Finally, someone has created a product that saves me the trouble of actually combining milk and cereal. The fine folks at General Mills, likely mindful of the huge waste of time these actions represented for me, have introduced a breakfast bar that combines a sort of pressed cereal sawdust with a white powder that they claim comes from actual milk.
Sure, the whole thing--at least the Cinnamon Toast Crunch variety--tastes like sugar-coated particle board, and I'm not generally comfortable eating milk as a solid, but it saves me five minutes, and that's what matters. If only they could eliminate the box and make the wrapper edible, they'd have the perfect product.
General Mills introduced these bars because fast food, once considered a wonderful convenience, has apparently become too slow for the American people. Instead, we've taken things a step further, creating ultra-fast foods that combine the various elements of a meal into portable, easily ingestible packages.
From just-add-water meals to microwave dinners, energy bars and power shakes, we're constantly inventing ways to make eating less enjoyable. Even fast-food restaurants have followed this trend, jamming various leftovers, scraps and kitchen scrapings into a tortilla and calling it a "wrap," or reducing meals normally eaten with a knife and fork--like pancakes or french toast--to hand-held "sticks."
It seems we no longer have time to put meat between slices of bread or put water into condensed soup, and we most certainly don't have time to eat our yogurt with a spoon. In this fast-paced world of the future, we need foods condensed into burrito-esque forms, folded into pockets, pulverized into shakes or mashed into bars.
In another few months, people will eat by having a tasty nutrition paste squirted into their mouths as they go about doing other things. Sitting down for a meal will be considered outdated, like washing your clothes in the river or having Jennifer Aniston's hairdo. We'll merely "take sustenance" while rocketing from meeting to meeting.
If we've resorted to sucking yogurt out of a tube and making stir-fry meals that come in a box, we're likely mere months away from "steak dinner on a stick," "macaroni and cheese shakes" or "lasagna gum." Personally, I'm in favor of simply stuffing as many ingredients as possible into a blender, adding some protein powder and a dash of blue food coloring and hooking up an IV.
Forget actually sitting down to a meal that someone cooked from ingredients common in nature. We'll eat food built in laboratories as we drive places. Perhaps we can find a way to eliminate the chewing process by creating meals we can absorb through a patch or ones that we can eat in the shower.
Of course, edibles created by scientists taste approximately as good as medicine created by chefs. They also tend to wreak havoc on digestive systems accustomed to actually eating, but that's a small price to pay when you consider the convenience.