Fascinating journey! One thing that struck me is how reflective dystopian literature is of the joyless, industrial, nutritionism so prominent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One in particular struck me: "cotton waste flour substitute" was actually a real, quasi-food: cottonseed. Cottonseed oil was (and perhaps still is?) the main ingredient in Crisco (whose predecessor was the less-appetizingly-named Cottolene, made entirely from cottonseed oil) and other "vegetable oil" concoctions of the industrial food system. Cottonseed is a by-product of the cotton industry, and cottonseed meal is still a popular ingredient in cattle feed, due to its high fat and protein content. It has since been overtaken by soy, in both the "vegetable" oil and cattle feed categories, but you still find it from time to time listed on ingredients lists - usually in foods from other countries who don't feel the need to obscure ingredients.

Anyway - it just struck me enough to comment about it!

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Fascinating! Thanks for sharing. The implicit critique of industrialized foods in these novels is indeed quite interesting. And Atwood's take on 21st century food is as well -- I suppose we are closer to a meal of cottonseed and ChickieNobs than we would like!

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