Take a good look at these locally grown fruits and veggies, they may soon be one of the last looks you’ll be able to take – outside of marketing materials that will recall a different age. Unless you are into that old fashioned stuff.
Don’t believe me? Consider this: as recently as 1955 a majority of households had a woman or girl who could sew. Back then, 63% of women and girls knew how to sew, many still knew how to darn socks, spin fiber into yarn, quilt, and weave. By 2006, only 22% of American women and girls knew how to sew. Now I don’t mean to imply this is necessarily a negative, but the fact is, a family is less independent when they are dependent upon larger systems where the local skills for taking care of one’s self are long gone. Us humans have a very long history of making textiles, around 20,000 years worth according to some evidence.
Farming is in a similar situation, 140 years ago between 70 and 80 percent of our population was employed in agriculture. Today only 2 to 3 percent of the population is employed in agriculture and less than 1 percent of the population claim farming as an occupation. Point being, individuals are now far removed from growing their own food. True, they have greater access to a wider variety of foods, but they are dependent upon the viability of industrial farms, the price of fuel to distribute food across great distances, and if the corporate model decides that a type of produce is no longer a worthy seller, it can simply disappear those items. The good thing is that we no longer have to toil in the back breaking labor of working the earth. Then again, we don’t know how anymore either.
This brings me to today’s thought. A couple of hundred years ago, people would not have believed that within a relatively short number of generations, humans in Kansas would be buying fresh kiwis that were flown in from New Zealand. A hundred years ago, I doubt many people would have accepted that the majority of their clothes should be disposable, made in India or China, and would wear out in a year with nobody complaining. Modernization has taken much of the drudgery and responsibility for the mundane out of our lives.
The next step is to remove cooking from our lives. Why do we need to cook our own meals? Wouldn’t life be yet another degree better if we could get rid of food that might spoil, be contaminated with e-coli or salmonella, or require all the time of buying cookbooks, finding ingredients, preparing lengthy recipes, with all of the uncertainty of not knowing if our preparation is as good as the chow mein we had in New York City?
So here’s the next big internet idea, the next Amazon, or NetFlix. We’ll call our company, International Frozen Food Incorporated – IFFI for short. Our line of frozen meals will feature recipes from around the globe, made in kitchens from Mumbai to Hong Kong, from Senegal to the Philippines. The customers set their likes and dislikes in a preference file, choose if they are vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, non pork eater, ground nut allergic, reduced calorie, diabetic, etc. Then they choose what country’s meals they want to try and as with Netflix, they build a queue of ethnic delights they want to sample and in what order. As with Amazon, meals will feature reviews and ratings. Every week, a new box arrives with the post containing your frozen meals for the week.
Just imagine, IFFI Dim Sum or maybe you’d prefer our IFFI Fish from Malaysia, and what could be better than IFFI Jambalaya direct from New Orleans? Every meal is standardized with a caloric count related to your weight, height, and age. Prices are $3.99 per meal – across the globe!
Some people reading this might think, Wow, sounds great. Personally, I don’t think this sounds like a great idea. We humans are more and more dependent upon monolithic corporate structures that take care of most of our needs in exchange for our brand loyalty. We in-turn give up our independence. We have become helpless and would prove useless to ourselves if we needed to grow our own food, make our own clothes, or find clean water. Soon, we will no longer know how to cook for ourselves as we won’t need to.
And what do we get for our reliance on forces and services outside of ourselves? More time to toil at work, play video games, watch TV, and shop as we entertain ourselves to death within the climate controlled walls of a safe place. Do we really no longer need reality?