Ask Your Doctor if Satiation™ is Right For You

Scientists have invented a pill that that allows you to live without eating, drinking, or excreting. Unfortunately it not only eliminates your desire to eat, it also ensures that you take no pleasure when doing so.

Question: Would you take the pill?

FAQ:

  • Taking the pill is a one-time event. Once you swallow it you are set on “no eating” for the rest of your life, no take-backs.
  • Those who take the pill never again feel hunger, thirst, or any other food-related sensation.
  • The pill produces a fixed # of calories a day, so your weight would depend entirely on your activity level.
  • The pill doesn’t prevent you from ingesting substances. It guarantees that you feel no desire to do so, and that you will derive no enjoyment from the actual act of consumption (e.g., nothing would taste “good” to you), but you could still, say, consume intoxicants for their effects.
  • Yes, you get to keep all the money you would have otherwise spent on food.
  • There are no impending apocalypsii or food shortages on the horizon (i.e., survival shouldn’t factor into your decision).

I put a considerable amount of thought into this question the other day, and finally decided (a) I would take the pill, and (b) within six months I would probably regard eating as an almost unendurable burden.

* * *

92 comments.

  1. Been reading A Wrinkle In Time again, eh?

  2. Hell, no. Eating fantastic food is one of my favorite things ever. I would miss flavor and tastiness and the joy of cooking way too much!

    Though it would be nice to save all that money I spend ordering out all the time.

  3. Yep. I would take that pill.

    I weighed the time required to prepare and ingest and clean up after food against the value of that experience. Basically eating is something I don’t enjoy as much as the stuff I could be doing if I wasn’t eating.

  4. One thing you didn’t mention that would factor into my decision, is that you didn’t mention the other “end” of the equation, so to speak.

    Do I get to give up the inconvenience and time-sink of #2 as well?

  5. Yeah I don’t see this working out positively from that set of rules.

    My current food budget is a fairly low percentage of my income, and rule #6 basically guarantees this won’t change any time soon. I’m supposed to trade this for the sum of future food pleasure?

  6. Very interested in the pill, but important question: What about poop?

  7. I would take it in a heartbeat. In fact, I have been demanding exactly such a pill for years.

  8. Absolutely. I’ve always said that if they made meals in pill form, I’d take them probably 4 days out of 5.

  9. Question #2 has been addressed in the post. That is to say, the question regarding #2.

  10. Surely this drug would be given a made up name that’s not *quite* a real word, no? Something like Satietin or Fillify? Or a little more on the nose: Anorex?

  11. Sign me up, I’ll be first in line.

  12. Yes, yes. Sign me up. Can I get one so I don’t have to sleep either?

  13. If I could still get pleasure/satisfaction out of one coffee drink per day, then I would totally take the pill. But if the “no enjoyment” thing also applied to coffee drinks, then no way.

  14. Never! The act of eating is so pleasurable, I don’t want to lose it. Even when I’m really hungry, the feeling of finally getting to eat is so satisfying. I couldn’t give that up.

  15. No, I would not take the pill. I derive too much pleasure from enjoying and preparing food (I wouldn’t be able to cook because you can’t prepare good food if nothing tastes good to you). The burden of having to eat is one I am more than willing to bear.

  16. I figure that the pure awesomeness of Rob Cockerham’s Bacon Churner bacon-wrapped sticks of butter (Atkinz Approved) would surely still provide pleasure even to those who have taken the pill, so we’re safe on that front.

  17. If I could still get pleasure/satisfaction out of one coffee drink per day, then I would totally take the pill. But if the “no enjoyment” thing also applied to coffee drinks, then no way.

    You would get as much enjoyment from drinking coffee as you would from a flavorless caffeine pill of equivalent mg., nothing more.

