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    "Seldom does a storytelling talent come along as potent and fully mature as Mike Brotherton. His complex characters take you on a voyage that is both fiercely credible and astonishingly imaginative. This is Science Fiction."
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    "Mike Brotherton, himself a trained astrophysicist, combines the technical acuity and ingenuity of Robert Forward with the ironic, postmodern stance and style of M. John Harrison. In this, his debut novel, those twin talents unite to produce a work that is involving on any number of levels. It's just about all you could ask for in a hardcore SF adventure."
    -- Paul di Fillippo, SCI-FI.COM

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Where is the Food of the Future?

June 6th, 2010

Both science fiction fans and the general public complain about the failure of predictions of future technology.   Where are the flying cars?   Colonies on the moon?   Jet packs?   And food in pill form?

Well, the last one is probably the least plausible of the above, and it could be argued that we have the other technologies, or could have them, if the will and economics were there to support their development.

The food thing is one for which we seem to have gone BACKWARDS.   Foods technology today has created overly processed stuff that is tasty, stuffed with calories, and making us FAT and UNHEALTHY.   My time abroad, especially in countries like Brazil, is a constant reminder about how Americans in particular are fat and unhealthy.   I myself am overweight, but let’s go for a ten-mile run and we can discuss the issue.   I’ll get the weight back down, but boy, I have to exercise and watch my diet like a supermodel.

I suppose I know the answer, given a minimal insight into human nature, but why isn’t there Purina Human Chow?

We have well-balanced food for our pets and livestock, even if we don’t always feed it to them, including special blends for overweight animals, old animals, young animals, and they eat it.   Male dogs seem to eat voraciously even if they’re not eating food.   Cats are pickier, but they’ll eat the healthy stuff when they’re hungry.

Why not people?   Why not something that will keep that fat-assed programmer in crunch time from packing on the pounds?   Why is the most heavily pushed source of sustenance nutrient-free carbonated sugar water?   Why is it is so damned hard to stay healthy eating at restaurants?   We weren’t meant to have the sedentary jobs that are so common today, and it’s killing us.

For the science fiction fans, many of whom are “fan-sized” as I have seen more than one convention slyly acknowledge in their restaurant guide with respect to seating options (no booths please!), can’t we make some healthy People Chow and sell it as Soylent Green?   How about some Logan Run style “protein from the sea?”

I’m afraid human nature is the real problem.   We’re selfish gluttons for the most part, and we take care of our pets better than ourselves.   We’re weak, pampered, self-indulgent.   I know I am.   Oh, I’m not terrible by most standards, but I could do better.   I want to do better.   I will do better.

Where’s the food of the future to help me out?   I don’ need a pill, but something tasty, healthy, cheap, that fills all my nutritional needs, like we seem to manage for our dogs and cats, would help a lot.   My palette is not sophisticated, and I can do any diet that is convenient and easy…and I’m sure we could afford to indulge once in a while if we started at a healthy body weight rather from inflated American bodies.

Again, where is the food of the future?


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