Technology can be a daunting prospect, and with an ever-evolving world people are genuinely in a position where they do not like what the future looks like. As a result of my groups’ investigations into creating a scenario featuring an all supplement diet, I wanted to explore what this future really looked like to someone impartial to the project. As such I asked Carmel (a Primary Producer) a series of questions to gain a better understanding of how our future would be perceived. Due to the differing ages of Carmel and I – 20 and 50 – there was an opportunity to see our contrast of opinions.
E: If you take into account a future where there is an increasing population and an increasing level of food production what do you see happening to the way we produce food?
C: We would be doing things more indoors than outdoors, so in greenhouses, as we are worried about water which will be a problem in the future too. There will be an increase of broad acre food, I think there will be either boutique or industrial grades of foods, with not much in between (Big and small producers). I think there will be a lot more people in the city, as that’s where all the major shops and sources would be, especially to cut down on freight, there will be more boutique garden type production in warehouses. It will be more centralized, growing food where the population is.
E: Given the growth of the supplement industry in recent years, would you be open to using supplements, whether in powdered or pill form, on a daily basis?
C: I don’t want to live off them but I do take krill oil everyday.
E: Would you be open to the idea of living on a all supplement based diet, if it could be proven to be completely nutritionally sound, save you time and money and allow you to live a healthier lifestyle?
E: If you were to live on an all supplement diet, which part of the experience of eating would you miss? (I.e the preparation of food, the social interactions that stem from it or growing it yourself?)
C: All three of those. I think it would also take away from family time, which I think is important. I would also be worried about the processing involved.
E: Would you be willing to pay a ‘food tax’ to avoid living on an all supplement diet? (Much like smokers tax now)
C: Yeah, but it’s the reversal put on it now, as now anything fresh doesn’t get taxed and anything processed does, it would be the exact opposite so it would be fine.
E: If you were going to replace the interaction of eating on a date, what would you want to do instead?
C: (Winks). Eating and drinking. You can sit and talk. Talk about the weather. Not your exes.
E: Given that you don’t feel comfortable with this future scenario, what would you perceive as a welcome future?
C: One with food! Where we are at now is a good start but obviously a more ecologically sustainable,
Carmel, not unlike most people I have discussed this topic with is against the idea of a supplement based diet, with the main reason being they like food too much. This begs the question, should we really substitute our love of food for a more convenient way of achieving optimum health? Realising the potential for this future there have been numerous people who have trialed this diet, one such person being David Morton, a writer for Men’s Health Magazine. David lived off protein shakes, meal replacements and vitamins for 7 days so see if it could sustain him. What he found was that dealing with the hunger was hard, waking up was difficult, had bowel movement problems and his days felt longer due to the lack of meals breaking his days up. However, he found that caffeine pills worked better to wake him up rather than food or drinks, and that he lost two kilos in a week, and due to the increase in water consumption felt generally healthier. David summarizes the diet by saying; “Pills and powders are immensely convenient, though, and the supplements I took were certainly effective. Once my body was free of my near-constant intake of bread and coffee, their ability to sustain me and provide the energy I needed was all the more notable” (Morton, 2012).
Personally, a supplement restrictive diet it unappealing to me, as quite honestly I enjoy cooking and eating food, and I enjoy the preparation of food involved in the butchering process – such as making sausages, cutting up meat and making mince – meaning that my life would feel less fulfilling without food. The synthetic, and chemical nature of supplements, as well as the repetitive nature of ingesting them, and the lack of social interactions that stem from a traditional meal are all reasons that I would not partake I such a diet unless necessary.
Carmel Jones Personal Communications, 16/10/2014
Morton, David (2012) Living Solely on Supplements , Men’s Health Magazine