  18. The constant dieter in me wants to know: Just how many calories? Cause it it’s 1500, yes. 3000, no.

  19. Hellllllll no. Why remove a simple and reliable source of pleasure from my life?

  20. It produces the optimal quality of calories for your height / sex / body type.

    (By the way, I am not just making up these answer as I go. I was stuck in traffic the other day and pondered pretty much every conceivable aspect of this question before coming to my conclusion.)

  21. I would take it, then, and I would hate it.

  22. ^ lol.

  23. In all honesty, even with eating/drinking set aside, I enjoy my private bathroom time too much to (er) eliminate it.

  24. Con: I derive a lot of enjoyment from eating.

    Pro: I could take a small fraction of my future expected food budget and do a Anthony Bourdain-style world tour and try everything once before popping the pill.

    Con: I assume the pill will be based on our current understanding of proper nutrition. What if it turns out we need more of something than mainstream science believes, e.g. Seth Roberts claims about fermented/probiotic food?

    Pro: As someone whose risk tolerance for weird street food isn’t always accompanied by a risk-tolerant digestion, I’d appreciate never having to deal with that again.

    Con: What effect will it have on your social life? Will people tolerate going out for dinner and watching you sip water and stare at your napkin? Or will you end up only socializing with other pill-takers?

    Pro: Instantly become a candidate for future Mars missions.

    I would take the equivalent pill for sleep in a hot second, and I suspect many many people would agree, which makes that question a lot less interesting.

  25. Does this pill prevent cavities? If I did not eat, would I not need to brush my teeth / floss?

    What about bubble gum? It is technically not ingested, but does have a taste. Would I still taste it? Would I still need to chew it in order to not lose muscle mass in my jaw?

    What about smoking? Would I no longer want to smoke cigarettes ever again?

    And if I DID eat, even if it were tasteless, would I have to perform bathroom activities as normal?

  26. While you didn’t address it, can we assume that nausea is a thing of the past? Or does no food input mean dry heaves and bile?

    Is this pill a “just for me” opportunity, or will others be taking advantage as well? I don’t want to miss out on the social situations dining usually provides, but if I’m the only one who’s never eating again, that could be awkward. (I assume I’ll forgo eating, since all calories are now extra calories and eating anything is going to enfatten me.)

    I’d take it. As much as I enjoy eating sometimes, I hate cooking all the time.

  27. What about a pill that eliminates commuting, at the expense of enjoying travel?

    And are both pills named Unemployment ™?

  28. Wondering how many people would become extremely dehydrated when they could no longer feel thirsty. That’s a pretty important signal from your body to get some liquid in it.
    That being said I don’t think I’d take it. Could do without the food, but damn I’d miss the flavor of beer on a Sunday afternoon.

  29. I would take it.

    It would make my summer backpacking trips much easier if I don’t have to eat or drink along the way, and I could no doubt find a cheaper place to rent if I don’t require a kitchen or toilet. Add in the money and time saved not having to cook or buy food and it seems like a no-brainer.

  30. another foodie here – absolutely no pill for me

  31. Hell, yes!!!! You said the drug won’t stop you from “consuming intoxicants for their effects,” so theoretically, I could still achieve bliss through Spicy Salmon Rolls. Or 12-year old Jamaican rum. Or home made cinnamon buns. Or…

    Excuse me. I feel this overwhelming need to eat and drink my face off. :)

  32. Yes. How could I miss what I no longer enjoyed? Also, think of the things I could do with the section of my brain devoted to Pretzel Combos! I might even remember how to do long division.

  33. No one has mentioned the social aspect yet. I wouldn’t mind not having to worry about eating but I’d feel like an a-hole having to negotiate the social awkwardness of being “the guy who doesn’t eat” at meals with family or friends.

  34. When you say “pill” you mean suppository, right? If so, then yes, yes yes!

  35. Why would eating be an unendurable burden if you weren’t actually doing it?

  36. If you had asked me this twenty years ago, I would have said “yes, I’ll take the pill” without a moment’s hesitation. Now, though, I would answer “hell no, I’d never take such a pill,” also without a moment’s hesitation.

  37. No way. Life without chocolate and port and french fries and fresh strawberries and cinnamon rolls? Not worth the trade-off.

  38. I often quite literally forget to eat. I’ve been known to go three days before I start to wonder why I feel weak. So yeah, I’d take the pill. It would just eliminate that pesky weakness.

  39. Not a chance. Having come off a weekend where my sister and I packed a 20×10 storage unit into a 26 foot U-Haul, unloaded it into a flea market space, stood around in 100 degree heat selling off the lot of it, and carting what remained off to be donated, and then looking at the 7 day, 545 mile bicycle ride I’m preparing for next year, I can assure you that trying to subsist off of a set daily amount of Calories + water would be nothing but dangerous, even though the rest of my life is relatively inert.

    And then there’s the fact that I like (learning) to cook and eat.

  40. No way. Now say, there’s a version of the pill that wears off after 6 months to a year, I’d definitely give it a try. It really makes more sense that way anyway so the pharma overlords can get theirs.

  41. gimmie the pill!

  42. As someone who struggles with weight, I’m tempted to say yes, but I think the social aspect sways me — we as a society just spend way too damn much time doing stuff involving food for it not to become incredibly boring and awkward not to eat. However, as a picky eater I’ve often said that I would probably take a pill that killed my sense of taste so I could eat all the healthy stuff I hate, even at the expense of the delicious stuff I love.

  43. I enjoy food way too much to take such a pill. The pill would not be worth never enjoying a prime rib or roast beef dinner again.

  44. Yes, I would take it. I’ve ranted before about all the time we have to spend eating. And don’t even get me started on sleeping.

    But I’ll bet it would seem a lot more appealing to people if you described it as something that requires an expensive procedure. If you have to pay a lot for it, it suddenly seems more valuable.

  45. Heck no. I think the thought-experiment pill ignores (by design) many important aspects of food, nutrition, and nourishment that science cannot measure, such as cultural tradition, food energetics, etc. Also it promotes disconnection from the mind-body relationship to a degree I find potentially dangerous. And I think enjoyment is part of the human experience. Why remove it?

    Fascinating discussion! :)

  46. The social aspect of eating is incredibly enjoyable for me, but as someone who’s about to have surgery to remove my cancerous colon, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

  47. I took an early version of this pill, or at least it sometimes feels like I did. I have never had the slightest interest in drinking alcohol.

    This has been a blessing and a curse. I’ve saved a lot of money over the years. (My jaw drops when I hear how much my friends spend on cocktails.) And of course I have never experienced a hangover.

    But I also have never had the experience of being mildly, pleasantly drunk, either. Nor have I shared that experience with my friends — I have never “gone out for drinks.” The few times I’ve found myself in a bar, I was very uncomfortable, noticeably so to those around me. Parties, too. How I envied Lloyd Dobler in “Say Anything,” the way he fit in to high-school party atmosphere despite being the Keymaster! Maybe there are people like that in real life, who can fit in with the drinkers without drinking, but I’m certainly not one of them.

    And so not drinking has had an undeniably negative effect on my social life. I no longer worry about it — I mean, I’m over 40 now, and married with kids — but my college days and the years just beyond them were often quite lonely. It’s amazing how much socializing revolves around drinking.

    Now, I guess I COULD have bought a drink and held it in my hand, and sipped at it once in a while — but, this essentially mimics the “derive no enjoyment” part of what your pill does. I would have had to pretend I was enjoying myself while all my friends were actually enjoying themselves. That gets exhausting after not too long.

    So, no, I wouldn’t take the pill to stop taking food. Then I would have to pretend to enjoy myself at restaurants, too, and eating dinner with my family would be a chore instead of a joy, and I would no longer take pleasure in cooking a great meal for my wife. Food provides lots of yummy tastes, no doubt about it, but it’s the social benefits that I would miss terribly. No pill for me.

