[extropy-chat] evolution of food

Spike spike66 at comcast.net
Wed Aug 18 06:33:26 UTC 2004

Think of the very best cook you have ever known in your
life, the meals that masterful chef prepared, and how you
loved to devour those delectable viands, which would tempt
the palates of connoisseurs from both hemispheres.  To
those of more delicate sensibilities, they would add a
still more aesthetic charm.  

Now what if that chef were cooking for you three squares
a day, 7/52.  What would happen?

Remember those frozen dinners that showed up in the 1970s,
how vile they were?  How much better they are today.
Like life forms, food is evolving.  Those foods which few
people devour soon fall off the radar screen, replaced by
robust Krispy Kremes, those toxic toroids of luscious
lipoproteins, McDonalds burgers and other such life-threatening
delights.  It occurred to me that all the mechanisms that will 
cause food to evolve quickly have been put in place in the past 
half century: worldwide distribution networks, franchises,
centralized supply sources which can study which foods
sell best in which places.  These mechanisms quickly tune up 
the process, propagating the best food memes and rejecting 
the only slightly less successful.  The result is that food 
is becoming ever more tempting, contributing to the alarming
increase of human adipose all over the world.  It is analogous 
to having our favorite chef available more and more often.

Extrapolate this trend into the future.  Is there any
reason to believe that food is as good as it will ever
get?  Why?  If it continues to get ever more irresistible
as time goes on, what scenarios can we imagine?  Will flab
continue to overtake an ever larger percentage of people?
Or will we eventually reverse course and demand less tasty
foods?  Will better nutrition education help?  Will more
and more people perish of diabetes and weight related
heart disease, or will it soon level off?


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