Wednesday, November 7, 2007
"Sunshine go away today, I don't feel much like eating..."
This past weekend we watched the Danny Boyle movie "Sunshine". If you haven't seen it yet, it's about 8 astronauts who travel into the sun to basically "re-start" it as the sun seems to be dying. If the sun dies, we die, and so on.
It was a mostly creepy and dark- but overall wonderful and thought-provoking- movie. A few plot holes, but no big deal as it was so very well done I don't really care. I don't want to spoil any of it for you, so I say just see it when you can- it is well worth your time.
The next day after seeing this film, I had a lot of thoughts going through my mushy brain, but mostly this movie got me thinking about food.
How does that work, you ask? Food? I thought this was a sci-fi-esque journey to save the sun?
Well, there was a scene in the movie where one of the crew was cooking dinner for everyone else. For some reason I found this to be odd. Not odd in that I didn't think that people in the future wouldn't eat, but I always assumed that astronauts would eat mushy concentrates out of foil packets and drink Tang. I just thought that their time would be better spent concentrating on not screwing up the mission and such. What to cook for dinner seems like it would take a back seat to the "bigger" issues.
But maybe not.
Maybe food is the one thing that is constant, the one thing we all can relate to. Maybe we all can't cook, but we all have to eat to live (though I don't know if me eating 3 pounds of jalapeño hummus and a bag of pita chips in one sitting is totally necessary for mankind to survive- the jury is still out on that one).
Everyone in every country has probably at one point or another gathered around a table of some sort to eat as a group. Everyone has favorite things that they like to eat, if given a choice. Everyone knows the joy of that first bite of something so wonderful and delicious that it makes you close your eyes and slow down just to make the moment last just a few seconds more...
But what if it weren't an issue?
What if tomorrow, or next week, the "perfect" foodstuff were developed that solved all of the world's hunger problems? What if Climate change made it so only certain raw materials could be produced- namely, this "perfect" food bar that for the sake of argument we'll call "Awesomebar"? What if they were rationed out so that no one went hungry, but no one got more than they needed?
This "Awesomebar" would simultaneously solve world hunger and the obesity problem. Everyone would get every possible nutrient they need: vitamins, minerals, fiber, calcium, protein, carbs, etc...
Food as we know it would be gone- poof!
Replaced by "Awesomebar"- now in cherry flavor!
What I'm mainly trying to get at here is: What would we do with all that free time?
Think about it- most of us (not just those of us who have made it a career) think about food, and we spend a significant portion of our lives in the pursuit of food. Shopping, dining out, cooking, thinking about cooking (what the hell to have for dinner again??), reading recipes, watching cooking on t.v, and on and on and on.
And let's not forget the time many of us spend obsessing about what the food does to us physically and emotionally. What if we all were at the weight we were supposed to be at and that was that? What if we all were that "perfect" size we strive so hard for? What if we got only the calories we needed and no more? What if the days of hating ourselves for eating half of a family-size pizza with extra cheese were gone?
I wonder if the world would see a renaissance the likes of which has never been seen before.
Would we all finally find time to write that novel, pursue that degree, finish those projects around the house, take up yoga, volunteer, spend more time with your family and friends, cure cancer, create art, broker world peace, finish our thesis, watch a "Battlestar Galactica" marathon or clean out our closets?
Would we use the time wisely or not?
Or, would we just sit around, remembering the "good old days" when pizza and hummus existed?
Maybe I'm thinking too much.
Maybe I need a snack while I ponder this...
Damn, I sure could go for an "Awesomebar".