Greetings From The Future!

Dear People of the Past (09/28/2010 if I set my timechrometer correctly),

Ahoy! I’m writing from the year 2081 from the marvelous United States of Canmerica (Canada and the USA merged into one country after the great war of 2023). I was teleporting around the other day when I popped upon a rusty can on the ground. I haven’t seen a can in years so I picked it up and found a note inside!

The note was from some dude named Nick who asked the finder of the note to travel back in time and report on the state of food in the future! He gave me all his blog information which is great news because while we haven’t learned how to send people back in time yet, we can send data backward, which is how I’m writing this post.

NOTE: For all those people that are going to pick a part how this is possible, just stop. You’ll learn in a few years that Einstein was wrong anyway.

Now I don’t have much time because the season premier of The Simpsons is starting soon (still going strong!) and I don’t want to miss it. So I’ll just quickly answer Nick’s question and tell you all about some of the food that you have to look forward to in your future!

As you might guess, there’s some good news and some bad news! Let’s get to it!

We Solved World Hunger! Seriously. Nobody has died from malnutrition in the last 20 years. This is largely due to the fact that food is much better distributed now from country to country via a large series of tubes. If I recall from my history textbooks, some of you might think that world hunger is a problem of supply (which is a common argument that was made during the push for Genetically Modified Foods), but in reality it was always a problem of management. We went through a phase where we doubled the amount of food produced through rapid self-reproducing wheat and more people starved. Figure that one out.

But Everybody’s Fat. After decades and decades of engineering, the food we eat now is some of the most flavorful of all time. Nobody exercises (I had to look that word up) and honestly it’s fine. I’m seriously curious why there was such a hub-bub about fat during your time. I take a solid mix of 17 different powders, creams, and pills that keep my body humming along at a perfect pace!

We have more varieties of food than ever before! After a few mishaps scientists actually started nailing the genetic engineering of food! These days you can get any food you want. Want corn that tastes like butter straight off the stalk? Done.

99% of the food grown is corn. I hope you like corn! Engineers spent most of their time on corn so that’s what they start with these days. They’ve made corn taste like anything you want. Broccoli corn. Beef corn. And even real corn flavored corn!

We’ve Completely Cured Cancer! It’s true! After decades we finally figured out how to nail that little bugger. No cancer!

Everybody had cancer. About 60 years ago there was a tiny mishap with some Genetically modified soybeans that gave everyone who ate it various cancers years after it was consumed. That obviously sucked, but let’s just say that there was a sizeable interest in curing cancer for good! Oh also… soybeans are extinct now.

Now some of you might think that this all sounds horrible, but you have to remember before your time there have been plagues and wars and tons of problems… and solutions to those problems! It turns out that people are fairly good at both creating problems and solving problems and that’s what we’ve continued to do until my time! I have no doubt that we’ll continue to do the same until we’re blinked off the Earth.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to write your readers. I hope you all have many great meals.

Cheers!
Futureman

From Nick. Well, I’m glad that Futureman wrote in because I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently on my views on Genetically Modified Foods and all that business. In short, I guess it all makes me a bit squimish, but at the end of the day, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve messed with things that we probably shouldn’t be messing with.

So who knows. Frankly I tried to avoid foods that are genetically modified, but with the labeling laws in the US right now it’s almost impossible to know what you’re getting.

I of course have to ask. What are your thoughts on Futureman’s world? Complete science fiction?

12 comments on “Greetings From The Future!

  1. "99% of the food grown is corn" This is almost true now.

    Your opinion on Genetically Modified Foods? Another bastion of pure reason tumbles to the chaos of fear and misunderstanding. Learn how to genetically modify something. Then see how you feel.

    1. I don't really have a desire to genetically modify anything… Even if I did know how to do it I think I would still feel squimish about doing it.

      And by the way, I'm talking about making modifications that can't happen naturally… I realize that people have been splicing plants together for a very long time.

  2. Futureman's world seems a little far-fetched but at the same time, completely conceivable! I try to use as much fresh produce as I can and I don't think I've had anything processed for dinner in quite some time!

  3. isn't the extinction of soybeans incompatible with the growing of corn? how did you solve crop rotation? :-P

  4. Laura, use peanuts. :P Any legume will work.

    Also, I don't really have much of an issue with GMOs, but I do know how it's done and have done it myself. As long as a full spectrum of studies are done on environmental, human health, and safety impacts, and the food or derived food product is labeled accurately with any allergy warnings, it's just like anything else to me. Allow the consumer to actually choose what s/he purchases. I'm a big fan of consumer knowledge!

    Some people have ethical concerns over GMO foods… But, then, non-GMO foods would be like Kosher or Hallal foods, right?

    Although I think a "barbeque chicken pizza" variety of corn wouldn't be all that good. The taste, yeah, but what of the texture!? Sometimes eating isn't always about flavour, Futureman. Did your Canmerican scientists think of that?? Or did that soycancer wipe out people's sense of texture?

    1. Thanks for the comment Kenneth. As long as full spectrum of studies is done on health, and they are labeled correctly, I don't have a problem with them either. Unfortunately I'm not entirely sure that these things are being done now (I know the labeling isn't being done).

  5. My personal take is that we've been engineering plants and animals for 10,000 years via selective breeding, animal husbandry, &c. and more recently by blasting seeds with radiation. We have the potential to do some incredible things with this technology. My main concern has to do with the intellectual property law in the field right now. Giant corporations like Monsanto and Dupont own most of these patents, and the terms by which they license them to farmers are horribly restrictive and designed almost to reduce agriculture to a state of serfdom. Like everything though, it seems like open-sourcing is the way of the future. Does Futureman have any comments about what IP looks like for genes and crops in 2081?

    1. Not really, but I do agree that it seems a bit skewed at the moment. Movies like Food Inc and The Future of Food do a great job of presenting the problem…

      No idea what the solution would be. The idea of open-sourcing seeds is kind of interesting to me…

      1. In "Whole Earth Discipline," Stewart Brand has a really cool breakdown of the genetic engineering debate. He looks at it from a wider POV than just food production, but a lot of his points changed my mind from the typical lefty anti-GMO standpoint. I know that there are some scientists that are refusing to license their new plants to big companies, instead distributing them where they are needed the most. One out in California produced a strain of flood-resistant rice that she sent out to southern Asia. The book has great sections on nuclear and urbanization too.

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