Andy final article for us......

SOYLENT ANYONE?

If you were offered some Soylent, would you know what to do with it? Well, the answer is that you would consume it…maybe. It was invented in 2012 by an American engineering graduate who, penniless and existing on a diet of fast food, decided that it was possible to invent a food substitute compound that contained all the nutrients we need with no cooking and minimal preparation. Its advocates claim that, unlike previous manufactured substances, Soylent is not a food supplement but a full-blown, real-deal food replacement. In other words, you can live on it without needing anything else, other than the oil and water you need to mix it. A couple of months ago, Soylent became available to buy in the US.

Unappealing as this sounds, in an age when food production is coming under ever-increasing pressure to meet the needs of a growing world population, it’s hard not to see the potential benefits. In fact, Soylent’s inventor, Robert Rhinehart, wants it used to destroy famine altogether. But how many of us would willingly take a few gulps of choco-flavoured gunk three times a day for the rest of our lives? Or even once instead of going out for a steak dinner?

Anything that defeats the evil of famine and deprivation gets my vote. But the large-scale manufacture and distribution of a chemical foodstuff does beg another, ethical question: if it actually happened, would we then be satisfied with the prospect that a basic human right – the right to eat – was being met? Or would we, as a global society, continue the battle against poverty until the poorest of the world do not have to consume a cocktail of chemicals to survive?

Of course, there are all kinds of valid responses and counter-questions to this. There are a few high ideals that may seem unrealistic and unattainable, and an end to world poverty is one of them. For Christians, though, the Bible consistently reminds us of the value God places on human life – on ALL human life. It reminds us too that His design for human life is that we value others as we value ourselves, and it often makes us feel uncomfortable when we consider the implications of this. Sharing does not come easily to us, and in any case what we give is but a drop in the ocean. But to stop there misses the point; for God knows that this is not only about feeding the hungry. It’s also about the battle between a compassionate conscience and a hard heart.

Andy Burrows


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    Helen's first article for us......
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