It’s the question that brought you here
Last time, in light of the philosophy behind the product Soylent, I posed the question: “Would you voluntarily stop participating in “food” and all its intricacies to, instead, consume a tasteless, synthetic “food substitute” if it improved your health, saved you money and time, could potentially solve world hunger, and help heal the planet?”
From a logical perspective, of course I want to improve my health, have more time to the things I want to do, save money on meals and groceries, end hunger, and restore the planet to its natural glory. It’s a no brainer! The cost of replacing the pleasures of food with a bland food substitute, such as Soylent, is a minuscule sacrifice when seen within the context of the greater good . . . or it it?
In essence, it would appear that the goal of such products is to allow humans to exist and flourish on the planet without participating as part of it.
Keep in mind that this is a purely hypothetical situation. For the purpose of this thought experiment, I am making the assumptions that the food substitute does, in fact, provide everything needed for the body to obtain optimal health while being light on resources.
In some circles, this situation might seem ideal. “Leave the planet alone”, they would say, ” humans are bad for the environment!” Yet, “we want our freedom and our things and our pleasures!”
Theoretically, a perfect version of Soylent (it’s still being developed and refined) would use minimal resources while still giving people the choice to do what humans do ie., love, hate, play, fight, cry, laugh etc. etc. If we were to take this a step further, Soylent utopian civilization would exist on spaceships powered by zero point energy so that we would not have to set foot on the Earth and have zero environmental impact by having a closed system and recycling everything (including ourselves) to feed it back into the system .
Even better, perhaps in Soylentland we live pods and plug ourselves into a virtual reality as we receive our nutrition intravenously. In other words, humans are a plague on the planet and we need to be quarantined, but we are also self serving so, of course, we want to live and play out our dramas.
Opting in to life
Ok, that was a fun trip to Soylent land, now back to reality.
Humans are a part of the planet and we need to participate fully in our lives here on Earth if we are to learn the lessons we need to flourish and grow. Trashing the planet and exploiting life, including humans, plants, animals etc. is not an option but opting out and removing the human element entirely by isolating ourselves from nature is an equally self destructive path.
Soylent is a far cry from healthy nutrition but, sadly, it is probably better than the standard American diet and the majority of American’s would likely see improvements in their health by replacing a day or two of eating with Soylent supplementation. I’m not advocating Soylent, I’m merely making a very sad observation.
If we, as humankind, want to have amazing health and a vibrant planet we simply need to work on our relationships with each other and with nature. We need to educate ourselves by reconnecting with our environment and with our inner wisdom to establish harmony.
If we want better nutrition, we need to work on our relationship with food, not avoid it. If we want to protect the environment, we can start by taking simple steps to reduce the pollution we create in our daily lives. If we want more time and money, we need to get our priorities straight and take concrete steps to realize our desires.
Just my two cents.
Check out part I of this series: https://earthskypeople.org/life-without-food-soylent-i/
Disclaimer: The information in this post is based on the author’s personal experience, opinions, thoughts, and conclusions and are not necessarily shared by EarthSky People.