The Celluloid Pantry: A Fresh Food Feast and Soylent Green (1973)

The Celluloid Pantry: A Fresh Food Feast and Soylent Green (1973)

Imagine a world without fresh produce, dairy products, and meat — just tasteless, odorless cakes called Soylent Red, Yellow and Green.

Set in an in an overpopulated, smog-filled New York of the year 2022, Soylent Green (1973) was released close on the heels of the first Earth Day in Central Park (1970), and is possibly the first Hollywood movie ever to use the term "greenhouse effect."

Detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston, left) is too young to remember, but Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson, right) recalls a day "when food was food," before "our scientific magicians poisoned the water, polluted the soil."

Thorn thinks the older man is exaggerating, but a small bag of groceries he finds at the apartment of a murdered executive quickly changes his mind. He brings the treasure home to his friend, and lays it on the table. There are two bruised apples, a withered stalk of celery, an onion, tomato, and a small cut of beef.

"Isn't it beautiful!" Sol is moved to tears. "Oh my God, how did we come to this?"

Together, the two men prepare a small feast: an appetizer of celery, followed by beef stew, and an apple each for dessert.

"I haven't eaten like this in years," says Sol.

"I never ate like this!" Thorn devours the apple, core and all, then stares, fascinated, at the stem.

- Nora

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