• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

"This is DELICIOUS!"

"The thing I always liked about food pills in The Jetsons is that they always seemed to enjoy them so much. An apple pie food pill seemed to bring them as much contentment and happiness as an actual apple pie. You can get much the same effect with Jelly Bellys, true, but they really haven't moved past the dessert genre."

Food is different in the future and on alien planets. It might be more exotic, but for some reason, it's mostly just more convenient. Whether it's the tastiest, most satisfying meal that you've ever had, or just the futuristic equivalent of combat rations, it will come in pills — Food Pills! Food Pills typically come in your choice of several "perfectly convincing" flavors, have no sell-by date, and provide all the nutrition you need.

Food Pills were de rigeur for the Kitchen Of The Future during the first few decades of science fiction, but today they're a Forgotten Trope--though a character ranting about how the future has not delivered the wonders we expected from it will probably mention the lack of these as an example.

The change is no doubt due to the growth of the health-and-exercise industry and the subsequent general awareness that the human body needs considerably more than just a few milligrams of vitamins per day, and some of what it needs (for instance, protein) has a certain minimum mass and can't be compressed into a tiny capsule.

It may also be related to the reason that we need a health-and-exercise industry. We in the modern era get pleasure from the act of eating, and know it. Even if food pills could remove the need to get nourishment the old-fashioned way, they cannot remove the desire to eat. Even if food pills could taste just like the real thing, we want more than just taste from our food. Even with incentive, no one is going to invent the "extra-crispy fried chicken" pill; crispiness and pills don't mix.

Today's science fiction food tends to be... well, food. If there is concentrated food--such as the "protein pastes" that may be Food Pills' spiritual descendants--it tends to not taste very good, ranging from bland at best to terrible at worst. See Future Food Is Artificial.

Contrast the related trope "Instant Mass, Just Add Water" Pills where pills or powders have water added to them to make glorious feasts. They both seem to come from futuristic depictions of food.



  • An early advert for Smash instant mashed potato has a spaceman getting his lamb chops and peas in the form of food pills, but of course "there'll never be a substitute for Cadbury's Smash". Which is basically a substitute mashed potato anyway...

Anime and Manga

  • The food pellets from Tarraku in Vandread. These apparently suck so bad, the men on the Nirvana find out that even the women's bad cooking is better.
  • In Naruto, the Ninja characters carry Food Pills, referred to by those exact words in the dub, as field survival rations. As with the Truth in Television examples, real food is preferred whenever possible.
    • There are also Soldier Pills, used to make the characters stronger by providing a burst of Chakra, and Blood Pills that can replenish lost blood.
    • Several characters also use them to fuel particularly high-energy consumption attacks that would otherwise leave the ninja dead from rapid malnutrition. For example, Chouji has a three-pill provision that he's only supposed to use in dire situations. After chomping on all three (including the last, red pill, whose side effects include death) Chouji goes from his usually obese side to as skinny as Naruto.
  • In Dragon Ball, the "Holy Senju Bean", when consumed, eliminates hunger completely and sustains you for ten days, in addition to completely healing any and all injuries, except for viruses. It even works for Goku.
  • Junko Mizuno's manga, Pure Trance, is about Food Pills humans rely on for food After the End. Unfortunately, they tend to become addicted to Pure Trance and all sorts of medical problems come up.


  • Back to The Future has tiny disks that expand into fully-cooked pizzas in a matter of seconds.
  • The ice cream pills in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
  • The processed colored slabs of "food" from the film Silent Running.
  • The three-course meal chewing gum from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Too bad about the side effects.
  • WALL-E has the food juice. "Cupcake-In-A-Cup, available now!"
  • There are several references throughout the Riddick series in regards to stuff like "protein waffles" being served at various slams throughout the galaxy, among other things. While not strictly pills, in this sense, it implies that raw nutrients have been converted into something more digestable, which is effectively the same thing. BRB, putting some vitamin C pills into my waffle iron.
  • The characters in the movie Just Imagine (1930) not only consume food pills, but get intoxicated on booze pills.
  • The film 2001: A Space Odyssey features a zero-gee "meal" sucked up through straws, and later a tray of what can only be called Astronaut Chow.
    • This was a case of Rule of Cool, as the book goes out of the way to mention that the astronauts have real looking and tasting food, including fresh baked bread.
  • In The Fifth Element, Leeloo pours a small amount of food pellets into a bowl, puts the bowl in a microwave-like device, closes the door, presses a button, and opens the door again, pulling out an instant roast chicken with all the trimmings. Forget faster-than-light travel, that is clearly the pinnacle of human achievement.
  • In Dalek Invasion Earth 2150, the Robomen eat colored pills dispensed by an automatic kitchen.