  48. I’d like to see an answer to whether this is a special unique opportunity for “me” or whether it is available to everyone. From the “scientists have invented” part, it sounds more like the latter, which I think would have implications that are so-far unconsidered — namely that the existence of the pill seems to be to create an inevitable spiral toward a world in which everyone (other than a small, rich, elite) will have taken the pill, and that this would have very far-reaching consequences in the world at large.

    Notice — I didn’t bother counting, but at least half of the commenters here say would take the pill. Certainly a higher percentage of the population at large would take it, because it seems like the primary reason for witholding is the joy of food, which is not going to be a factor for a large segment of people with significant money problems that would be alleviated by cutting food from the budget.

    So now, we have a world where at least half the people, and probably more take the pill right away. Imagine what this does to restaurants, grocery stores, farmers, and other links in the “food chain”. Demand is down by half at least. Prices drop, but there are so many fewer customers that grocery stores and restaurants start disappearing very fast. With fewer and fewer places to come by food, more and more people turn to the pill, which perpetuates the process. At some point it will become virtually impossible to live without having taken the pill.

    Given that, it’s hard to imagine the extent of the drastic changes the pill would bring about. For instance, all the people previously employed by the industries that grow, process, ship, sell, or prepare food are out of work, and other than the manufacture of “The Pill” I don’t see any industry taking its place. We will however have significantly more space — all the land taken up by agriculture (growing our food, growing feed for our food, pasturing our food, etc) is now up for grabs for other development (which is good because without the need to feed the population, our numbers can grow to expand into that space). Cities and towns gain real estate from the disappearing markets and restaurants, but that will likely be filled by other retail since people have considerably more disposable income to spend now.

    There will also probably be other casualties as well — the diet industry, gyms, packaging design/creation, appliance manufacture (refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, all unnecessary). How much would healthcare change with all food and diet related illness wiped away? How much of our landfills are devoted to by products of food consumption? Would we be able to make drastic reforms to waste water processing if we knew there would be little-to-no human waste? Would bars and the alcohol industry be sustainable when everyone would be drinking “on an empty stomach”?

    Anyhow, it seems like there are a LOT of interesting implications to think about when considering a world with this pill well beyond the personal decision (especially since, as I theorize,it becomes harder and harder, and eventually impossible, to hold out as time passes after the pill’s introduction). Anyone care to extend this line of thinking?

  49. This is a trick question, isn’t it?

    Anyone taking the pill would turn into a mutant/zombie/vampire, a la “Legend.”

  50. You know, I feel like most of us have already taken that pill. Look at most people around the planet and across most of history (we can even leave out pre-history) and the amount of time, energy, and thought that normally goes into acquiring, preparing, eating, and evacuating food for them Compare that to what most of us have reduced the process to. Compared to how far we have removed ourselves from this process, this pill is a very small step.

  51. I’ve always wanted to live the Boa Constrictor model: eat a goat, sleep for a week, and spend the next three weeks doing whatever you wanted, not sleeping, not eating. Then eat a goat, sleep for a week….

  52. Oh yea. I’d take that pill in a second. I only *really* enjoy food when I’m hungry, so if I’m never hungry anymore I can certainly live without it. And since food no longer tastes “good” (which I take to mean “bad”), it should cure the habit of eating out of boredom.

    Yes, I want this pill! And I also want a pill that removes all feelings of inadequacy from not having finished INFINITE JEST.

  53. I’d be inclined to take the pill, but I’d be curious whether we are allowed to take future versions of the pill as they come out, or if we are “locked” to the one we take.

    That is, if I take Satiation ™ and then in a year or two they come out with Satiation 2 ™ (“With S2 you can taste foods that were prepared using our synthetic flavoring additive Tastozine ™!”) can I take that and “upgrade”?

    Eventually I imagine they will have perfected the science and Satiation 2050(tm) will have all the benefits of the original but without the drawback of not enjoying food when you do optionally decide to consume it. How long to wait for science??

