Let Them Eat (genetically engineered) Cake

About the food industry, not in a nice way

Preliminary Plot Structure

Posted by jeanne on June 20, 2007

thing one and thing two work for two different divisions of mega food brands international. thing one works with the division responsible for the vertical integration of the food process; that is, he handles the growing, processing, and marketing of traditional foodstuffs, seed to table. thing two works with the division responsible for research, and she handles new foods, nutraceuticals, nano foods and foodless foods. the two do not know each other, but their divisions are being subtly pitted against each other, because her division wants to eliminate raw ingredients from the food chain, while his division is concerned with keeping the producers of raw ingredients in business.

suzie comes to work for mega food brands as a low level call center operative, woring in the health food division answering customer service calls. she knows nothing about her products but what the computer flashes up on the screen, and she answers all calls strictly from a script.

the two divisions meet. they discover that the efforts of each will put the other out of business, and war ensues. the farm-friendly branch tries to sabotage the effots of the foodless branch, and the foodless branch does the same. all sorts of plots and strategems. it gets personal.

suzie develops allergies to the food served in the cafeteria (really a market-testing lab), and figures out what’s causing the problems, learning about the industry. she and her friends decide it’s an axis of evil, and plot to destroy it. they plan to taint the food supply to call attention to the dangers inherent in the kid of business practices mega food brands engages in. over time, their plot aquires a number of enthusiastic participants, one of whom is an agent provocateur inserted by the government. this agent always suggests the most extreme actions, and finally they settle on releasing e-coli into the food supply.

on the eve of the action, the agent brings in a celebratory meal which is contaminated. the plotters are rendered sick and unconscious, the agent informs on them, the plotters are arrested in their beds. only suzie and a few others not incapacitated are left.

because of the very conditions suzie and her friends were trying to expose, a major food borne illness breaks out around the country, thousands die and millions are made sick. the plotters are accused, and the industry, the media, and politicians call for their heads. suzie fights to save her friends and expose the industry practices that have brought this on, but she gets nowhere.

the government official who headed the round up of suzie’s friends is plagued by a guilty conscience. he knows that they are innocent, and he knows that the industry practices are at fault and must be corrected. but industry pressure and political expediency are forcing him to blame the kids as terrorists and look the other way about industry practices. a very public trial is scheduled and the kids face execution.

then a miracle occurs. a shadowy source (the foodless division of mega food brands) supplies key information to suzie and the lawyers. the government official in charge of setting the kids up has a near brush with death and comes clean about the setup, the food industry tries to blame chinese imports for the outbrea, but suzie has inside documents that prove otherwise.

Mega Food Brands is charged with violations that carry paltry fines, and the public outcry forces congress to enact stricter laws with higher penalties, an end to farm subsidies, and workplace rules that favor a safe working and producing environment. everybody wins but the corporate bottom line. in the battle between the divisions, the foodless division is turning a profit, and the farm people are too much trouble, so one is promoted and the other downsized. the battle between divisions heats up further, and the big questions becomes, on the produce side, how to use contaminated meat and vegetables without poisoning the population, and on the foodless side, how to market foodless food so that consumers prefer it to dangerous real food.

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