This post has been edited to add the Daily Prompt for today, coincidentally enough:
I have to wonder if Rob Rhinehart, the man behind the “food of the future,” Soylent, has the same attitude about sex as he does about food. According to the software engineer/food hater, food (or maybe more precisely, shopping and cooking) is a “hassle” which can be avoided by limiting your diet to his creation, Soylent. What is Soylent, you ask? Here’s an explanation from the crowdfunding website for the powdered drink mix that promises to “Free Your Body.”
What if you never had to worry about food again?
For many people, on many occasions, food is a hassle, especially when trying to eat well. Suppose we had a default meal that was the nutritional equivalent of water: cheap, healthy, convenient and ubiquitous. Soylent will be personalized for different body types and customizable based on individual goals. It allows one to enjoy the health benefits of a well balanced diet with less effort and cost.
Rhinehart has managed to find enough people that need to be liberated from food that he’s managed to raise nearly half a million dollars, though I won’t be donating to the cause, especially after reading the review of the product over on Gawker, which says the drink looks like semen and tastes “like the homemade nontoxic Play-Doh you made, and sometimes ate, as a kid.”
There’s a lot of high minded talk over on the funding website about solving world hunger with Soylent, as though Rhinehart is the first person to have ever thought of creating a nutritional drink mix that could be easily transported and stored in areas of the world where food and refrigeration are unreliable. The problem with these sorts of drink mixes, which is readily apparent to anyone who has ever seriously worked on hunger and food scarcity issues, is that water is not “cheap, healthy, convenient and ubiquitous” in these same parts of the world, and without clean water, drink mixes are just so much dust.
But here in the First World, where clean water is just a turn of the tap away, there is something that appeals to me about never having to cook or clean or go grocery shopping again. I could just order a case of Soylent to be delivered every couple of weeks or so, and stir up four glasses of it for dinner every night. No more answering that annoying “What’s for dinner?” question, or cajoling my toddler to try “just a bite.” No more cleaning tomato sauce splatters from the cooktop, or washing by hand that expensive set of German knives, or waiting impatiently for my cheeseburger-loving husband to find something, anything, he will eat off the menu of the new Moroccan restauraunt I dragged him too.
Since Rhinehart has taken the drudgery out of food preparation, I hope he will now turn his considerable talents toward liberating us from other tiresome household tasks. If Monsanto can create some sort of mutant wheat which will probably make us grow gills or thirst for human blood if we eat it, why can’t we create a type of grass that will stop growing once it reaches a few inches of height? And why don’t we have real stain and stink resistant clothing yet? And why can’t we make it so my husband doesn’t hassle me for sex when the finale of Orphan Black is about to come on?
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