  54. Been reading Klosterman, Matthew?

  55. I’d eagerly take the pill and not look back.

  56. Would you have to be at your ideal weight before taking the pill? Or would it be set for a target mass/activity level? What happens if you have an increase in caloric requirements (due to gestation, taking up a new sport, etc.)? Would you just have to shovel in protein drinks to make up the deficit?

    That aside, I’d have to say my answer is no way. Triple no way since you’re asking the question during fall baking season.

  57. You also have to ask yourself, what other sources of pleasure / comfort are going to expand in importance to replace the amount of time our brains spend obsessing about food? I’m guessing a lot of no-food-pill takers will turn into sex maniacs, chain smokers, compulsive gamblers, xtreme sports enthusiasts, etc.

    This is just a special case of the 1950′s future in which we were all to have flying cars and jet packs and food would be replaced with nutrient pill. I’d rather wear a silver jumpsuit and take my chances with a sky full of cars no safer than the ones we drive on the ground than replace all my food with pills.

    And your scenario is completely unrealistic. The pharmaceutical companies are never releasing this until they tweak it so:

    1. You have to take a pill once a month

    2. Which costs slightly less than a monthly grocery bill (But think of all the money you save by not eating out!”)

    3. And which changes your body chemistry such that the only way to get any nutrients is to continue taking the pills.

    4. They lobby to get generic versions pushed back another 20 years (every 19 years or so).

  58. As a woman in the throes of first trimester morning sickness, I can only say, GIVE ME THE FREAKIN’ PILL!

  59. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a correlation between a person’s answer to this question and their Body Mass Index. My gut tells me that the answer is yes.

  60. @Chris
    Correlation with high or low BMI? I am not tempted by the pill as an easy way to make my extra 25 pounds disappear. And I am guessing that a fair number of the “eating is a chore that I often forget” group are low BMI.

  61. Is this a red pill, or a blue pill?

  62. Wow. Seeing all these “yes” answers, I now understand why incredibly boring chain restaurants and fast food places are so ubiquitous. I like cooking and eating good food and think that pill sounds awful, but I’d probably choose it over a steady diet of Burger King and microwave dinners if those were my only options.

  63. I’m amazed no one has mentioned the cultural aspect of eating. It connects us with our own history and allows us to discover new cultures right in our own home. I grew up in the southeastern US, but now live in Nevada. I made Brunswick stew last night, buttermilk biscuits last weekend, and my husband made fried chicken last week. These are all meals I know and love from home. Next week, I’m going to try my hand at Tikka Masala (Indian). Unfortunately, my favorite Indian restaurant recently closed up, but I can still attempt the wonderful dishes at home. The cultural loss of not eating would be, in my opinion, as horrible as closing all art museums, but worse because I can enjoy food on a daily basis and only visit museums when I’m in the area.

    I admit I’m a “live to eat, not eat to live” sort, so of course I would never take such a pill. I would also argue a lot of the pill-takers don’t eat good food. If you had dinner at my house every night, you’d think twice about taking it.

    And lastly, I couldn’t disagree more with the BMI comment. I’m lucky that I have never needed to watch what I eat. I look at food as pure joy. I think dieters (people with higher BMI’s) tend to do battle with food and look at it as more of a chore and a nuisance. They would want to take a pill and leave all their food issues behind.

  64. Ah, I would take that pill in a hot second. Food already gives me very little enjoyment, and to not have the chore of sourcing it anymore would be a blessing. There are few things I hate more than the grocery store.

    Many years ago my father did some liquid diet through his Dr. and he loved the simplicity of the regimen and not having to commit time to food. By the end, though, he was very tired of the flavors available.

  65. No Way. Food, its consumption, creating it, its all a sensual pleasaure that I would not want to give up. For me that would be like giving up looking at beautiful things or listening to awesome music and sounds. No way. The cost, the time, the poop.. its all part of the deal..

