Author : J.R.Blackwell, Staff Writer

Russell came home hungry. When he walked through the door he was thinking of lasagna, steak and sherbet. Leo often had dinner waiting on the table when he came home, their three children occupied in their study pods. When Russell came home he expected warm smells and a quiet house. When he walked thought the door, the children were running around in the kitchen with seven bags of raw, unprocessed, unpackaged food. Seeing Jeremy play with tomatoes, his little fingers crushing the flesh made Russell want to vomit. In the middle of all this chaos was Leo, smiling like a wicked child.

Russell randomly picked an object from a bag and dangled it from between three fingers. “What’s this?”

Leo rolled his eyes. “It’s a cucumber.”

“Yeah, I know it’s a cucumber. Why isn’t it sliced up in a salad, packaged and clean?”

Leo put his hands on his slender hips. “Russell, I’ve decided we should stop eating food from other worlds.”

“What?” Russell threw himself into a kitchen chair.

“The food here on Greenwald is good. It’s grown in the southern continent. We should be supporting Greenwald’s farmers, not some off-worlders.”

“Leo, I don’t want to be involved with one of your political movements. If you want to do something, that’s fine, but I don’t think you should force it on the children and I.”

“The children like going to the market and picking out the food with me.”

Russell pointed to a parsnip on the counter. “The children like getting filthy, and this food is filthy.”

“It is not filthy. It’s local.”

“Same difference.”

“Russell, I saw a program on the NPH Holo-Cast-“

“Not again-“

“They said that our packaged foods are shipped from three star systems away. They have been folded and molecularly warped through space-travel.”

“So what?”

“So what? Russell, this is what we are putting in our bodies!”

“Leo, you are acting like a hippie.”

Leos jaw dropped open. “Russell! Don’t curse, not in front of the children.”

“I like the shipped food! It comes pre-sliced and delivered to our door. I hate putting all that stuff through the processor, programming the damn thing to make whatever, making sure it has all the ingredients. I like my food simple, arriving all ready for me to eat. I don’t have time to process.” Russell slumped over in a kitchen chair.

Leo shrugged his thin, tan shoulders. “Then I’ll process the food. If supporting Greenwald isn’t important to you, if the sacrifices your father made to make this world a success when he immigrated here-“

“Oh give me a bag, I’ll help.” Russell peered inside. “Fresh plums?”

“Yes. They have fresh plums.”

Russell squeezed the purple fruit. “I can never find those on the order form. I didn’t know they grew plums here on Greenwald.”

“Well, they do.”

Russell put his arms around Leo’s waist. “I guess if they have fresh plums, then it can’t be all that bad.”

“Apology accepted. “ Leo dumped the last few pieces of food into the processor and wiped his hands clean.

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