Scrambled eggs with bacon, minced meat pie, turkey, potatoes, sauce, bread sauce, stuffed Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, roasted carrots and parsnips, and Christmas pudding. All together in layers in the same box. With this crazy idea that came from put a whole Christmas dinner in a box, plays the game store chain every year with no one sure if it’s serious or if it’s a fun marketing campaign.
But what if we take this idea a step further? In 1893 the American Press Association asked various contemporary intellectuals for “future visions” of how one might envision the next century. American suffragist Mary Elizabeth Lease envisioned a meal replacement pill as a key tool to free women from housework. Over 100 years later That “liberation” has come in the form of frozen foods and endless uses that bring food home, but the pill is still lost in the battle..
Make a pill that can feed us
Michael Ann Dobbs was right: “If we had told science fiction writers in the 1930s that foods in the early 2000s were made from traditional vegetables, micronutrients and homemade cucumbers, they would have laughed at us.” A clear laugh, indeed.
Especially because The idea of a diet based on pills, bars, and preparations was so widespread in the 20th century that we see astronaut food as a sign of modernity and not for what it was: a technical handicap that we have gradually resolved.
But of course, given all that, it seems inevitable to wonder why we don’t have such pills. There have been thousands of people for a century They were obsessed with feeding us three pills a day. How is it possible that we have not yet realized this? At the end of the day, just putting the nutrients needed to get through the day in one pill would be enough and that would be resolved, right?
No the truth is no. But let’s take it in parts: the first caveat to the ideas of the pills is the amount we would need. And is it so, although there is no problem in the theoretical plan to provide all nutrients in tablets? There is no known way to group the 1800-2000 calories an adult human needs into three tablets normal size. To give us an idea, 100 grams of pure vegetable oil contains around 900 calories, and increasing that amount is extremely difficult.
Pierre Köchel therefore calculated it Around 450 per day are needed to meet the minimum nutritional requirements. My initial guess is that it could be achieved with less than 450: too much, anyway, to be something convenient and simple. Either way and unfortunately for some, the problems don’t end there.
“We would need a whole new digestive system”
We have learned a lot over the past few decades. “” Parenteral nutrition [por vía intravenosa] It was sold as a great revolution“As Manuel Rodríguez Elvira, intensive care doctor and former head of the intensive care unit at the Virgen de las Nieves hospital in Granada, who has worked with sedated patients for years, reports. “S.However, we quickly discovered that he was struggling“On the one hand, it is associated with superinfections of all kinds and, on the other hand, it is very important to maintain the intestinal function. When it withers and collapses, quite severe cases of sepsis can occur. “It will continue to be used if necessary. Enteral feeding (by tube feeding) will be resumed as soon as possible.”
This would surely be one of the main problems with diet via pills:Problems related to underutilization of the digestive system (and especially the intestines). In this way, all food preparations used in hospitals (and even commercial preparations like Soylent) must have a structure that allows the villi to stay in shape and take care of the gut microbiota. With that in mind, “you’d need a whole new digestive system to be able to eat pills in the long run.”
Who knows if this will be an option on the table in the future? But today, between our inability to make pills that feed in low doses and the gastrointestinal problems we would be exposed to, It looks like we are far from Mary Elizabeth Lease’s dream.
picture | Michael Longmire
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