ISSUE 118

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​ The future of food involves lots of fake meat, a rubbery substance not unlike rubber. This meat, often described as “mushy” and “floppy,” will be available year-round in blobs, which can be crafted into the shape of an animal that tastes significantly better than the fake meat. A high period for art, a low period for nutrition in other words.   Often, the meat will come alive. This turns vegetarians against fake meat, who don’t want to kill anything to eat, much less be killed by something they are trying to eat. 
 Fake meat will be found next to the breakfast cereal. Everything will be next to the cereal, as it will eclipse most of the grocery. The healthiest brands will merge, and the resulting product will be a gloopy mush made by Kashi called “Meh” also known as “Unlucky Charms” or “Misery Wheat.” It will have no sugar and no fun. Its mascot will be a gloomy rabbit, and it will be marketed to people who have trouble pooping.
 The rest of the cereal will be so sugary the packages will tremble, as if their contents are pressurized and one wrong move could blow up a city block. Occasionally, this will happen, and it will be a tragedy. But it will also be wonderful when the rain tastes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
 With the increase of sugar in the atmosphere, the environment will devolve into mayhem, like Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Birds, high on sugar, will fly fifteen times faster than normal, causing their feathers to disintegrate and leaving them naked and ashamed. Insects, sensing their advantage, will multiply and grow to unmentionable sizes—mosquitoes you have to beat off with a baseball bat, worms like pool noodles, roly-polys like cantaloupes, spiders like bigger versions of spiders, etc.  
 In response, giant bug lamps to attract and destroy the bugs will be set up in cities no one cares about. Those same cities will be covered in a nasty yellow goop from the bug guts, which will noticeably improve many towns in the Midwest.    
​ Produce will be entirely organic and entirely unaffordable. An apple will cost as much as a Porsche, and a banana will be a good trade for a wedding ring. Potatoes will be the same price because potatoes are lame, whereas rhubarb will be given away as a cruel joke to people who are starving. People will admit grapefruit is the most inconvenient fruit, and prisoners will be forced to eat them with chopsticks. 
 Many dairy products will be created from fake cows, which will be more like massive chickens with udders. This will be hilarious and bring hope to many. However, few will drink the “milk,” if that’s what you want to call it.
 The switch to Lavish Lactose Products—a name invented to give fake dairy a certain grandeur—will come after real cows band together in the Great Bovine Uprising of 2203. A cow, known only as Udder McTeat, will write a dense treatise on the evil of the human species called The Pernicious Homo Sapiens and The Ungulate Response.
 How he learned to write with a hoof, what “pernicious” means, and if the ungulate response is what happens when you’re really drunk are all questions humanity will ponder as cows are gunned down with ease.
 After the rebellion is quelled, people will question whether eating a being that can write something so incomprehensible is moral. It’s like eating a legal copywriter or Noam Chomsky. The world’s attachment to hamburgers being strong, our leaders decide if a cow can pass a basic IQ equivalency test, it should not be eaten. Few will pass, as the test is written backwards and in Latin.
 If nothing else, the grocery store will be bewildering. Intelligent cows huddle around the real cheese, begging you not to buy any, and fake meat chases you down the aisles. You can’t afford the healthy things, except the ones are awful, and occasionally, the store explodes.
   
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