By Uncle Dale
Edward G. Robinson was one of Hollywood’s greatest actors, debuting in his 1st film in 1916 and ending his career with his 101st and last film in 1973. I saw his last film when I was a junior in high school. Robinson plays an aged scholar named Solomon Roth who helps his friend, Detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) investigate the murder of President of the Soylent Corporation which makes Soylent Green, a wafer that feeds the masses in 2023 apocalyptic New York City. In Robinson’s final scene of his final movie, Sol Roth lies in a bed at a clinic where he watches a mesmerizing film of beautiful forests, oceans, and wild animals which are all now extinct after which he is voluntarily euthanized. Thorn arrives too late to stop Roth’s death but follows his body to the disposal center where he learns that “Soylent Green is people!” During the filming of Soylent Green, Robinson confided with Heston that he had cancer, and indeed, he died 12 days after filming the euthanasia scene, a fitting end for wonderful actor.
As a young farmer in Idaho, I was deeply affected by the movie. Realizing that I might live to see 2023, I swore that I would never eat E.G. Robinson or anyone else. Well, Soylent Green will not happen in my lifetime (not that I had much impact) but it could happen in the 2073 world of my grandchildren if we are not careful with our resources and lose our concern about what we eat. So I applaud Michael’s series on the Food Apocalypse which calls attention to the crazy things that are passing for food.