"Even the middle class deserves to eat solid food at least occasionally"
September 19, 2015 9:31 AM   Subscribe

 
Also from Future Week, Authenic Human Food!
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on September 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


"...you'll pay a separate small fee, like twenty percent, to the servers if they do a good job. (It sounds weird, but people used to do this routinely! We're including a keepsake booklet for every guest that explains how to figure out the amount.)"

Love how they bury the lede here...
posted by randomkeystrike at 10:04 AM on September 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm having a hard time believing that poultry will go before beef and pigs. Chickens have a much smaller ecological footprint, and they're more suitable for small-scale farming.

The high level of automation envisaged seems reasonable to me, though, and so tipping would be a thing of the past.
posted by YAMWAK at 10:10 AM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


That made me want to cry.
Kind of reminds me of Gibson's new book in the practical way it looks at loss.
posted by Omnomnom at 10:12 AM on September 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


How absurd. There will be plenty of meat in the future! After the complete collapse of industrial civilization...
posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:25 AM on September 19, 2015


Eatsa has been serving customers sans humans for a few weeks now, so that part of the future is already here.

The article is a bit silly, of course. The amount of water it takes for beef to reach the dining table is obscene; there's no way to do that responsibly, especially in a dystopian future.

Even after Imperator Furiosa saves us, we'll want to be as efficient as we can, given how little water we have.
posted by fragmede at 10:46 AM on September 19, 2015


Oh, this is so good. I love the random references to things that must have been horrifying: the culling, the epidemic, the idea that he has to specify that a plot of land is horizontal (was there some sort of unEarthing?) just casually smashing into talk of novelties like Moleskines and knit hats.
posted by mochapickle at 10:50 AM on September 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


"what the ocean used to smell like"
posted by supermedusa at 11:16 AM on September 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm having a hard time believing that poultry will go before beef and pigs. Chickens have a much smaller ecological footprint, and they're more suitable for small-scale farming.

I think the references to 'the culling' and 'the epidemic' were supposed to imply that, unlike beef and pigs, chickens were lost to some horrible disease (bird flu?) rather than the ecological collapse that took everything else.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:17 AM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the references to 'the culling' and 'the epidemic' were supposed to imply that, unlike beef and pigs, chickens were lost to some horrible disease (bird flu?) rather than the ecological collapse that took everything else.

Ohhh - I missed that. Thanks for pointing that out. Makes a lot more sense.
posted by YAMWAK at 11:20 AM on September 19, 2015


I knew this was fake because it predicts the existence of a middle class in the future.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:29 AM on September 19, 2015 [21 favorites]


Even in the future Americans will persist on calling themselves middle class despite living 20 to a ward in the terrible sulfur mines
posted by The Whelk at 11:31 AM on September 19, 2015 [42 favorites]


20 to a ward? Luxury!!! Why, in my day...
posted by Thorzdad at 11:37 AM on September 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Even in the future there will be no poor people, just temporarily embarrassed trillionaires.
posted by Bringer Tom at 11:43 AM on September 19, 2015 [15 favorites]


Koch Industries recently bought Mendel Biosciences, which does plant bioengineering. They don't believe 8n climate change but they sure are planning for it furiously.
posted by benzenedream at 11:48 AM on September 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Climate change is a myth until you can make money off it ( see the race to claim recently unfrozen arctic oil reserves.)
posted by The Whelk at 11:53 AM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you're looking for dystopian restaurants with prehistoric animals on menu, look no further​:

New York's Hottest Restaurant of 2081

FARM & TABLE

Latest creation of everyone's favorite chef you want to hit with a silver spoon, Paul Nova

It has everything:

-animal trophies
-ancient trees
-pork bellies
-cast iron
-hipsters in knit hats
-that one server in the back who looks like Bob Dylan on crack
posted by radwolf76 at 12:15 PM on September 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


So the Brooklyn of the future has no pigeons? I don't believe it.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:43 PM on September 19, 2015



Love how they bury the lede here...


I actually did not understand the sentence you are referencing. What's that about giving a booklet to whoever figures out how to tip 20 percent?
posted by Omnomnom at 12:46 PM on September 19, 2015


We all know that the restaurant of the future is Taco Bell*, as they were the last one to survive the Franchise Wars.

* Or, if you're in Europe, Pizza Hut.
posted by SansPoint at 12:49 PM on September 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Omnomnomm -- yep, the reference to helping people figure out how to figure a 20% tip. Suggests math skills aren't that great in the future. Not like now...
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:21 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


So the Brooklyn of the future has no pigeons? I don't believe it.

