My 24-Hour Experiment With Dystopian Food Units
A new startup wants to make meals as efficient and joyless as possible
A friend of mine recently came into an abundance of prepared meals. He likes to try out different meal-delivery services, but accidentally set one of his accounts to renew when he already had another shipment coming. He wanted to know if I’d take this surplus off his hands.
I live deep in the woods, where everything’s been blanketed with snow for weeks, maybe months, possibly years — time loses all meaning up here — and I’ve been lazily living off of pasta and oats. It’s a hassle heading into town to stock up on groceries, plus nobody wears masks over there and I always end up behind some guy in line who insists on bragging about his bare-faced defiance of the mask policy, like it’s an act of bravery — like he’s standing up for his god-given right to spray strangers with the mouth-spittle of his opinions — so given a choice, I do prefer to stay home.
I eagerly accepted my friend’s offer.
The Arrival of the Meal Objects
When he delivered the boxes, the first thing I noticed was that they were very light. I didn’t think too much of it — they were clearly labeled with recognizable food words like “quinoa,” so I assumed it was one of those diet services where they deliver meals in tiny portions.
I packed them away in the fridge, worked through the morning, and when lunchtime rolled around, I grabbed one labeled with the words Salmon, Asparagus, Sweet Potato.
I usually have a sandwich for lunch, so this was a pretty exciting moment for me. Until I opened the box.
This meal was made up of vacuum-sealed reconstituted food units. There were three units of salmon, two of sweet potato, and one of asparagus.
They looked like protein pellets for the discerning survivalist.
After cycling through feelings of disappointment, revulsion, and humor, I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to throw them out. My friend wouldn’t take…