Richard Fleischer directed this nightmarish science fiction vision of an over-populated world, based on the novel by Harry Harrison. In 2022, New York City is a town bursting at the seams with a 40-million-plus population. Food is in short supply, and most of the population’s food source comes from synthetics manufactured in local factories — the dinner selections being a choice between Soylent Red, Soylent Yellow, or Soylent Green. When William Simonson (Joseph Cotten), an upper-echelon executive in the Soylent Company, is found murdered, police detective Thorn (Charlton Heston) is sent in to investigate the case. Helping him out researching the case is Thorn’s old friend Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson, in his final film role). As they investigate the environs of a succession of mad-from-hunger New Yorkers and the luxuriously rich digs of the lucky few, Thorn uncovers the terrible truth about the real ingredients of Soylent Green and that’s people.
A movie about eating people is chilling, but it’s not the cannibalism that is most disturbing in this dystopian vision of the future. What’s more disturbing is that Soylent Green was considered to be the best-tasting of all the food ration products. The movie implies that we hold cannibalism taboo is not because it’s wrong, but because we are afraid that we will like the taste of flesh, and grow to crave it. The true horror of “Soylent Green” is not that humans are eating other humans, but that they taste so good.
So how about making some Soylent Green crackers this Christmas, of course without people flesh?
Basic cracker recipe
2 cups of plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
approximately 1 cup of milk
Spinach ( for that green effect)
1. Preheat oven to 150’C/ 300’F.
2. Add the salt and spinach paste to the flour, and in a mixing bowl or food processor, cut the butter in until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
3. Slowly mix in enough milk to form soft, but not sticky, dough.
4. Divide the dough into two or three portions and roll out one at a time, until paper thin. You can do this on a lightly floured workbench, or you can do it straight onto a large, ungreased cookie sheet, as I do. This recipe makes enough for my two 10″ x 15″ trays, so divide your dough accordingly.
5. Using a sharp knife or pizza roller, cut the dough into crackers. Prick each one two or three times with a fork and transfer carefully to the cookie sheet if you rolled it out on your bench.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Allow to cool on the tray and then store in an air tight container for up to a week.