You are What You Cook for Me

I’m easily lured by food
bad for the body
but good for the soul
You are what you cook for me

I’ve never had the self-control
To choose what is good
Over what feels good

Sweet, and savory
Spicy, and so soul comforting
You really are what you cook for me
And I will ever over-indulge

***

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Written in response to The Daily Post Prompt: Fry

Featured image via Unsplash

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The Convenience of Soylent and What it Means to be Human

What if someone offered you the opportunity to get all of your daily nutrition from one simple drink? No more trying to decide what’s for dinner. No more worrying about cleaning your pots and pans. No more slaving over a hot stove. Would you be intrigued, I know I am.

It may sound like something out of a science fiction movie but finally it is real, I give you Soylent!

I first heard of Soylent years ago. There was an article/interview in one of the many science-y magazines I buy. Created by Robert Rhinehart in response to a need for “a simpler food source” the article made it sound like a miracle drink! “A food product (classified as a food, not a supplement, by the FDA) designed for use as a staple meal by all adults”. Each serving of Soylent provides maximum nutrition with minimum effort.

Never again would I have to worry about getting all of my nutrients, plus I would save a ton of time since I didn’t have to cook or clean any longer :)

Soylent.com Free your body

Soylent.com Soylent Powder 1.5 details

I wanted this so badly.

My girlfriend thought  it was weird. She said it would probably give me cancer. A lot of people have reacted to me the same way. I didn’t understand at first but after talking about it more and thinking it over I think most people’s aversion to Soylent is that it’s just so different. No one can imagine a life that is not centered around food. To not eat real food seems to fly in the face of what it means to be a human.

The act of finding, preparing, and eating food is a very social activity. Without that what would we do all day? How would we gather? What would we talk about if not the taste of a steak or a new recipe we discovered? What would we have to look forward to if not a nice greasy pizza or a juicy burger piled high with more beef patties than any person needs? Not worrying about food or finding new ways to prepare just seems too weird.

soylent-food

I was so excited when I discovered this amazing discovery but after talking to friends and family I felt like I have broken some social rule and quickly felt ashamed. So I let it go.

My interest was piqued again recently when Soylent 2.0 was released, promising to not only give you all of your nutrients but also provide a glowing feeling from helping the environment too. It’s vegan, so no animals are being slaughtered, and it’s made partially from sustainable algae! I wanted it even more!

Not only are its ingredients vegan, Soylent 2.0 reaches an unprecedented level of environmental sustainability with half of its fat energy coming from farm-free, algae sources. This next generation agricultural technology has the potential to reduce the ecological impact of food production by orders of magnitude, signifying a major step towards a future of abundance, a world where optimal nutrition is the new normal.

soylent-berries

Then again when The Next Web published a think piece slamming Rhienhart for a recent post on his blog. The piece described Rhinehart as “someone so disconnected from reality that he might as well be hooked into an Oculus Rift 24/7, bathing in a bath of temperature controlled Soylent”. Harsh much?

Yeah Rhinehart might be a little kooky but he’s made Soylent his whole life! I worry though that I could go a little kooky too if I forego the pleasure and social aspects of food for the convenience of “grey goop”. I mean I understand the benefits but Rhinehart acts like preparing food is a task only suitable for people burning in the lower levels of hell.

I have not set foot in a grocery store. Nevermore will I bumble through endless confusing aisles like a pack-donkey searching for feed while the smell of rotting flesh fills my nostrils and fluorescent lights sear my eyeballs and sappy love songs torture my ears. Grocery shopping is a multi-sensory living nightmare. There are services that will make someone else do it for me but I cannot in good conscience force a fellow soul through this gauntlet.

It’s not that bad dude! I mean yeah sometimes Wal-Mart can be a bit annoying, especially on a Sunday afternoon, but a “multi-sensory living nightmare” it is not. I worry I will be buying a one-way trip to kooky town with this guy with my first shipment of Soylent. This is what keeps me from giving it a try.

That and the fear of losing a basic part of what it means to be human. Food is a form of expression. The foods we like and dislike, way we procure food, the way we store it, prepare it, and even the way we talk about it is both unique and quite common. It’s one of the ways we connect with those around us. It is one of those basic things that reminds us all that we are more alike than we think.

So for now I choose eating my food the the old fashioned, inconvenient way.

You can learn more about Soylent at soylent.com and check out Rhinehart’s blog at blog.soylent.com.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”

You Say You Are Not an Artist but….

The smells from the kitchen make my mouth water. I wander in to find you chopping vegetables while the meat cooks in a pan, and one of your shows plays from Netflix on your iPad. I know from past experience that dinner will be delicious, even if it’s something I’ve never had before.

You say you have no passions, and you are in awe of the fact that I can write and draw. You have no idea that when I watch you cook, I feel as though I am seeing a masterpiece being created right in front of me.

I try to eat the ingredients while dodging your attempts to smack my hand away. You yell at me, “I need those for the dinner!”. I smile while walking away with a mouthful of shredded cheese. You shouldn’t create such succulent smells if you don’t want me to get ravenously hungry.

The growls from my stomach and the intense desire to eat have forced me to steal bits of diced onions from the cutting board and half-cooked meat from the pan. I love you for that.

You call me to the kitchen when it is ready, and I immediately get up to make a plate. I know you will be angry if I allow the food to get cold. This masterpiece is meant to be consumed hot and fresh. If it gets cold, it will be ruined, and you will be sad no matter how many times I tell you it is still good.

You say you are not an artist, but I can’t help but be reminded by the anger I have read from writers and painters whose work has been misused and misinterpreted.

I make a plate piled high with the selection of foods you’ve prepared. As usual, it is something more than the average dinners most people eat every night. There is always some new ingredient I have never had. It is always a twist on the ordinary.

I think about how all artist are inspired by other artists and how the trick is to take something someone else has done and make it your own. You say you are not an artist, but I know without knowing that your rendition of this recipe is different from any other’s.

I eat fast because I am hungry and smelling this meal for the past hour has aroused a sort of excitement in me. I make sure to taste every bite though because I know you will ask how I like it. I recognize your distinctive style in the meal. Pasta cooked just right, firmer than anyone else’s I’ve had. The vegetables are firmer too and fresh. You never use anything from a can. The flavors are strong but sophisticated, usually containing herbs like basil and thyme. There has been no salt added because you see no point and because you think it’s cheating.

You say you are not an artist, but I have learned that flavors are as diverse as any painter’s color palette, and your palette is unique to you.

After dinner I lay on the couch, too full to move and too satisfied to want to. You are happy and proud; I know you are from the look on you face. I praise you for the meal you have prepared while I wonder how you do it. And like any artist, if I ask you will shrug your shoulders and tell me nothing you have done is that special and that I could do it too if only I would try.

What you don’t know is that like any artist you have a passion and a drive that makes what you do possible.

What you don’t know is that eating your food is like looking at Antioch’s Venus de Milo, or Van Gogh’s Starry Night, or reading just about anything by Shakespeare. You create something that is beautiful, and more than any painting or piece of writing, you create something that nourishes me.

You are an artist, and I am very grateful for your work.

Image via https://flic.kr/p/s11FLq