I have a friend who used to play this amazing prank: When we were in college, he would surreptitiously slip dining hall silverware into the backpacks and coat pockets of his dining companions, turning his friends into unwitting petty thieves.
I’m reminded of this because there’s a similar prank going on in Congress right now, only Congress people aren’t slipping butter knives into overcoats—they’re slipping massive agribusiness riders into continuing resolutions. The continuing resolution in question is the bill that’d keep the government running through September. And the agribusiness rider (a.k.a. the “Monsanto rider,” which was inserted anonymously into unrelated legislation again) aims to make it even easier for the likes of Monsanto to get genetically modified (GMO, or “Frankenfood”) seeds into farmers’ fields—even once courts have ruled that the USDA was negligent in its assessment process.
Some will tell you that the only foods that are truly safe to eat are ones that have been eaten for millennia, but just imagine what miracle foods big ag might come up with if unshackled from the cruel bonds of government regulation!
Self-Fermenting Cabbage: Why wait around for a bunch of Germans or Koreans to convert cabbage into one of its just two edible forms? With self-fermenting cabbage, you’ll be able to wander into the patch like some modern day Xavier Roberts, a hot dog or bowl of bibimbap in hand, and pick yourself a head of ready-to-eat sauerkraut or kimchi.
Carb Beef: Americans love beef, but where are the sweet, habit-forming carbs? Scientists are working to create a starch-based steer whose flesh will spike your blood-sugar—or send you into diabetic shock—within minutes of consumption. Guaranteed no protein. Comes in high-sodium variety.
Self-Picking Strawberries: With strawberry season so short, there’s just no time to harvest ’em. Self-picking strawberries do the work for you, with stronger plants picking the fruits of the weaker plants until you’re left with one “alpha” strawberry bush controlling the field’s yield. (A “strawberry tranquilizer” is recommended for subduing the remaining alpha bush.)
Pleach: The nectarine combines the firmness and texture of a peach with the sweetness and not-hairiness of a plum. Think of the Pleach as a hairy, tart plum. Yum.
Limon: Sprite had this project in the works for years with little success. According to rumors, head scientist James Varney had made a major breakthrough just before his death and encoded the secret in the mesh of the trucker’s hat he wore to his grave.
Bloodless Beets: The worst part of eating beets comes the following day when you forget, momentarily, that you’d eaten beats, and then call 911 in a panic because all evidence suggests that you’re bleeding out in the loo. Bloodless beets provide the rich, earthy goodness of beets without all that troublesome red coloring. Not to be confused with golden beets, which are actually squat carrots.
O-Pears: This orange/pear hybrid combines the mealy texture and hard-to-peel shape of the common pear with the acidic sting and citrus-y peel of an orange.
Chicken of the Sea: Jessica Simpson was right: “Chicken of the Sea” makes no sense. Until science bred an ocean-borne chicken with webbed feet, gills and a dorsal fin instead of a comb. Arrives pre-brined.
Popcorn Artichokes: Do you love artichokes but hate all the peeling and choking? Popcorn artichokes, the flowers of GMO pigmy thistle plants, are bite-size artichokes that you pop in your mouth and swallow before the spiky leaves have a chance to lodge in your throat. Win-win.
Beanbag potato: The food that’s also a chair. Ideal for couch potatoes who’ve hocked their couches to pay their cable bills.