28 Jul 2014

In distance running, my nutrition strategy is simple: "what is the fastest way I can get the maximum number of calories into my system, without stopping what I'm doing".

It used to be the same in life. I resented the time, energy and money consumed by the process of keeping my body functioning. I looked for ways to optimise.

When you live alone (or with a housemate whose schedule rarely intersects yours), the maths is unforgiving. It'll take half an hour to shop for food, an hour to cook it. Fifteen minutes to eat, another fifteen to clean up.

Two hours lost. I don't have two hours. I have things to do.

I wasn't alone in this. The whole point of the Soylent project is to turn those two hours into two minutes.

Without going to that extreme, I struggled to get the time down. My need for precision means that I'm a reliable cook but not a fast one. It didn't work.

So 30 Kitchens is an experiment in the opposite direction. What if, instead of trying to reduce the two hours to zero, I doubled it? What would that look like?

It turns out that it looks like this.

I could save time refuelling, and use that time to do something I enjoy. But why not just cut out the middleman? While it's just about possible to zero-out food as an experience, reducing both cost and benefit to zero, there aren't actually that many things that we're hardwired to enjoy. Remove food, and you're left with just music, sex, and running, along with a couple of more esoteric ones. Why make this harder?

So for now, food isn't the means to an end. It is the end. Or at least one of them.