My 24-Hour Experiment With Dystopian Food Units

A new startup wants to make meals as efficient and joyless as possible

Ellis Brooks
OneZero
Published in
10 min readFeb 7, 2022

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Source: SquarEat

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…

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Ellis Brooks
OneZero

Writer. Historian. Harlot. Supremely sex-positive and pseudonymous. she/her