catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 4 :: 2008.02.22 — 2008.03.07


An unabridged and definitive history of food

Food was first discovered in the year 1550 B.C. (Before Corn-chips).  This discovery was not as lauded as one might imagine.  Most people just shrugged their shoulders.  Yet, since most people only lived until their teenage years, this was the primary form of communication at the time.  It is quite possible everyone was actually quite elated. We may never know for sure what they were thinking.

This understated response came from the fact that it would still be another 200 years before people discovered eating.  For all those years food was readily available but people didn’t want it.  Many anthro-agri-torians believe that food was simply ahead of its time.  Like the hook-half of Velcro, food needed the fuzzy-half discovery of eating to really take off.

Surprisingly, it was not hunger that drove together food and eating; it was, like all great scientific advances, driven by a drunken party stunt.

The man credited with the combination of food and eating was the Pharaoh Upset IV, who, having drunk too much fermented goat’s milk, took a dare from the Secretary of Pyramids to hold a handful of locust in his mouth for five minutes.  The Secretary then told a rather tawdry joke, which caused the Pharaoh to laugh and swallow the locust. 

He died two weeks later from the locust larva growing in his intestines and bowels, but it was too late: eating took its rightful place alongside breathing and sleeping.  Food was here to stay.

During this time, eating was mostly done on a trial-and-error basis.  On weekends people would gather together in the public square and take turns swallowing things.  The list of non-foods items grew quickly: rock, stick, sword, bear, own fist, Necco Wafers.

The list of edible foods took a little while longer to develop, but once begun, food entered its first golden age.  People ate almost weekly during this time.  Most ate simple things like bread or rice or frozen lasagna, but there were a few daredevils who made names for themselves by eating snails, fish eggs, Rocky Mountain oysters or Arby’s.  It was a glorious time to have a life expectancy of twenty-seven years.

But this golden age of food would not last.

It all began with potatoes.  They were eliminated as a legitimate food during the Peasants Atkins revolt of 549 A.D. (After Dinner).  For a time, people still ate sugar, meat, salt, dairy and fat, but they were one by one, shot down by papal edicts, royal decrees, and mothers who were too tired to think of something new to cook every night.  All that remained for hundreds of years was gruel (know in French as hamburger aide).

Food remained unchanged until the founding of the United States of America in 1776.  Ben Franklin was walking to his favorite bordello when he saw Johnny Tremain’s hand.  Mr. Tremain’s hand had its fingers burnt together in a silversmith accident.  Mr. Franklin did not know this or care about anyone but himself.  He thought Johnny carried in his hand a ball of dough wrapped around a filling of meats and cheeses: Voila!  We have the modern Hot-Pocket.

This heralded the second golden age of food, which we still enjoy today, evidenced by Golden Grahams, Gold Corn, Rold Gold Pretzels and the Golden Arches. 

The history of food is simple and clear and it is laid out here in its entirety.  The only question left is, “Where do we go from here?”  Most experts agree that as we only know a small portion of the world, we only know a small section of all available foods.  Dr. Jeff Greenly, of the Marine Life Society says, “Think about it, there are vast parts of the ocean that remain uncharted.  Who knows what kind of fish are down there?  Who knows what they might taste like with a butter sauce and a side of steamed broccoli?”

This discovery goes not only down but up as well.  Dr. Grace Filmore of NASA had this to say, “Probability would lead us to believe that there is life on other planets.  If so, they must have something to eat.  If we discover these planets and are able to communicate with the inhabitants we can learn what they eat, try it and if it doesn’t taste good, we can eat the inhabitants themselves.”  She added, “My mouth started watering just thinking about it.”

While the dream of eating creatures both deep in the ocean and on a far-off planet may be years away, top scientists and researchers will doubtlessly continue to push the limits of what can be called food and push the ingredient limits of existing ones. 

As of this writing, the Associated Press has announced that scientists in Newfoundland have discovered that there is no measurable limit to the amount of cheesiness that can be put in a single Dorito.  Lead researcher, Dr. Steven Ngyn said, “Like the universe, the cheesiness capacity of Dorito chips is ever expanding.  When I look at a Dorito, I realize my place in the world.  I contemplate my own insignificance.  Actually, I’m extremely frightened.  Hold me.”

While we may not know what foods will be produced in the future, we can rest assured that aside from cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and additive-created super-cancers, the future will be a delicious place.

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