Habitat loss from flooding and desperate humans hunting for increasingly scarce meat could easily wipe out city pigeons in a century. It worked for the passenger pigeon.
posted by Rangi at 2:37 PM on September 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


İt's like the novel Loups Garrous in restaurant review form.

(Spoilers) How does anyone know the sushi is authentic if they've never had real fish? This seems like a scam to me.
posted by subdee at 2:40 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Look to the person on your right, then to your left. There's two decent meat meals right there.
posted by Poldo at 2:50 PM on September 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


No they'd have to be on an almost vegan diet for a long time and would be unspeakably gamey unless eaten very young, like how squab strong enough to fly out of the cage are too old to cook. Organ meat might be your best bet but I don't like the toxin accumulation in top predators like people.


What?
posted by The Whelk at 3:05 PM on September 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think The Whelk may have been hanging out in the Hannibal threads a bit too much.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:48 PM on September 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I liked that it was plausible (to me, cause I'm not that nitpicky), recognisable, funny and tragic all at the same time. Like, making fun of how servers dress. I look at my books and imagine a future in which only extremely wealthy people own paper-based books because it's so wasteful compared to digital books on eventually super cheap plastic readers. Sigh.
posted by Bella Donna at 4:37 PM on September 19, 2015


Bella Donna, if you'd like to read more about such a future, that's one of the key predictions that the world of Super Sad True Love Story is based on.
posted by telegraph at 4:39 PM on September 19, 2015


I actually did not understand the sentence you are referencing. What's that about giving a booklet...
The sentence might have been more clearly written as, "For every guest, we're including a keepsake booklet that explains how to figure out the amount."
posted by Wolfdog at 5:06 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Today, Eater's Future Week turns to bleaker visions of the years and decades ahead.

OK, except that for billions of factory farmed animals, the present is the dystopia.
posted by dontjumplarry at 5:36 PM on September 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's going to be weird once he gets it sorted out, having everything actually taste the way food bloggers described it.
posted by ckape at 5:41 PM on September 19, 2015


When I first moved here I was eavesdropping on the subway and heard some young kids talking about their history class. One of them was laughing about how his teacher asked him what he thought Brooklyn would look like in 200 years.

"Man, there ain't gonna be no Brooklyn in 200 years."

He must've been about 12 or 13.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 5:57 PM on September 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


What’s huge for us is that the land rights are covered under a grandfather clause allowing us to use the land to raise animals this way, even though it violates like every modern law governing land use and agricultural efficiency. Then we're going to slaughter these whole animals, and butcher and prepare them just like they did historically: slowly and with a lot of effort.

I'd like to think that in a world where we've solved efficiency problems and are able to feed everyone without the current factory farm holocaust, that this kind of murderous decadent excess would be met with horror and revulsion instead of glowing praise and envy. Much like eating ortolan is today.

I guess maybe that makes me an optimist.
posted by Feyala at 6:23 PM on September 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought most of it was pretty spot-on. I appreciated the euphemisms about an "optimized" world and "subscribing to what you need" as happy-talk for "resource starved".

Barring some kind of catastrophe, I think we'll still have chicken in 66 years. Even seafood, thanks to aquaculture -- GM salmon is already in the pipeline, and we've gotten a lot better at oyster farming. It's an efficient way to grow protein and getting better.

But we will eat many wild ocean species out of existence, including wild oysters. We'll look back at those spicy tuna rolls with the same disdain as if they were filled with tiger meat.

And Sysco is going to put that fake chicken on menus way before 2081, and make it so simple to prepare that a minimum-wage worker can do it while on their government-mandated mood stabilization regimen (oops, I veered back into dystopia, sorry...)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:06 PM on September 19, 2015


Feyala: "I'd like to think that in a world where we've solved efficiency problems and are able to feed everyone without the current factory farm holocaust, that this kind of murderous decadent excess would be met with horror and revulsion instead of glowing praise and envy. Much like eating ortolan is today.

I guess maybe that makes me an optimist.
"

You are perhaps overlooking the fact that repellently decadent excess is nearly the whole point of ortolan - and that as recently as 2014, celebrated French chefs, including Alain Ducasse, were agitating to repeal 2007's law against killing and selling ortolan bunting.

An exclusive experience of murderous decadent excess is its own reward for a certain type of very wealthy diner, and has been since people started accruing extreme wealth. Inspiring horror is a feature, not a bug.
posted by gingerest at 11:50 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


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