A Swedish scientist has caused a stir by advocating that to stop the ill effects of climate change, humans should start eating each other. Of course, he does not call for total cannibalism as has been practiced in history. Rather, he thinks that if we just get over some very obvious taboos, we might consider eating human corpses.
While speaking at the Gastro Summit focused on 'food for the future' on Swedish TV, the behavioral scientist and marketing strategist Magnus Söderlund of the Stockholm School of Economics suggested that to truly absorb the effects of climate change, we need to "wake up to the idea" that eating human flesh should be discussed as an option in the future.
Söderlund uses his own television interview on Swedish state TV channel TV4 to give a PowerPoint presentation titled "Can you imagine eating human flesh?" It included topics such as "Is cannibalism the solution to food sustainability in the future?" and "Are we too selfish we humans to live sustainably?'
Depiction of Cannibalism in the Middle Ages.
The scientist acknowledged the "conservative" taboos that have existed since ancient times against the consumption of human flesh and saw this as the main obstacle to the spread of this idea. On the other hand, Söderlund argues that our future food sources are likely to become increasingly scarce. So people will have to think outside the box to get a living, considering pets, insects like grasshoppers and worms. This is also where people come in. The scientist believes that if people get to know human flesh little by little, there will be enough takers.
The resistance that people have to overcome to consider others as food is related to selfishness, according to the scientist. But as a behavioral expert, he believes that people can ultimately be "tricked" into "making the right decisions."
Indeed, after Söderlund's presentation, 8% members of the audience raised their hands when asked if they would like to try human flesh. The scientist himself is also open to "at least give it a try."
And if you're still not sick enough about this whole endeavor, there's a term to take away from this article called "mannisko-kötts branschen". It stands for "the human flesh industry." Let's hope it doesn't really come.
In the meantime, Söderlund plans to hold more workshops on his idea.
Check out this trailer for the Charlton Heston classic Soylent Green (1973) for a Hollywood take on this gruesome subject: