I had the choice between baked beans or macaroni and cheese. I chose the mac. Both had been cooked hours before, but I could not eat without an appetite. I gnawed on gritty pasta and contemplated switching to the beans. I ran thru the ingredients in my mind to determine which would be the most efficient energy source to silence the quake in my stomach. I allotted myself less than a minute to consume my choice because I had no desire to eat.
The beans had protein, and as a soldier I was taught to consume the protein first. Infantrymen never had much time for fine dining, so getting the protein down guaranteed more calories, just in case the meal was interrupted by small arms fire. I still eat like a grunt. I skipped the protein, though. My mind was consumed with the ingredients.
The beans were natural; grown on a farm somewhere before being processed and canned. There were hints of brown sugar, and visible chucks of bacon. I’m sure there’s more in it, but I haven’t read the can. The pasta was pasta, made from wheat. It had milk from a cow, and butter. The butter has milk in it too, but it also has a bunch of other stuff. The powdered cheese has things in it I can not pronounce, and I raise an eyebrow when a product boasts “all natural” powdered cheese. There are television shows that explain how stuff like that works, so it may be true. I’m no scientist, but I am a disgruntled, stay-at-home, retired soldier with six kids. Mac and cheese it is.
Words like “organic” and “gluten free” flood my mind as I consider that my evening fare would not appeal to someone in either of those camps. The pasta has wheat, which has become taboo for some reason. I’ve heard of the anti-gluten movement, and I wonder: at which point in history did wheat became an enemy to humanity? I have friends and family that have gone gluten-free, and when they visit I realize that I don’t really pay much attention to food. That is, until I order a small pizza with a wheat-free crust, and it costs more than the other three regular pizzas combined. It’s just food. But I guess some people have allergies to it – like bee stings or peanut butter. I wonder skeptically about allergies like that, since wheat has been around for either less than 10,000 years or millions of years, depending on your worldview. Either way, it’s been around for a long time. I’m not an evolutionist, but if I were, it is here I would calculate that those developing wheat allergies to be the least fit in the evolutionary chain, soon to die off.
This health food movement has continued to grow over the past few decades, and I recently heard that Congress has passed legislation regulating what can and can not be labeled “organic”. Imagine that. Something so trivial takes center stage in the highest legislative body in the nation, but we’re still funding abortion and investigating our scandalous government. A life can be taken and laws broken, but if you mislabel something “organic” you will pay.
I envision the aftermath. There will be committees and special counsels created, as society struggles to understand why some nobody farmer made an erroneous claim regarding the organic nature of his produce. Universities will provide counseling, free of charge, to any student whose life is permanently altered at the idea of having consumed something inorganic; classes will also be cancelled until the government-sanctioned rioting has ceased. Hashtags will be thrown like ninja stars at the faces of whatever pithy, grammatically incorrect movements will arise from this tragedy. ‘Organic Integrity’ becomes the new buzzword for mid-term and presidential elections, as opposing candidates skewer each other over where they shop and what they eat.
In this same future, the hunting of wild animals will certainly be outlawed, even though they are the most organic food source on the planet. All animals will have rights greater than or equal to the citizens who used to hunt them. Unborn children be damned! Animal rights movements will make their way to the nation’s highest courts, demanding supreme judgement to rewrite the law. Animal lawyers will arise offering their services, pro bono, to any animal who somehow indicates that it has been labeled incorrectly or slandered by rebel, carnivorous men. Safe spaces for these persecuted, quadrupedal mammals will be funded by special legislation from Congress from what used to be the defense budget.
This looming utopia boasts a permanent and comprehensive gun ban, to the cheers of organic humans and animals alike. Hunting will still be permitted, but only if it is fair for the prey; so knives and bows will be the weapons of choice. Society will relish in its enlightenment. Never mind that we will be legally required to hunt as our ancestors did hundreds of years ago; but, as long as the minority and animal rights are advanced, we will still call it progress.
Poor wheat. By the time we get to that point, you may be extinct.
I’m glad I chose the mac and cheese.