FOOD: whatever a species can manipulate into a state of digestibility

Rotting fruit is buffet fare for flies and fungus. Rat-trapped blackbird becomes nutrition for a maggot. If it hasn't moved for several minutes, scavengers assume that it is probably edible. Humans assume as digestible any little pile of substances discovered in the middle of a large plate.

Food is the general term used to describe all energy-storage entities in nature for which a biological species has evolved an exploitation process. Species have evolved multifarious strategies, mechanical and biochemical, for rendering each and every source of energy in nature into a digestible form to fuel their own procreation. The surviving mature individuals of every species have the capacity to locate and process their own particular food requirements... excepting for humans, who, for some reason, are mutating their society into producers, chefs, and culinary imbeciles.

In a natural biological system, if a species can evolve to create an energy-storage system, then another species will evolve to exploit it. Apart from those species with the capacity to synthesize their own food, the parasitic remainder obtain their food requirements as an energy tax exploited from other species to benefit themselves. Whether it is a vegetarian chewing an entrée of mixed bird seed on garlic bread, a carnivore tearing into a main course of rare herbivore, or a gourmet sampling the taste combination of vanilla beans, sugar cane, chestnuts and frozen mammalian milk, all are obtaining their food by the exploitation of other species. Even within a species, food is frequently provided to immature individuals by the mature, or simply taken forcibly by the more aggressive. There is many a male lion who has tried to claim his priority to the results of the female hunt, on the grounds that he was all shagged out and needed the sustenance to ensure performance standards. Waving heraldic banners, clanking around in metal costumery and simulating prayer occupied almost all the waking hours of feudal lords and their armed marauders, but they needed to allocate at least some time to stealing poultry, grain and wine from the peasants.

As the food reprocessing systems evolve within a nature, the development of intelligence facilitates tool utilization and environmental modifications. Species become more and more adept at locating food energy resources and modifying them with enzymes, mechanical tools or fire so that they become digestible. Many species learn to augment their options by learning to use an increasingly diverse variety of energy-storage entities as food. Humans assume that no matter what it is, it should always be possible to find a method of processing it, so that some benefit is obtained when it is passed it thru their digestive tracts.

Food is the primary determinant of cultural attitudes and customs. What a culture thinks and does with an animal or a plant depends on whether it eats it or not. The necessity to hunt, gather, cultivate or develop the foods which are able to sustain a population, has an intrinsically formative influence upon the tools, traditions, superstitions and social organization of any cultural evolution. It is a temptation to imagine that a food source is devised to satisfy the needs of a life-style, but in fact it is the availability of the food-source that makes the life-style viable and enables the society and its culture. Before a society can develop into a hunter-gatherer culture, there must be something available to hunt and gather. Agricultural and horticultural foods had to be organized before a city society and life-style was possible. The development of instant supermarket fast foods enabled the emergence of culinary idiots and obesity. The space-culture of weightlessness and isolation from terrestrial patterns was dependent amongst other things, upon the development of a food resource which could sustain it.

Food always has been one of the most immediate and effective means by which an individual or group of a species may be controlled or even exterminated. Having the capacity to retain control over the production and/or supply of food is a principal source of power. The privileged of the world have always managed to sustain their corpulence by not wasting food on the malnourished. The quality, availability and cuisine of the food determines the viability and health of any population. Adulterated, deficient, excessive or inadequate food is almost certain disaster. Unbalanced ingestion practically ensures systemic malfunction. The society that neglects or loses the supply of those foods from which it evolved, can only mutate into a different form or cease to exist.