Portable Food-In-A-Pill Helps Soldiers and Civilians in Emergencies, Will Metabolize Your Own Fat

November 06 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2020   Rating: 4 Hot

For those emergency situations where food might be scarce (or even destroyed by enemy fire) comes the Meal Ready to Take (MRT), a device loaded with enough food pills to sustain life for a week. Depress the top button for a full-sized meal.

Although we are told it time and again, not very many of us prepare for disasters. Likewise, soldiers in the field trust that they’ll have enough food in their backpack or vehicle to last them the duration of the mission. So how many water bottles do you have in your place in case of emergency? A half gallon at best? And food? It’s for this reason the MRT is essential to any disaster preparedness kit and in the field of battle.

Inside each pill is enough vitamins and nutrients to constitute about half a meal for a person on a 2,000 Calories a day diet. While it may not feel like you’re eating a meal due to the size (your stomach will still gnaw at itself), you’ll still notice a difference in your energy levels. Your stomach may be empty but your body is still getting the sustenance it needs to survive.

Where does the rest of the meal come from?

The MRT uses chemicals to metabolize the fat stored in the users own body for energy needs. The natural process of using ones stored body fat can take forever in starvation situations (a person can go about a month without eating but is barely functional). What the MRT does is break up small stores of fat to be used in emergency situations only (using it longer than two weeks could result in death).

The boost given by your own body fat and the vitamins and nutrients inside the pill is enough to help stuck soldiers last that extra week behind enemy lines. It gives people in natural disaster areas a needed boost while they wait for FEMA to show up a week later. Basically, it turns your body into a walking energy source for yourself. Maybe next time you go to war you won’t have to worry about that beer gut, it could save your life.

When might we see this come into production?

Best guess is 2020. Although food in pill form is eventually possible, natural human aversion to non-natural foods has set research back decades. The real key is for scientists to find a way to metabolize the fat stored in the persons body. Of course, if they discover that, people will be less interested in a food pill and more interested in easily dropping weight. That’ll be one rich scientist.

Comment Thread (9 Responses)

  1. Very nice, John, but awfully pessimistic. We already understand how to encapsulate vitamin concentrations in pill/tablet form for long term storage and stable dispensation, so that’s 1/3 of the problem already solved. The linked Technology Review article makes clear that the metabolizing of stored fats in the body is also a developed technology, so another third accomlished. Do you really think it will require another decade and more for the final third – synthesis of the two into one balanced and stable formulation and subsequent marketing of same – to require an additional decade or more?

    I also think that something other than a pill a more likely result. An energy bar and/or powdered drink additive packet seems a more consumer acceptable format to me. A package about the size of a filtered cigarette carton could contain sufficient bars and drink mix packets to sustain one adult for say five days with nearly the weight and space savings your pill package promises. Such a format would more easily adapt for inclusion of a water desalination/purification straw with the package as well for the civilian survival supply market.

    I’m not sure I understand your point regarding “non-natural foods”. Power Bar and Gatorade are both well established (and commercially quite successful) brand name examples of “non-natural foods”. Approaching the question from a different direction, moose and caribou are two examples of entirely natural foods. I’m not going to belabor the point by going into specific examples of which catagory of sustenance came in for the most public derision in recent months except to point out that public opinion regarding any given topic (culinary or otherwise) is more a matter of concern for a marketing/advertising effort than anything else. People don’t use the aforementioned filtration straws to re-drink their own urine either, even though it’s been widely reported that human urine is an excellent source of recycled water in an emergency. That doesn’t seem to have inhibited sale of filtration straws much.

    The thing I find most intriguing about technology projections like this is the degree seemingly extraneous factors have on a given tech’s development process. I’m starting to wonder if a more thorough understanding of that group of factors might not do as much to advance the singularity as the actual science itself will?

    Posted by: Will   November 06, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  2. @Will I don’t believe a 12 year time frame is too pessimistic. For instance, tests proven in mice does not automatically translate to tests proven in humans. We hear about them all the time.

    For instance, in Harper’s Oct ‘08 Findings section we see mice doing a lot of things that don’t yet work in humans. Scientists gave sedentary mice a drug that provided them with the benefits of exercise, stopped mouse livers from aging, stopped tumor growth with Vitamin C injections, grew hair on bald mice and even gave knee injuries to a race of cartilage-regenerating mice who quickly recovered.