  • One of the later Oz books features Food Pills invented by Professor Wogglebug. Characters who take them are still hungry, even though he insists they have all the nutrients they need. Plus, there is the fact that people want to have the fun of regular meals - when the Professor tried to force his students to eat the pills all the time, they threw him into a lake.
    • A similar example occurs with the Auditors of Reality in Discworld. The Auditors who construct human bodies as disguises initially try to keep the bodies going by exchanging all necessary materials directly with the environment rather than messing around with inefficient biological systems. Unfortunately, using actual human bodies (even ones created from scratch) means that they come with all manner of inconvenient instincts and drives, and sort of expect to be relying on those inefficient biological systems; so a group of disguised Auditors trying to "breathe" by giving oxygen directly to the cells collapse on the ground, suffocating, as their bodies demand that they start literally breathing.
  • Robert Heinlein's short novel Methuselah's Children involves, at one point, trees that produce food flavored like "mushrooms and charcoal-broiled steak", "mashed potatoes and brown gravy", or "fresh brown bread and sweet butter".
    • Heinlein, writing in the early days of artificial flavorings, seems not to have realized that there's more to enjoyment of food than taste: the above-described flavors applied to fruitlike "growths the size of a man's hand", "creamy yellow, spongy but crisp", and the temperature of just-picked fruit (about room temperature), sounds less than appetizing.
  • One of the wonders in Tom's shop in Deltora Quest is what are tiny wafers that expand into fully baked loaves of bread when adding water.
  • In the French children's novel Surreelle 3000 everyone is bald, lives under Mont Royal and eats food pills.
  • Various mentions of combat rations and food pastes in Star Wars novels tend to involve jokes on them being nearly as deadly as actual weapons.
    • That's an ubiquitous military joke, that invariably pops up whenever soldiers and field rations exist together, regardless of country and even millennium. Just remember all Fan Nicknames for MREs. Hint: Meal, Refusing to Excrete is one of the mildest. Meals Rejected by Ethiopians was popular at the time news covered famine in Ethiopia.
  • Willy Wonka's Three-Course-Dinner Chewing Gum... If you don't mind being inflating into a huge juicy blueberry. Most people do, with a few notable exceptions.
  • Though not literally pills, the Elven "waybread" lembas from The Lord of the Rings serves the same function, in that it doesn't go bad and a single bite can fill you up.
    • ...a much superior version of human-made[1] cram from The Hobbit; it never goes bad either but according to Bilbo is not only completely tasteless but requires almost infinite chewing to ingest.
      • ...which in turn was parodied by Terry Pratchett's "dwarf bread" in multiple Discworld novels. It keeps forever, and you'll never starve to death if you have a piece of dwarf bread in your pack, because you'll become willing to eat anything else, or travel heroic distances while hungry, rather than attempt the dwarf bread. It's also useful as a melee weapon.
      • At least one culture of shrews in Redwall has a similar bread; it's so filling that a small amount will even sate the hares, an entire species of Big Eaters. There is one character that can take a whole loaf at a go — an owl who suggests he may have information regarding a captured platoon of hares, but will only give the information in trade for some of the waybread.
    • Also from The Lord of the Rings, the refreshment Treebeard provides for Merry and Pippin in The Two Towers seems to be a liquid equivalent of Food Pills: it looks and tastes like water, yet somehow contains enough nutrients to reinvigorate two hobbits who've been harried cross-country by orcs all day. Note that although it sates hunger, they still feel like nibbling something after drinking it for breakfast, because the act of eating is still something they miss.
  • In the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell, the Alliance forces trapped far behind Syndicate lines end up raiding rear echelon bases for supplies. They quickly discover that the only thing worse than Alliance ration bars is Syndic ration bars!
  • Andre Norton's science fiction stories often mentioned "E-rations", which had all the nutrition required for human beings but very little taste.
  • E.C. Tubb's "Dumarest" stories had a liquid high-energy food called "Basic," typically described as sickly sweet because of a large amount of glucose. It was often used when reviving a Human Popsicle, to aid quicker recovery. Nobody drank Basic if they had the time and money for real food.
  • Stephen Leacock's short story "The New Food": An entire Christmas dinner for 13 people, concentrated down into one small pill... that then gets eaten by the baby. Instant Mass, Just Add Water is a plot point. A messy one.

