Thursday, April 03, 2008

Soylent Green

Set in the year 2022, Soylent Green depicts a dystopian future in which the population has grown to forty million in New York City alone. The water and soil have been poisoned and airborne pollution has produced a year-round heatwave from the greenhouse effect. Most housing is dilapidated and overcrowded, and impoverished homeless people fill the streets.

Food as we know it today–including fruit, vegetables, and meat–is a rare and expensive commodity. Half of the world's population survives on processed rations produced by the massive Soylent Corporation (from soy(bean) + lent(il)), including Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow, which are advertised as "high-energy vegetable concentrates". The newest product is Soylent Green - a small green wafer which is advertised as being produced from "high-energy plankton". It is much more nutritious and palatable than the red and yellow varieties, but it is in short supply, which often leads to riots.