Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Legislating towards "Soylent Green"?

Photo Courtesy of Rex Roof's photostream

I doubt many people today have seen (or vaguely remember, if they are old enough) the 1973 movie Soylent Green; it’s likely fewer still have read the 1967 book. I did not see the film… the book was scary enough, thank you very much.

Starring Charlton Heston, the film… is set in a dystopian future (2022) suffering from pollution, overpopulation, depleted resources, poverty, dying oceans and a hot climate due to the greenhouse effect. Much of the population survives on processed food rations, including the eponymous "soylent green".

The film depicts food as it was known in the 1970’s as a rare and expensive commodity. Most of the world's population in 2022 survives on processed rations produced by the massive Soylent Corporation, including Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow, which are advertised as "high-energy vegetable concentrates" and the corporation has just introduced a new food product, Soylent Green.

From my perspective here in 2010, looking back over what has happened to control of our foods since 1973 when the film was released, I can see the unswerving march towards the very scenario depicted in Soylent Green.

A recent
story in the Salem-News reports an estimated 75% of our processed foods contain some form of genetically modified (GM) ingredients and those in ‘control' are making it unlawful for any product to be advertised as containing NO GM ingredients. They fear advertising foods as containing no GM ingredients will affect sales of all the products which do contain GM ingredients. Duh!

A Salem-News story cites some independent research
showing hamsters fed GM foods produce grandchildren unable to produce fourth generation offspring. Does it sound like there might be another agenda hidden within the guise of feeding the hungry?

Was that what Henry Kissinger had in mind in 1970 when he said: "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people."?

Three years ago while I was recovering from surgery, I was eligible for ‘meals-on-wheels’ since I was unable to prepare meals and lived alone. The meals came
frozen in a 2-week supply of one meal per day, arranged by the DSS. I was unable to find out the nutritional values of the ‘foods’ even when I contacted the small regional company who prepared them. None of the foods delivered had a label other than the name of the dish such as ‘beef in gravy’ nor anything about the accompanying vegetables other than a name. (Not even the total sodium content, the taste was always salty; these meals go primarily to Seniors and shut-ins.)

Mystery Meat Photo courtesy of Father.Jack's photostream

I suppose the government doesn’t require nutritional labels since the ‘food’ is not sold but given away to government-tax-money supported food programs? The meal components were a close proximity to Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow in my book (Don't even suggest Soylent Green!), and I immediately stopped the service. (And to think, I used to wonder about school cafeteria 'mystery meat'!) Starvation would have tasted better, and probably have been better for me. The human body can live a long time without food as long as it has adequate water.

Believing in the potential of GM foods, UC Berkeley's Ignacio Chapela, and Arpad Pusztai, a plant genetic modification expert from Scotland Rowett Research Institute, were commissioned to conduct the first independent study on animals fed GM foods.

To their surprise, their studies (in 2000) showed stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshaped cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed organs, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality as well.

Both men were ultimately attacked by a vicious smear campaign (funded by ???), their professional status demolished, and their research even though verified, was trashed. I strongly urge you to read this review:


Already the genetic modification programs have patented the pig, the salmon and other species, and genetically modified their genes for meat production… then there’s GM corn, soybeans, rapeseed (canola), alfalfa... that feed the GM animals/fish… and the GM meats and the GM grains and vegetables feed us… soylent foods are rapidly taking over.


  1. I saw the movie when it came out, it stuck with me... esp the part where people are being shown food under lock and key, big drama unveiling.... and there's this scraggly pathetic piece of shriveled chewed up looking meat hanging there, and the words something like this were said, "... beef... like you've Never seen before..."..... the whole movie very disturbing, and though it seems far-fetched, the GM plan behind the companies wishing to control all of the world's food supply can't help but create nightmare scenarios paralleling Soylent Green. What does one call it other than what it is, when the effects of GM foods are known... it's pure evil. When I was acquiring my BS in Environmental Science in the 90's (one of my expeditions in attempting to learn what makes the world go 'round), we learned at that time about the mad rush of patents on every conceivable living thing that were happening... and not just food crops. It's sick. All medicinal plants in rain forests that are found, even if their use is unknown, are being gm to produce a slightly different plant that then the companies file a patent on, so they "own" the plant... and the medicine it is capable of being used for. Not hard to see what is their own obvious projection of their own wished- for and very small future.... BUT... as they say the best-laid plans of mice and men do go awry. No reason why people can't manage their own lives and feed themselves...and hand out doses of common sense as needed in the process to all along the way.

  2. Thanks. Just irony of the name of the first GM food (Soy) being in the name of the 'food' manufacturer in the book/film (Soylent) is scary.

  3. ...and really disturbing: GM trees, genetically modified to have reduced/no lignin so cheaper to make paper. They have forests of them already. In addition to the comment above, they are also genetically modifying plants so we would be fed prescription drugs grown right into our food. Soylent Green was great, it reminds me of the remodeled wally-worlds. And why do you think Kissinger went to China, instead of our nice Roman Catholic Mexican neighbors? Among many other things, distance equals secrecy. I couldn't eat pasta for months after being inside a pasta factory...we should get videos made of how our food is made from the factory viewpoint, the gross-out factor seems to work on this population better than logic. I think Bladerunner also does a good job of depicting what a scarcity anything genuine will become. Did you read about Russia's seed bank being slated for bulldozing, wiping out a collection 12 doctors starved to death rather than eating during a seige?

  4. The Russian Seed Bank loss is a BIG bummer. Monsanto probably had an 'under-hand' in that somehow too.

    Anything that's 'genuine' is already scarce, and it's almost impossible to buy anything of quality anymore. Even big-ticket items have built-in obsolescence.

    I don't think I know/read Bladerunner.


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