Sunday, March 3, 2013

Horse Meat and Soylent Green

Soylent Green And An Ugly Future
Horse meat mixed with beef was first found last month in Ireland, then Britain, and has now expanded steadily across the Continent. The situation in Europe has created unease among American consumers over whether horse meat might also find its way into the food supply in the United States. How good is your memory, or how far back do your reference points go, do you remember Soylent Green?

Soylent Green is the name of an American science fiction film made in 1973 starring Charlton Heston. The film overlays the police procedural and science fiction genres as it depicts the investigation into the murder of a wealthy businessman in a failed utopian future. We see a world suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans, and a hot climate caused by greenhouse effect. Much of the population in this future world survives on processed food rations, including one named "soylent green". Heston plays the part of detective Robert Thorn who disobeys orders and investigates the Soylent Corporation.

Detective Thorn discovers that Soylent's oceanographic reports are fraudulent and that the oceans no longer produce the plankton from which Soylent Green is reputedly made. Detective Thorn sneaks aboard a garbage truck to a human body disposal-center, where he sees human corpses converted into the "food stuff" Soylent Green. Thorn then retreats into a cathedral filled with homeless people, where he is attacked by agents from the Soylent corporation and is seriously injured. When the police arrive, the dying Thorn urges those around him to spread the word that "Soylent Green is people!".

Yes, he had discovered the processed food ration we were eating was made from human remains. This should not be interpreted as a plea for more government, but as concern about overpopulation and the damage being done to our environment. That being said, bottom-line is that it is hard to know what is in our food. I'm aware that we have inspectors, but for fun, and to stretch your imagination, think about a distant future at a time that food is scarce. In such a situation we might not look as closely or ask as many questions. I could go on but, sometimes writing less is more.

Footnote; I'm a huge supporter of moving towards more sustainable lifestyles. If you have time please read my post urging politicians to encourage conservation of our natural resources;

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