  66. No pill. And not for the “OMG I LURVES FOOD” reason either. My activity level varies a lot from month-to-month, or even year to year. When my activity level is up, I eat more. When it is down I eat less. That way I can enjoy a relatively constant body shape, and don’t have to get new clothes all the time.

    With that pill, if I were to increase my activity level by say, training and completing Paris-Brest-Paris, I would probably be down a few pants sizes from a “recovery period” assuming a constant 3-4000 calories a day. If I wasn’t getting a smaller amount, then the chore of eating during training would be another reason not to train. Booo. No pill for me.

  67. No pill for me. First, I live below my means and I can’t think of anything I could buy with the money saved that could give me much enjoyment. I enjoy eating and preparing food. I pretty sure whatever I filled the time, that I currently spend eating, with would not give me as much enjoyment as eating does.

    From the answers of people who said yes, it’s sound like for most of them it was more a matter of not getting much enjoyment out of food as opposed to having a substitute activity that they get a huge amount of enjoyment out of. They feel there are not enough hours in the day to do everything they want/need to do, so anything they can eliminate that isn’t highly enjoyable will reduce some of the stress from their lives.

  68. I would probably start to take the pill, instantly regret my decision, spit out the remains, and end up fat but with no love of food.

    I do not like your future.

  69. I guess I’m another foodie, to me that sounds about as appealing as a pill that would make you blind and deaf.

  70. There used to be a commercial for some brand of energy bar, in which there was a lean woman who, interrupted during her daily run, smilingly confessed, “Food is just fuel to me,” which explained her fondness for eating the stick of high-protein particle board on offer.

    I always responded to that commercial the way I respond to horror films.

    One of my great joys when travelling is discovering local foods and trying the cuisine. One of my great joys at home in NYC is discovering new and interesting places to eat.

    It is simply unimaginable to me to give up the pleasure of great food willingly. I’d as soon give up sex. Or breathing.

  71. This makes me wonder if, way back in times of yore, we used to do something else, like put rocks in our belly buttons, and since we don’t do it anymore, we don’t miss it. Would stopping eating have the same effect?

  72. Don’t give the government any ideas… It would soon be mandatory for soldiers. It would be offered instead of help buying actual food to the poor. Countries facing famine would be sent truckloads. Add this to the dieters and the food unmotivated and we are facing a slippery slope. Children of parents on the pill would by default have to go on the pill. Perhaps we also would need a major religion saying the pill is the body of but if this pill is an option, it will likely eventually become the ONLY option.

  73. This sounds exactly analogous to chemical castration. And since most of us have sex far less often than we eat, but most of us would gasp in horror at the notion of negating our sexual selves in this way, why is this even attractive to anyone?

  74. I’d probably think about it for a bit, but no, I wouldn’t take it, despite the time and money I could save. I love preparing and eating food, and a meal, when enjoyed with the right people, is also about a lot more than “just” the food. I think good food is one of those great elemental pleasures and I’d like more of those, not fewer.

    What I _would_ like is something filling and properly-balanced I could store for weeks or months and just eat without having to think about it when I’m hungry and really don’t feel like cooking for one reason or another. Human Chow, if you will.

  75. unlike the normal reasons for taking/not taking the pill(various social, cultural, pleasure and time aspects), I would have to decline it for the line of logic that the pill sets a set number of calories every day. this would require me to do something I almost never do currently, exercise.

    other wise I would have no way of burning of the calories. To add to that, the time spent exercising comes in to replace the time I would have spent eating. Then comes in the various costs of exercise machines, because sit-ups and crunches would get to routine. After that, all the calories that were burned would have to be expelled somehow, and other than a gaseous form that still breaks one of the previous laws.

    there are just too many negatives for this pill, and I wouldn’t fall for it.

    ITS A TRAP!.

  76. Never, nope, uh-uh. I love to cook and would hate to have the pleasure that I get and that I can provide for other people taken away. The act would no longer be pleasurable if I didn’t crave or enjoy the things I created. On the other hand, I know that my boyfriend would disagree. He can enjoy a well-prepared meal, but he eats to survive, nothing more. If I make something great, he appreciates it, but he would be just as happy with mac ‘n’ cheese.

