Our Post-Scarcity World... and Keto
You’ve been fed a bunch of lies about economics. My question to you is, “What do the ketogenic diet and economics have to do with one another?” It’s meant as a rhetorical question, of course, because I’m already aware of the answer and I’m eager to share it with you. What they have in common is that they serve as reflections upon humanity and our progress. And it helps explain why those who are politically motivate turn such a beautiful thing as progress into a bad word.
It is no secret that capitalism relies on perpetual growth in order to maintain balance and stability. Nobody really likes that fact save for those who have deluded themselves into believing such a stasis is permanently possible. We’ve been sold a story that capitalism is the necessary tool to deal with scarcity. That’d be cool, except for the fact that capitalism actually was pretty successful and, at least indirectly, aided in the elimination scarcity.
Yes, capitalism helped us, in part, transcend scarcity. This will likely be studied for generations to come, but the perfect storm of two world wars and a global economic depression sandwiched squarely between led to an otherwise unfathomable second wave of industrialization and innovation.
Forget people talking about money being a motivator… people are intrinsically motivated whether or not money is in societal use, but free market capitalism sure encourages the commoditization of any- and every-thing. What motivated people to put green beans and brine in a can, however, wasn’t money; it was having experienced true scarcity.
Money wasn’t the objective for canned vegetables. It was the tool for commoditization that afforded the possibility.
When is the last time that you went without the ability to acquire the minimally required amounts of food, water, metals, plastics, wood, or any other type of good? If you can think of a time, I’ll rest assured knowing that it was caused by one of three situations: natural emergency, political interference, or some majorly abstracted economic instability (such as derivative devaluation). Only the emergency scenario has any basis within uncontrived reality, and it is largely offset by the decentralization process known as globalization.
Learn more about Globalization’s Detractors
What does that say about a world where previous expensive luxuries such as refined sugar and added salts are less expensive than real food? Humans eat meats, vegetables, nuts, and grains. Pretty much in that order. However, in the past 100 years, beginning in the United States, the order has become very confused (grains, vegetables, meats, nuts).
Why is this?
Only in a post-scarce world can production of non-essentials like sugar and salt be economical enough to mass produce and utilize in everyday food production. In fairness, salt is still very necessary in food applications not involving refrigeration and important in modern ketogenics as we don’t consume as many organ meats, but I digress. Only in a post-scarce world does profit become a motive before nutrition. Only in a post-scarce world does profit have the luxury of becoming a motive before even survival… we all know what sugar does to the human organism!
The cheapest of all food stuffs, grain, is coated liberally with sugar and salt because they are able to be mass produced and commoditized. They mask the fact that grains are otherwise pretty undesirable to the human palate, and can lead to addiction, at least in the case of sugar.
So what, exactly, does the ketogenic diet tell us about economics? It confirms that we weren’t only being lied to about the nutritional values of foods in the form of the U.S. Food Pyramid and the more modern USDA MyPlate serving suggestions, but also about living in a scarce world.
We’re in such a post-scarce world that the only threats to material supply short of a truly global devastation are political and economic.
We’re in such a post-scarce world that we’re persuaded to promote cheaper but less biologically compatible grains in order to meet economic economies of scale in their production.
We’re in such a post-scarce world that eating actual human foods such as digestible green vegetation and animal meat is considered a diet in the slang-sense of the word.
Now, with only a few minor exceptions, the next time you hear someone talk about resource limitations on a global (or at least non-individual) scale, you can look them in the eye with a blank stare that very firmly matches the blank canvas that best describes their extent of reasoning.