If "you are what you eat," as the old adage has it, then what does that make us?
As consumers of heavily processed, chemically treated, GMO-infested gunk, we in the modern, developed world have "solved" the problem of hunger that plagued our forebears since time immemorial by handing our food sovereignty over to a handful of corporate conglomerates. The result of this handover has been the creation of a factory farming system in which genetically engineered crops are doused in glyphosate and livestock are herded into tiny pens where they live their entire lives in fetid squalor, pumped up with antibiotics and growth hormones until they are slaughtered and shipped off to the supermarkets and fast food chains.
There have been any number of documentaries and exposés produced in recent decades detailing the dangers of this industrial farming system that we find ourselves beholden to, any number of activists ringing the alarm about these problems, any number of campaigns and marches organized to raise awareness about these issues. Yet still, nation after nation gets fatter and sicker as traditional diets based on fresh produce sourced from local farmers are displaced by the fast food pink slime sourced from the industrial farms of the Big Food oligopoly.
But as bad as things may be, they're about to get even worse. As crisis after crisis disrupt the food supply, the "solution" to these problems has already been prepared. New technologies are coming online that threaten to upend our understanding of food altogether. Technologies that could, ultimately, begin altering the human species itself.
This is an exploration of The Future of Food.
Food As A Weapon
So what is food, anyway?
To a normal human being whose head is screwed on straight, that sounds like a dumb question. Food is fuel for the body, obviously.
Oh, sure, we could get fancy about it. Scientists might talk about the caloric content of different foods, or measure their macronutrient levels. Sociologists might point to food as the basis of human community, drawing people together into families, tribes and communities to break bread and engage in social relations. Theologians may even discuss the transubstantiation of bread and wine and the communion with God that such sacred acts of consumption make possible. . . .