  77. Dear Government,
    Please make this!

    Love,
    Me

  78. no way. I love food. Y’all take the pill… more food left for meeeeee!

    Shoot, just the thought of this conversation made me hungry. Must go find pasta now. Kthxbye.

  79. Food, in the form of mother’s (ideally) milk is our first pleasure and most basic need. One of the ways you gain trust with a pet or any animal is by feeding it. Eating is our most basic function and I really think that if we lost everything connected with it, after a while we’d become depressed and uninterested in life.

    I’d hate not to have the pleasure of looking forward to eating foods in season or to appreciate the care that a friend goes to in cooking for me. As for saved time – eating is not a waste of time. Eat better and you’ll enjoy it more. How about a castration pill so that you’d not ever miss sex as well, and an anti-appreciation pill so that you don’t need to waste all that time looking at art? We could turn into machines if we worked at it a bit, and we’d get so much more done.

  80. You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need of anything to drink.

    “Why are you selling those?” asked the little prince.

    “Because they save a tremendous amount of time,” said the merchant. “Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week.”

    “And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?”

    “Anything you like . . .”

    “As for me,” said the little prince to himself, “if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.”

  81. And lose the ability to enjoy beer? Never!

    All you Pillys (as we’ll call those of you who take this abomination) will be driving down food prices for the rest of us. However, I can’t see much in the way of a high-end food trade making a go of it business-wise for long after the pill hits the streets so we’ll only be able to buy cheap but low-quality foods.

    Of course, as someone pointed, most people seem to have already taken this pill. How else can the popularity of McDonald’s and Coors light be explained??

    No pill for me.

  82. wEBoDT I want to say – thank you for this!

  83. You are cutting out one of your few senses, one of the few ways you can interact and experience the world so you can what? save some money? No way!

  84. omg, yes. eating is such an annoying chore. i’m someone who forgets to eat (yes low bmi) & although i love candy & greasy things, i love not cooking & not eating. it just isn’t as important to me as some people. was my dinner delicious? yes. am i going to orgasm over it? no.

    PS: Eric Berlin, I’m sorry you had so much trouble when you were younger, i realized early on that by organizing & leading the socializing I could steer others away from the bar scene.

  85. I’d take it. I’m a terribly picky eater, and have lately lost my taste for some of those few things i DID like. food for me is a tedious challenge – what i like is bad for me, everything else is unpleasant texturally or taste-wise. I’d be pretty happy to take a pill for sustenance. i’d miss out on diet coke, but then – i’m sure that delightful burning sensation as diet coke meets the back of my throat would still happen. so – no real loss.

  86. I would purchase one these pills to keep in my bomb shelter. That way there’s more room for guns, ammo and gasoline, and I don’t end up eating dog food out of the can like Mad Max

  87. I would like 3. One for each of my kids who apparently three meals a day. It’s exhausting. Perhaps they could wear off my the time they reach adulthood so they can make their own decision?

  88. Good lord no.
    If you really want to add back those few hours a day you spend eating, cooking, food-shopping… there are proven ways to do it. You could survive on simple nutritional supplements that require no cooking or clean up. It would still cost money… but imagining that this pill would be free is silly. Pharma would price it at about the same cost you spend on food each month. Just because they could.

    Years ago a researcher found that by sleeping 15 minutes every 2 hours, he could satisfy all his need for sleep while cutting his total amount of sleep time in half. Supposedly this technique was pioneered by some Leonardo Da Vinci type. He found that he was totally bored with all the extra time he had. He was no Leonardo Da Vinci! So he gave it up, preferring to live a more “natural” lifestyle. I’m sure many of you (particularly the parents) really would benefit from all the “extra time” in your life. But most of us would fill it up with reading blogs, or doing something else ultimately less fulfilling than preparing and eating a good meal.

