Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NYC World's Fair 1939-1940 : in a world facing an an apocalyptic war, a synthetic wonderland that presumed never an apocalyptic war

In the Spring and Summer of 1945 , the few people still left alive in war-seared Belarus,Ukraine and Poland could easily spot the difference between the new-fashioned synthetic food promised at New York's 1939-1940 World's Fair and good old-fashioned natural food.

If one looked hard enough, one could still natural food growing all by itself close by - without aid of any human effort - shoots, roots, fruits and berries  growing in the hidden nooks and crannies of forests and fields.

At least something to fill the aching tummies of small children until the first peacetime harvest came in.

But all those factory-made synthetic foods were nowhere to be seen.

Because their nations' factories, power poles, power plants, streetcars, roads, bridges, railways were also nowhere to be seen.

For what a high tech and globally interconnected synthetic food system unconsciously presumes is a world at peace, with open trade for all.

It sees petroleum from the Near East shipped worldwide and then turned into Japanese seafood and American burgers and British fish 'n' chips.

To give a more important and more current example of our refusal to embrace the natural as a lifeline backup : America produces no lifesaving natural penicillin, from which it then makes almost all our semi-natural antibiotics.

The natural stuff all comes from a few big brewing factories in China and India.

In the event of a war, America might once again be reduced to following wartime's Dr Martin Henry Dawson and produce the natural stuff in any available room with any old bunch of used but clean food bottles.

In a perfect world, national depositories would carefully husband ultra high yielding surface grown strains of the penicillium to guard against such an event.

But I don't have to remind you, this is no perfect world - it is a mad, profit-driven, shortsighted, greedy world ...

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