Live Action TV

  • The spray can foods in Phil of the Future.
  • Parodied in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 skit where the Observers sent Mike their super-advanced Food Pills. Mike assumes that they're the traditional version - one pill gives you all the essentials for a whole day. The Observers say that no, you need to eat a whole bowlful, with milk and juice and other stuff.
    • Of course, to get a full day's nutrients, the Observers must consume three or four bowls. Or maybe fifteen.
  • In an early episode of Doctor Who, the TARDIS features a vending machine device which produces food in candy-bar form that mimics the flavor and texture of real meals when eaten. It's never seen again. In The Tomb of the Cybermen, Victoria is offered chicken in pill-form by an archaeologist in the distant future. She is rather more reluctant to try it.
  • Referenced in one episode of Stargate SG-1. Carter is working with Thor, an alien, on a new weapon. It's taking a while, so Thor offers her some food in the form of multicolored, bite-sized pieces. Carter tries one, and practically spits it right back out.
  • The original Star Trek the Original Series series had the automated variant of instant food. Crew were issued cards that would summon a given pre-programmed meal from the automated kitchen, which would quickly compose the dishes from stocked foodstuffs and deliver them via a dumbwaiter system that ran parallel to the turbolifts. nextgen and onwards used replicators that would convert raw matter (i.e. rocks) into organic matrices via transporter technology.
    • Except in the episode The Trouble With Tribbles, when the Tribbles infest this system, and arrive piled on Captain Kirk's tray; one of them has even jammed itself into his drinking glass.
    • This machine is spoofed in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The Nutrimatic Drinks Despenser analyzes the user to decide what drink would be perfectly suited to his or her tastes and nutritional needs. However, no-one knows why it does this, since it invariably (and much to the tea-loving Arthur's irritation) produces a liquid which is "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea". In the movie Trillian more diplomatically says it "resembles tea".
      • In Power Rangers in Space The Astro Megaship has the Synthetron, a machine that apparently creates any food or drink the user is thinking about. The Deltabase in Power Rangers SPD has the same type of machine.
    • A similar device shows up in Megas XLR, which will create any food requested. Jamie tries to use it to create some women and money, but it doesn't work.
    • In "By Any Other Name", enemy aliens who were new to human bodies asked why the crew just didn't use food pills like they did. The crew then goes out of their way to subvert them by showing them the pleasures of eating, drinking, and other things. As to what they were eating and drinking? "It's... it's green!" (among other bright colors).

 Spock: [T]hey have taken human form and are therefore having human reaction.

McCoy: If he keeps reacting like that, he's going to need a diet.

  • Meal bars in Babylon 5 are nutritious enough, but very much inferior in taste to "insta-heats" (which are like microwave meals that heat themselves when opened).
    • Note that both of these are the sort of food eaten when being smuggled on a freighter, rather than being the bulk of the diet. Much grumbling is done over the expense of getting certain foodstuffs on deep space stations, though.
  • Buck Rogers in The 25th Century not only has food pills, there's an episode called "Planet of the Slave Girls" where Buck, Wilma, and Major Duke Denton are investigating a case of poisoned food pills that are making the people on Earth sick.
  • There is a variant in Firefly: rather than being in pill form, they are about the shape and size of bricks[2] and can feed a large family for a month (maybe you eat it in slices?).
    • You do. The RPG states that it's not exactly the most delectable food item, tho. Protein paste is the more common low-budget space food.
  • Lost in Space. Episodes "The Hungry Sea" and "The Space Trader" had "protein pills", a complete nutritional emergency substitute for whole foods.
  • Quark had a scene or two where the crew would eat a meal ... by putting a hose to each person's mouth, through which a "pill" about the size of a fist was pneumatically rammed down their throats.

