Jan 3, 2014

How Hunger and Fine Tastes are Provided in a Galactic Cooperative

In a Cooperative, near socialist colony run by advanced societies of the galaxy, where hunger would be eliminated for, would those who enjoy finer foods lose that joy because of the necessity of the system to feed everyone. Would finer taste have to be sacrificed in the name of ending starvation? My partner and I are foodies, we enjoy quality foods, appreciate the simplicity of fresh, natural ingredients. It is a connecting point for us when we can discuss food and cook together. The simple pleasure of breaking bread with another.

But in my Abduction experience, a mechanical arm put a tray of slop directly into my belly. I've wondered ever since, if this is what food is like to a society understandably more interested in ensuring everyone is fed. Is slop the result when people are not forced to work the food industry, where only cooks who do enjoy the job remain out of passion?

Some days later, I dreamed an answer I didn't recognize was in response to that dilemma until I described it to my partner some time later.

He, I and our son Link enter a Japanese restaurant with more tables and floor space than I've ever seen in a Japanese restaurant, while still maintaining the atmosphere of fine Japanese cuisine. We are after the dinner rush, so most of the tables are empty. The waiter lays down what I learn is the default course that anyone who comes in receives. It's a decent meal of rice, veggies, noodles. We are handed a menu that is actually more like a sushi menu in that it is supplemental items. Listed are the finer additions like sauces, or sushis you can include with your meal that will cost credits. The default meal is provided as part of our dues, I suppose. Not necessarily free. It's more provided by taxes. But I got the sense that if anyone new to the system came in they would receive the meal without charge as well. It was a courtesy provided by the cooperation of all members of the society. Jim and I discussed ordering a couple extras for exploratory dining. But I was surprised by how satisfying the default meal was and asked for seconds. The default meals were generally all-you-can-eat. However, when I requested a third portion, the waiter apologized saying they have reached the limit of their allotted supply for the day and must no longer allow more after the first (second in my case) if they were going to have any left for anyone else who might come in. I understood and weighed whether I would spend the credits to order an addition instead.

The atmosphere and quality of the food surprised me. I remember thinking to myself as I looked around how impressed and relieved I was to know people like us would not be deprived of an intimate pleasure. The earliest episode I was on a colony ship like this in a cafeteria setting I remember being able to choose between two or three meal options, but it was a cafeteria for new members to the colony where I assembled with a few other female recruits. It was the first mention of the credits system they use, received for work in a branch, which each person is assigned placement into based on an evaluation. I was placed in the white main branch, though I still don't know which one that was. My placement test was choosing to write a poem as an assignment over two other options. Just the fact that I chose to write a poem placed me in the white. It evaluated how I thought I might demonstrate my abilities the easiest. Quite clever. Except, I was disappointed and complained to the stewardess, who said I could transfer if I found it was not right for me.

On the colony in this post's dream, Japanese cuisine was not the only option available. Other restaurants were around and each had a baseline default meal. In other words, the dream was showing me how the ideal society's setup worked, and reassured me we would not have to compromise our love of food, just choose to spend our credits in that direction.

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