  89. It’s cute that you think anyone would have a choice whether or not to take such a pill. To add a little to what commenter “elias” said, the spiral toward a world where everyone has taken the pill would be pushed along extremely quickly, as government and private programs that provide food (food stamps, food pantries, prisons, school lunches, etc.) would instantaneously offer the pill and either eliminate or reduce the quality/availability of food choices so as to make the pill essentially mandatory. It’s likely that private employers, sensing an opportunity to cut costs, would endorse the pill wholeheartedly and reduce compensation across the board by about 10% (the amount of their salaries that most Americans spend on food), again making the pill a non-choice for many. In addition, taxpayers would probably demand that the government stop subsidizing unnecessary food production, and the phasing out of farm subsidies and consequent rise in cost of food would seal the deal.

    Everyone who said “no,” please change your answer to “yes, I would be forced to.”

    FORTUNATELY for our freedom to speculate, this pill has already been developed, and the guy who invented it is in a padded cell next to the guy who invented the car that runs on seawater.

  90. It took about a millisecond for me to realise that I would not take the pill.
    One reason is obviously the enjoyment of food but there are also have a couple of philosophical reasons for this rejection.

    Firstly, we were given five senses with which to experience the world around – sensations that can be both agreeable and disagreeable. Just five, precious few when you think about it. It seems a little ungrateful and churlish to neuter one of these senses in the name of mere convenience. A bit like ripping up a time-consuming garden in order to lay an ugly grey concrete patio which needs no tending.

    Secondly, so many technological devices are invented to save us the labour of everyday tasks. But hidden inside these very tasks is the rich texture of life itself and if we keep on eliminating them we will end up like the humanoids in the movie Wall-E. Eating is certainly a hassle, as is walking, having children and getting to know people. Not surprisingly Kurt Vonnegut puts it so much better than I ever could:

    http://www.designfax.net/archives/0899/899trl_3.asp

  91. There’s a problem with the mechanics here that some commenters (e.g. scott) have mentioned. The “fixed quantity” clause sets up logical problems related to changes in caloric needs due to activity level or certain conditions (pregnancy, aging, loss of mobility from accident or disease, etc).

    For instance. Say you take your pill with its 2000 calorie/day dose. But you use your extra time not spent shopping/cooking to train for a marathon, sending yourself into calorie deficit pretty quickly. Apparently you can offset that deficit with food (because you can still eat), although there is no mechanism for alerting you to the calorie deficit, because the pill has abolished hunger. You could exercise yourself to death, conceivably. Unless the user can feel weakness from lack of caloric energy. Or loses so much weight that it’s apparent that food is required to offset the deficit. The fixed-calorie clause thus means either a post-pill cessation of ALL non-metabolic activity or an automatic descent into calorie deficit that must be offset with food in order to maintain health, which means you’ve still got to eat but it’s no longer fun (as scott commented, “it’s a trap!”).

    Similarly, it’s apparently not quite right to say that “your weight would depend entirely on your activity level.” That’s focused on dieters. It seems from the premise that you could engage in only normal daily activities and gain no weight, or you could conceivably have an eating disorder that causes you to binge without hunger or physical satisfaction, even post-pill, which would result in weight gain. In fact, any eating — even your six months — would result in weight gain, since you’re going above the ideal metabolic calorie dose the pill delivers.

    I think the thought exercise allows a cleaner decision if you tweak your answer to commenter brittney to say “It produces the optimal quality of calories for your height / sex / body type, and adjusts to your changing activity levels and metabolic needs.” And remove the part about weight being dependent on activity level. Such a change may also accidentally remove the ability of the user to gain weight through eating, but I think that too makes more sense if the question is strictly “would you eat if you didn’t have to.”

    PS I hate you for hijacking my brain.

  92. It’s not Satiation™, but it does seem to be the closest thing I’ve heard of to this wonderful hypothetical of yours.
    “How I Stopped Eating Food”: http://robrhinehart.com/?p=298

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