Remember when Charlton Heston was being carted away on a stretcher in the movie Solylent Green and he shouted out these words? The world’s food shortage was at crisis levels and plankton from the sea was being made into a food substitute called soylent. They had soylent red, blue, yellow and green. Everyone assumed that since this was the only food source available ( and they could afford) that they believed this was good enough to sustain their lives. And since everyone was eating it, it had to be okay…..and soylent green was the best tasting. Hmmm..wonder why?
I also wonder what would happen if everyone found out that soylent green…the best tasting soylent…was made from their fellow man? Would they still buy it? Would they convince themselves that food was more precious and after all people die every day? After all if enough people believe it is okay…why concern yourself about it.
Today, with over 7 billion people on this planet, the ability to produce enough food to feed the growing population is of some concern to a lot of countries. And, along with food shortages, the quality and availability of water and quality of the air is also in jeopardy. It’s funny how we take clean water and air for granted. Even with newer technologies and stricter environmental laws being put in place we seem to be on the short side of a losing battle.
It’s interesting to note, that many people will go through the expense of either buying bottled water or putting in a water treatment unit in their homes to ensure they are getting pure, non-contaminated drinking water. Using bottled water or a filtration system will remove odors and some tastes associated with chemicals used to treat the water…and so they associate good taste with better water. However, when it comes to the air they breathe, if they can’t smell or taste anything in the air then it is okay. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Much of the air we breathe in homes, offices, shopping malls and in urban areas has a much higher level of suspended sub-micron sized airborne particulate than we believe. And, unlike tainted water or spoiled food which we can immediately react to, high concentrations of airborne particulate in the air we breathe is never noticed. And, since everyone around us is not falling over dead from breathing the same air….it’s entirely okay.
Over time, breathing in large concentrations of harmful airborne contaminants can cause any number of respiratory or allergic dysfunctions. And, even breathing in low concentrations of certain airborne chemicals and gases can be deadly. Of course then you could become part of the food chain maybe end up as soylent green.
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