We’re in the midst of an era of profound technological change, with advancements in “smart” technology, robots, self-driving cars, designer plant and animal breeds, and countless other developments that all have one overarching goal — to allow lazy, pampered human beings to move and do as little as possible while being amply fed, tracked, and tended.
And now there’s been a development that is the latest sign of the approaching apocalypse: scientists have developed melt-resistant ice cream. The scientists determined that “banana plant waste,” in the form of tiny fibers from the banana plant stem, can be mixed into ice cream compounds and significantly slow the rate of melting. The resulting mixture also is supposed to be creamier and potentially healthier, because . . . . well, because banana stem fibers are bound to be healthier than the combination of sugar, cream, chocolate, and other totally empty calories that make ice cream so delectable in the first place.
Some might argue, as the article linked above does, that this is a significant positive development that won’t leave ice cream consumers with “sticky hands” and “stained pants.” I think the exact opposite is true. The meltiness of ice cream on a hot day is part of the fun, requiring inventive ice cream fans to develop highly technical strategies on how to approach their cones in a way that minimizes melt loss and maximizes actual consumption of ice cream, like regular use of the “around the top of the cone” lick, careful attention to telltale signs that parts of the ice cream scoop might be liquefying, and properly timing the decision to bite into the bottom of the cone itself to allow all of the cool, already melted ice cream to run into your happy, waiting mouth.
Now, thanks to banana fiber technology, we won’t have to worry about such things and instead will be able to take desultory licks of our cones without thought or fear of consequences. Is that really something to be hailed as a profound advancement in the history of homo sapiens?
You’ll be surprised to learn that I’m not a fan of self-driving cars, either.