    All I’m saying is that the technology might be out there, but it’s going to be a while before humans will get to it. The fact that it can deplete your body fat with chemicals means FDA approval alone will take years.

    When will it get into our hot little hands? No sooner than 2020. But who knows, the obesity problem might get so bad that they push it through faster than my falling stocks.

    Posted by: John Heylin   November 06, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  3. John,

    Quoting from the Technology Review article I linked to:

    Sinclair says that a cousin molecule of SRT1720, which is even more potent, is currently in human trials and will enter clinical studies for the treatment of diseases like type 2 diabetes in 2009. “We could know as early as next year if the same types of benefits we see in mice, we see in humans,” he says.

    I should mention that I’m already working with my personal physician to participate in one of the clinical studies sometime late next spring or early summer (I’m Type II diabetic). According to what I’ve read elsewhere (sorry, no link readily available), assuming no serious negative results are reported (not a given even at this relatively late stage of research), general availability via prescription is expected within a year to 18 months of clinical studies successful conclusion. Should that prove to be the case, I don’t think it unreasonable to expect dispersion of the product within the trademark period. Whatever the aspersions attributable to Big Pharma, lack of financial acumen isn’t one of them – the developers of this treatment will be looking at almost any possible mechanism to license their development while they can profit from doing so.

    Given the military application you point out, i further don’t believe that ordinary “consumer protection” roadblocks will disrupt the products development for utilization by armed forces in the field.

    I think it a safe bet that we will either see this product for sale before 2015 or be reading screeds about it’s being uinfairly denied to a public slavering for it’s physiological effects by then at the latest (actually, I expect to read about “black market” availability within the next two years or less). And this is only a mild precursor to the outcry we’re all going to experience when myostatin blockers become more widely recognised within the general populace – you think steroids caused an uproar?

    More generally John, I think we are all prone to miscalculate the effects on development of the exponential growth curve. I think our present disagreement is mostly a differewnce of perspective regarding that growth curve as it applies to this particular topic. I guess we’ll just have to possess ourselves of patience ‘til we find out who was nearer to the mark, won’t we?

    Posted by: Will   November 06, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  4. Maybe you and I should start betting on dates even though it’s years away. Of course, a dollar today will be like five dollars in five or ten years so maybe leave money out of it? Like beer?

    Posted by: John Heylin   November 07, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  5. John said:

    Maybe you and I should start betting on dates …

    How about we both agree to do our best to still be around to celebrate the happy event, whatever the date might be? We can issue one of those “joint communique” thingies to invite everyone else to hoist one with us.

    Posted by: Will   November 07, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  6. Well said, will, accurate and informative. Its seem a majority of society refuse to conect the dots when it come to the level of technological advancement we current enjoy throughout humanity. I agree about the lateral form in which you believe this will take, but I think this would be closely associated with the sensation of consumption. Your point about inclusion of a water desalination/purification straw is fantastic as you would not require too much effort to pack and carry. Keep the torch of advancement burning brightly!!!

    Posted by: LifeORiley   November 07, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  7. I will be in for that BEER!!! sign me up!!! Here in Australia I enjoy Victoria Bitter (VB). I hope they don’t bring it out in pill form… I really enjoy the consumption sensation…HA Ha ha.

    Posted by: LifeORiley   November 07, 2008
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  8. John, I wanted to let you know that a ‘food pill’ was introduced a little over a year ago. Check out www.lifecaps.net.

    LifeCaps is the World’s First Survival Pill. In an emergency situation, when you do not have access to food, you can take three LifeCaps capsules daily to give your body all the vitamins and minerals that the FDA recommends, and that your body needs to survive… for days, if not weeks! This all natural product can be taken on an empty stomach, and has NO stimulants. You can swallow the pill, chew it (fruity flavor!), or mix with water.

    The company Founder went 17 days without food… there is a video on their site with him on his 17th day. Just 3 capsules a day and water. He looks good, with great energy. Check it out, and post your thoughts.

    Posted by: Kevinett   January 21, 2009
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

  9. Thanks John, we looked into LifeCaps and even took the 72 hour challenge. It is deffinately a survival product that everyone should have. I did come across a coupon code. If you use GOCAPS when checking out you will recieve 33% off your order!

    Posted by: Swenson   June 17, 2009
    Vote for this comment - Recommend

Related content from the Future Scanner and Future Blogger