Newspaper Comics

  • A storyline in Mandrake the Magician a couple of years ago involved a man from the future who has broken the laws of his era to travel back to the 21st century. His reason finally turns out to be that he's a gourmet, and there's no real food in his future, just bland concentrated stuff.

Tabletop Games

  • Early players of the Dungeons & Dragons game often joked about the Create Food & Water spell making a cardboard-tasting, nutritious slop, although this wasn't specified in the spell's description. Though these jokes may explain the "Murlynd's Spoon" (Spoon of Substance in the SRD) magic item from later editions, which did create a cardboard-tasting, nutritious slop. Fortunately, the popular, common, low level, long lasting spell prestidigitation which explicitly covers "altering taste" as one of its (many) functions exists along side it, though is typically inaccessible to most casters of Create Food & Water (though items of it are inexpensive).
    • Adventure S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks had a crashed spaceship with concentrated rations such as protein stews, cero-porridges, nutrient drinks, surrogate steaks, vegetable substitutes and vita-bars.
    • Deadlands had a similar spell called "Vittles", that expressly created nutritious cardboard-flavoured slop. This could however be augmented with another spell that made anything that was even remotely edible taste like a three-star eleven course meal.
    • The shadow elves of the Mystara setting have their own variant of this trope: edible balls of compressed fungus that are lightweight, don't spoil easily, and can sustain life if just one is eaten per day. More realistic than pills, as they're large enough to contain a day's worth of calories.
    • Adventure Masters of Eternal Night. Illithids normally eat the brains of humanoid beings (such as humans). In this module they have pills which contain the condensed food value of a human brain, which will fulfill an illithid's brain-eating requirement for a month.
  • Food Tablets in GURPS: Ultra-Tech don't taste very good and stretch their longevity by suppressing the appetite rather than being especially filling.
  • Traveller has various forms of this. However when not pressed for space real food is naturally preferred. P.69 of the volume Far Trader deals with this.
  • Hollow Earth Expedition. The Secrets of the Surface World supplement mentions Nutrient Pills as a possible Artifact Resource. Swallowing one replaces eating a normal meal.
  • Mutant Future. Goo Tubes are filled with a nutrient-rich mush which comes in four flavors: green, red, yellow and white. No one in the post-apocalyptic world knows what the flavors were meant to duplicate. A Goo Tube is the size of a roll of quarters but can feed a man for an entire day.
  • Mongoose Publishing's Starship Troopers The Roleplaying Game had MI Field Rations. They had all the calories, nutrients and minerals needed to sustain an athletic man or woman for a single day. However, they were almost flavorless, white, chalky bars and were usually a trooper’s last choice for food.

Video Games

  • The healing items in Beyond Good and Evil are all "synthetic foodstuffs," from the slab-like Starkos to the more traditionally pill-shaped K-Bups (manufactured by the aptly-named Nutripills company). However, unlike most examples of Food Pills, real food definitely exists — we just never see the characters eating it. For example, a Parody Commercial for Starkos shows them being served with guacamole, and Pey'j at one point comments that an animal reminds him of his aunt's "Chocolate-covered squid tentacles with kiwi sauce."
    • The K-Bups appear to be marketed as some variety of candy-style snack food, while Chip Cheezum and General Ironicus jokingly refer to the Starkos as wedges of pure cheese in their Let's Play.
  • Ranch Rush 2 has the antagonist trying to sell his "Wonder Food Pills". The protagonist, Sara, along with all of her non-Victor customers, insist that fresh food is best. Eventually, they team up to create jellybeans.
  • Chrono Trigger's "enertron" devices in 2300 AD. "HP and MP restored! ...but you're still hungry."
  • Red Alert 3 Paradox's Allies issue these to special forces and paratroopers as part of their retro-future theme... along with appetite suppressors.

