion earthlings is economically and environmentally unsustainable resulting in skyrocketing food prices.
On one hand consumers are lazy. But on the other many of them have been forced by economic necessity to either work longer hours or take two jobs that leave little time for food preparation. This is why processed food is the devil’s gift to the time-challenged citizenry. The more processed the more convenient and cheaper.
The decades old trend has been the seamless psychological and culinary transition from real foods with a modicum of artificial ingredients for the purposes of extending freshness during transportation to lab created foods. Present-day the food industry has made such quantum leaps in lab and plant-based produced foods that they’ve successfully been able to make cardboard taste like filet mignon.
For these reasons convincing Americans to enthusiastically purchase and consume Frankenfoods from appetizer-to-dessert is a fait accompli.
In the following chart entitled American Diets provided by the Statista Consumer Global Survey, almost 60% of Americans do not follow any nutrition rules.
Supporting this survey is the 2020 US sales figures of plant-based meats and dairy alternatives in the following chart entitled Americans Develop a Taste for Dairy and Meat Alternatives provided by the Plant Based Foods Association and Good Food Institute conducted by SPINS, a firm that provides market measurement and analysis. These firms are experiencing double-digit growth underscoring the sad fact that Americans will eat anything that tastes good inferring that the culinary changeover is a matter of perception, not health.
Faux Red Meat for Red Blooded Americans
Whether it’s the last straw or chicken wing, the last faux culinary frontier is convincing Americans to consume lab-grown meat products. Sadly it appears that the food industry is winning according to the following chart entitled Meat the Future? provided by Choudhury et al. The Business of Cultured Meat. Trends on Biotechnology.
To summarize the contents of the report associated with the above chart:
· Singapore became the first country in the world to approve the sale of lab grown meat.
· According to a survey lab-grown beef is most appealing to consumers of whom 71% indicated that they would try it.
· The global market includes religious groups which avoid certain meats. Lab-grown meats may not their religious requirements.
This trend is an updated (and more palatable) version of Soylent Green with food created in a lab instead of from corpses.
In a series of unforgettable advertising campaigns, Wendy’s spoofed on how their competition served meats that were of miniscule portions as depicted in the unforgettable “Where’s the Beef?”. In another skit Wendy’s shows a customer receiving a questionable response from the manager to his inquiry as to the ingredients and whether they were real meat in “Parts is Parts”.
The Indoctrinated and Poisoned Youth
The food industry, an oligopoly dominated by a handful of firms, has already programmed youth through their palates the consumption of copious amounts of-processed food into adulthood through clever marketing and culinary black arts, misleading yet legal labeling of ingredients.
According to various independent studies, the vast majority of American youth are consuming ultra-processed foods in the form of soft drinks, chips, candy, sweetened breakfast cereals, fries and chicken nuggets all which contain trans fats and are high in calories and low in nutrients. These are consumed mostly at fast food venues making it difficult for parents to institute a healthier eating program. Finally because of the high volume of hidden sugar, the youth’s craving for these foods continue unabated leading to a vicious cycle of addiction.
The food industry and their shareholders benefit tremendously but leaves the government “holding the bag” on the back-end with the exponentially growing public health fiasco being played out present-day. The health issues manifest well before middle age in the form of diabetes, cancer and heart damage exacerbated by the fact that electronic device obsessed youth are more sedentary than ever.
Jurassic Park Meets Soylent Green
According to an article in The Economist entitled Reviving Extinct Species May Soon Be Possible dated 19 June 2021. In a process unofficially labeled “de-extinction” scientists are using one of two methods, in-vitro fertilization or in-vitro gametogenesis, to bring back extinct species.
The seriousness of the matter is articulated in an article entitled Synthetic biology’s Latest unicorn Mammuty closes $100M Series A for Cell-Based Meats from Extinct Animals, published ironically on 1 April 2019 discusses this firm’s efforts at achieving a version of “Soylent Green” from the 1968 sci-fi to reality dystopian movie technology to feed an over-populated, over-polluted world cheaply while at the same time achieving enormous profits. Similarly the power of technology allows them to create fossil DNA from dead organisms.
If one were to push culinary creation envelope one could create lab grown meat using the DNA from Jurassic era animals. One can then feast on the over-sized Brontosaurus burgers, gamey saber tooth tiger steaks or T-Rex tartare. Of course how do these culinary scientists know what Brontosaurus beef or saber tooth tiger sirloin actually tasted like? This is the very question posed in the prescient movie The Matrix (1999) with respect t, “How do robots know what chicken tastes like?”
This dining experience goes beyond culinary nostalgia. It’s ultimate caveman diet and beyond which takes nostalgia to another level. It’s the ultimate processed food for adventurous gourmands.
Private Ownership of Essential Resources
In the classic movie Chinatown (1971) that takes place in 1937 wealthy and morally corrupt landowner Noah Cross gobbled up real estate in Southern California. Present-day 21st century a similar pattern has emerged in which billionaires and large corporations have acquired, legally through the government’s blessing and generous tax incentives, own essential resources for profit and control, not the public good. It’s called public-private partnership, a fancy term used for private industry to carry out government desires without voter interference and for the benefits of its shareholders.
Furthermore their high-biotech efforts would not be worth pursuing if not for the explosive profit possibilities. Lab grown food there would be little need for so-called governmental oversight on the humane treatment of farm animals such as living conditions, cost of accommodations, reduction of personnel to tend to these animals, purchase and administration of food and drugs.
Owning yachts, private jets and power sports autos are one thing; the acquisition of large tracts of farmland by billionaires like Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Jeff Bezos, et al or Nestles ownership of water resources, an essential survival source such as food and water is yet another.
Tiered Food Pricing
Depending on the financial status of the consumer there will probably be tiered food pricing both at the supermarket and in restaurants as follows:
They will be the only one who would be able to afford the highest quality organic foods grown on special farms worldwide providing them the healthiest diet.
The Merely Well-Off
Organic foods will be outside the price range for this socio-economic group but they would be able to purchase at premium prices non-artificial food, fruits & vegetables still laden with pesticides and fish, meat & poultry loaded with antibiotics.
The Salt of the Earth
The only affordable foods would be the animal-free, lab-grown artificial foods composed of a “black box” of ingredients with the governmental “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval.
A prime example of this trend is as follows: Since May Mssr Daniel Humm, chef and owner of the ultra-exclusive NYC restaurant Eleven Madison, has gone almost exclusively plant-based “animal free” with a 10-course tasting which cost $335. For those red meat diehards he still maintains a lesser publicized secret “beef room” in a private dining room that serves real tenderloin – a red meat speakeasy.
The Vintage Culinary Experience
In the not-too-distant future for those of certain generations, namely the Millennials and Boomers, will yearn for the real deal red meat if they can afford it whether purchased at a specialty shop or high-end restaurant as embraced by the traitorous rebel in The Matrix who was “bribed” by Agent Smith with a steak dinner.
Finally, if this delicious scene in the independent movie Hell or High Water (2016) isn’t the epitome of American cuisine, I don’t know what is.
© Copyright 2021 Cerulean Council LLC
The Cerulean Council is a NYC-based think-tank that provides prescient, beyond-the-horizon, contrarian perspectives and risk assessments on geopolitical dynamics and global urban security.