Cheap food, widely available, would seem to be the promise of new technologies, but it comes with a host of hidden dangers.
Throughout history and across disparate cultures, humanity’s many conceptions of paradise seem to have a single characteristic in common: free food.
This goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Nobody had a smaller grocery bill than Adam and Eve, at least until they succumbed to temptation and ate of the forbidden fruit. Establishing a pattern for exasperated fathers everywhere, Yahweh wrathfully threw these two freeloading flower children out of the Garden and made them go to work for a living—“to till the ground” and eat bread “in the sweat of thy face,” as the King James version has it. For the first time in human history, food was going to cost something.
To read the rest of this article, please consider becoming a WQ subscriber, which allows online access to the current WQ issue as well as archive content. Other access options are below.
Research, browse, and discover more than 35 years of articles, essays, and reviews by preeminent scholars and writers. Our searchable archive of back issues is free for WQ subscribers.
Daniel Akst is the author of St. Burl’s Obituary (1996), a novel about a fat man who becomes thin.more from this author >>