You may have seen that the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs released a discussion document today, excitingly called Food 2030. Like Space 1999 but more futuristic and more easily digested. It's basically a call for comments on what Britain's food infrastructure will look like in 2030 given climate change, food security and self-sufficiency and the inexorable rise of the global population.
Personally, I don't know what the answers are. I'm guessing something to do with allotments, sell by dates and some semblance of a return to seasonality. You know, not expecting to able to eat asparagus in November. Frankly, I'm not going to enter into the debate because it strikes me that enough nutters are clamouring for a thirty meter fence round the entire country, a return to rationing and hanging Jamie Oliver from a lamppost for making us eat foreign muck, for me to sensibly comment. It's somehow all a bit futile, I thought. Then, no actually, there is something I can bring to this debate, I thought. An in depth knowledge of 70's and 80's sci-fi. What better way to look into future than by looking at the way we used to look at the future, in the past!
So, here are my five solutions to averting the coming food crisis as inspired by Charton Heston et al.
1) Bit of giveaway there. So, yes, first up is the inevitable 1973 classic Soylent Green. Instead of worrying about growing food for people, simply feed people from assisted suicide clinics to other people in the form of nutritious wafers. Simple.
2) Instead of an exponentially growing population, we could take a leaf out of Logan's Run and just not let anyone live beyond the age of 30. They'd be plenty of food for everyone, but Saga magazine might take a hit in its readership.
3) When ever you order something from a restaurant you should only get half of what you asked for. Like Deckard in Blade Runner when he tries to order his dinner before being rudely interrupted and getting arrested. We all stay thin and only use half as much food.
4) Split the population in two. Have one half become brutalised and warlike, have the other half become immortal and bored. Have one half grow food for the other by scaring them with giant floating heads. Who says, films like Zardoz have nothing to offer in terms of practical solutions.
5) Get an Imperial Battlecuiser and halt the flow of time. Don't know how this will help, but Christopher Plummer and David Hasselhoff seemed to think it would in 1978 Italian sci-fi, so-bad-it's-good classic Starcrash.