Western Animation

  • Parodied in Futurama. Leela and a date go to a restaurant, and seem to have nothing but small tablets on their plates. Leela compliments the place for its "generous portions". Her date responds "If you liked the meal, just wait 'til you try these after dinner mints."
    • Conversed in "Proposition Infinity". After Bender is bailed out of jail, he asks how things have changed on the outside (after being there for an hour or so). "Is food finally in pill form? How about pills? Are they in food form?"
    • In "Roswell That Ends Well", Prof. Farnsworth's diner order includes a mention of "two mutton pills".
  • The Simpsons parodied this in just the opposite way; after discovering PowerSauce (an apple-based energy snack loosely based on Clif Bars), Homer decides to eat all his food in bar form. He presses 15 pounds of cooked spaghetti into a candy bar sized rectangle, takes a bite out of it... then promptly picks up the phone and calls the hospital.
    • The future episode "Holidays of Future Passed" parodies this, where Future Marge adds water to a pill... which turns into a recipe card for a cake. She then takes the ingredients out of the cupboard.
  • The Jetsons.
    • In The Movie, George has Rosie cut out part of a breakfast pill he doesn't want, and notes that the toast was burned.
    • In one Tums commercial, George gets heartburn from a chili dog pill with the works.
  • The Flintstones episode where Fred borrows from his boss and puts off paying him back parodies this, when the Flinstones family is taken into the suspiciously Jetsons-like future to show Fred how much interest will accumulate on his debt if he doesn't pay it off. When they're taken to a diner that serves food pills, Fred has two food pills thinking they were puny, then afterwards says he ate too much.
  • In the "Space Madness" episode of The Ren and Stimpy Show, Commander Hoek and Cadet Stimpy eat food paste from a tube. This is what sends Ren over the edge: "I need some real food!"
  • Pinky and The Brain seem well fed on their food pellets (when they're not nibbling on Chumcicles). Then again, food in pellet form could be satisfying if you were a laboratory mouse.
  • Somewhat subverted in the Scooby Doo episode "Nowhere to Hyde," when Dr. Jekyll was working on a vitamin that a person would only take once in their lifetime.
  • In a Garfield and Friends episode, Garfield falls asleep and wakes up in The Future where all food is in pill form, much to his chagrin. When he wakes up and sits down for his lunch, Jon serves him a pill on a plate causing him to run away in a panic.

 Jon: What's wrong with taking a daily vitamin tablet?


Real Life

  • Military rations are designed to be filling, easy to store, and long-lasting (Civil War-era hardtack, MREs, etc). Their taste, however, is less than palatable, but then again, beggars can't be choosers.
    • This is often debatable with modern rations like MREs; while many have gotten terrible or average reviews at best, other civilian reviewers have enjoyed their meals and found them roughly on par with commercial canned or frozen meals in terms of taste. Of course, the Russians still feed their soldiers canned meat with half the can full of fat...
      • Because fat IS very nutritious and calorie-rich, and for a physically active man such as a soldier it isn't even nearly as harmful for health as for a modern sedentary urbanite[3], while being cheap and non-spoiling in a can. Around the world much of the traditional peasant food, created by the people who did a lot of hard physical labor, is a hearty, greasy fare. Of course, fat might be not much appetizing, but that's basically what makes it a Real Life Food Pill.
      • Referenced in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater: Snake loves the instant noodles and calorie mates that he's able to find, but he simply can't stomach the Russian rations that restore most of his stamina bar (in a game where the amount of stamina restored is related to both the taste and the calorie content of the meal).
      • Mainly because he missed on a crucial detail: traditional Russian canned meat is supposed to be eaten hot, with the crushed biscuits or cereals added to the pot, creating a kind of a porridge/gravy. Eating it cold out of a can like luncheon meat is an acquired taste indeed.
      • Also note that in The Sixties when the game is set instant noodles were a relatively new invention, unavailable out of Japan, and actually an upscale meal, costing up to three times more than the real thing. It's a kind of an in-joke that Kojima loves.
    • The British Army went to quite a bit of trouble to avert this one a few years back wen they updated their field rations.
    • The relative quality of the MREs received a fair amount of public attention after Hurricane Katrina, when the military supplied many of them to people displaced by the storm and the subsequent flooding. That said, everybody agreed that even the worst MRE beats starving.
  • Canned food originated for military purposes, as feeding an army is rather difficult. During the first years of the Napoleonic Wars, the notable French newspaper Le Monde, prompted by the government, offered a hefty cash award of 12,000 francs to any inventor who could devise a cheap and effective method of preserving large amounts of food. Glass jars were used at first but they break rather easily. So metal cans were developed.

