Select Page

Offbeat – 02 August 2012

The meal of the future looks like it will draw a lot more on global influences than the current fusion style of chicken tikka pizza. If I were a scorpion I would be drawing deeper under my rock right now. If cockroaches, termites, meal-worms and ants could read, they would probably be extremely worried.

Bear Grylls, the guy from Wales, eats stuff for a living. He did a series about survival, and he broke his back, and all that. But we know it’s about the stuff he eats right? Huh? Huh? Raw stuff. Live stuff. Like live, wriggling worms. Every time he does it, it’s television gold and a You Tube hit. He’s so gutsy, he probably eats prawns with the shells on. Maybe even that seafood mix with the baby octopuses and the sea cucumbers.
But he’s just a western phenomenon. Here, in Namibia, we eat dried Mopani worms, reconstituted in chilli oil. In France, and expensive restaurants, people eat snails, in garlic sauce. In parts of South-East Asia, they eat scorpions on sticks, crunchy kebabs that might be fighting back if not for their deep-fried fates. In fact in that part of the world zoologists troll strange diners in search of new, interesting species.
Did I mention that if you want to eat protein but don’t want to slaughter your prize cattle, you can bleed whatever animal you have, mix the blood with milk and plaster up the wound so the animal lives to donate blood again? Vampires aren’t half as weird as they are made out to be.
Food is revulsion. The person who values his cattle to the point where he is prepared to drink their blood would probably be shocked by the western habit of actually eating the meat. And the person who eats snails would almost certainly not pick up the scorpion kebab.
Would you put a scorpion in your mouth? What if you didn’t have anything to eat? Hadn’t had anything to eat for a couple of days or weeks? Not even a scorpion or a handful of grass? In Herero folklore, there is the famous Scorpion Campaign. This happened during one of their many raids to relieve the Namas of their cattle. The Namas cunningly lead them into an area with no water and no veld food. The Herero warriors survived by eating scorpions and to this day, this adventure is told and retold with an appreciable relish on the side of the orator.
Food is fear, whether it is placed in front of us in an unfamiliar form or whether it is absent.
Something scary is lurking around the corner. For the last few years, media semiotics, the signals that it sends to us with its content, says that there are some very hard times ahead. If the media talks a lot about something, it means it is hearing the same thing repetitively, and that means that people are thinking about the same thing a lot.
For the last few years, the media has been sending signals to us about what we will be eating in future. They have been telling us that we need to eat less, because food production is too expensive and too difficult to keep everyone on the planet alive.
They have repetitively talked about genetically-modified, high-yield crops. They have hammered on the idea of alternative sources of protein such as vat-grown meat and insects. They didn’t make this up.
The meal of the future looks like it will draw a lot more on global influences than the current fusion style of chicken tikka pizza. If I were a scorpion I would be drawing deeper under my rock right now. If cockroaches, termites, meal-worms and ants could read, they would probably be extremely worried.
I don’t think there is any way of escaping the coming reality of genetically-modified crops, vat-grown meat and pink slime. The writing is on the wall, in newspapers, magazines and on websites.
It’s all a matter of eat what you have, rather than eat what you want.
It’s easy to lay the blame at the doors of overpopulation, climate change and the miserable scum who realised they could get rich from agricultural commodity speculation. It’s not so easy to find solutions, unless you are prepared to accept the work done by others.
The world is changing, faster than it is possible to imagine. Simple things like fish fingers and corn are really questionable right now, and our grandchildren might gasp when we tell them that those used to feature in our diets. In future, carrying extra weight may earn us black looks from those same grandchildren.
Get ready to tuck in. I have a suspicion we’re all going to turn into our own versions of Bear Grylls.

About The Author

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!