 "An army marches on its stomach." — Napoleon

    • Unfortunately, early cans were sealed with lead, which probably ended up killing the soldiers faster than actual combat.
    • Also, the tin opener was invented some years after the tin, so soldiers resorted to opening tins with bayonets and the like.
  • The astronauts of the Mercury program did in fact eat their food from squeeze tubes. By the Gemini program, the victuals had been upgraded to freeze-dried food pouches and gelatin-coated bite-sized cubes. Only by Skylab did proper knife-and-fork dining finally arrive in space, aided by the invention of extra-thick, gluelike sauce all over everything (eating plain corn niblets in space remains an impossible proposition).
  • Paul Bocuse, a famous French cook, said that his brother was against Paul's wish to become a gastronomer as he expected people to feed themselves with pills by the year 2000 and thus there wouldn't remain a place for cooking. Of course, this didn't come true, but remind that his and his brother's formative years were in the 1940s and that favoring technophile solutions over subsidizing peasants in order to fundamentally fight hunger will not have been a too uncommon mindset at such a time.
  • Like the quote above stated, Jelly Belly jellybeans come in over fifty flavors, including buttered popcorn, mango, and cotton candy. Several of the special lines of flavors, especially the "Bean-Boozled" and "Bertie Botts" lines, included other flavors from the bizarre to the downright nasty, including Birthday Cake, Dog Food, Vomit, Moldy Cheese, Skunk Spray and Spaghetti. Pretty much all of them are spot-on in taste at least (though how they figured out what Skunk Spray tasted like...)
    • A lot of "taste" is actually smell in disguise. The tongue only tastes the eight basic flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami, cooling, pungent, and stringent); all the nuance comes from your sense of smell contributing. So if they can get the smell right, it'll probably taste about right too.
      • More impressively, some of their beans have the flavours of fizzy beverages... and they actually fizz!
  • LifeCaps, and there are probably competitors.
  • Some candy bars, like Full Dinner seemed to imply that they had the nutritional content of nutritious food, rather than just empty calories.
  • A recent article in Wired Magazine pointed out the flaws of food pills. Since the average human body needs roughly 2000 calories a day to stay alive, one would need to eat a half-pound of small pills (or a single giant half-pound) pill every day. This is because the four sources of calories (fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and, yes, alcohol) are very hard to compress into a single small pill. That does not factor in the necessary vitamins you would also need to stay healthy. Finally the article's writer asked why would you want a food pill when a hamburger is so much tastier.
    • Moreover, a crucial stimulus for satiation — the cessation of hunger — comes from stretch receptors of the gastric lining. Hunger centers in the human hypothalamus have to receive a signal that the stomach is physically distended before the urge to eat can switch off. A few pills, even taken with a full glass of water, wouldn't occupy enough space to do that.
  • Food pellets for pets. Especially considering what they naturally eat, it's a wonder they can even stand it.
    • Note that food pellets manufactured for laboratory animals, like rats or rabbits, are often designed to be tasteless, so that alternative foods offered as a reward for completing experimental tasks will be more appealing.
    • Pellets are also offered as an alternative to mixes, as it ensures the animal gets all the nutrition it needs instead of picking out only the bits it likes.
  • David Zondy's Tales of Future Past has a huge segment on Future Food, and of course Food Pills. The best page is probably the one describing an attempt to put it into practice;

 As part of a space experiment in 1965, twenty four men volunteered to be fed nothing but a food made from pure chemicals for nineteen weeks. I should say that that twenty four men started, but only fifteen finished. No, the other nine didn't starve to death. The experiment proved quite successful from a medical point of view and everyone who finished was perfectly healthy. It had more to do with the fact that the "food" wasn't even as solid a meal as a pill.

It was syrup. Looked like weak corn syrup. Tasted like weak corn syrup.

No wonder they had to be locked up for the duration of the experiment. One unguarded window and it was "Hello, cheeseburger!"


  1. not dwarven; Thorin & Co were given supplies of it at Lake-Town
  2. Remember, on a spaceship, space is at a premium, so highly concentrated foodstuffs would be worth their weight in gold
  3. Chief health disadvantage of fats is that they tend to accumulate if not consumed by the body, and a modern urbanite of an average lifestyle spends at most about 2200 kcal per day, while consuming about 3200 kcal, leading to obesity and cardiovascular problems. A soldier in the field OTOH can burn off as much as 6800 kcal per day.