Text from the book is below and a PDF of the book in its entirety is embedded at the bottom of the page. If you would like to purchase a copy please email me through the contact page.
If electronic devices were edible, we could save on petrochemicals and solve the global food crisis in one simple move. In place of e-waste, there would now be e-food. There would be no more photo essay exposés of towns in China piled with PCB’s, dusted in plastic and beset with birth defects. There would be no more African famines. As the developing world grew fat on the cast-offs, ‘starving child’ advertisements would go viral retro cool on YouTube and the guilt market would be forced to redouble its efforts in carbon offset schemes. Instead of upgrading your phone once a year, you could buy a new one once a week and know that you were contributing something to the world simply by wasting more.>
There would be phones in different flavours – lime, orange, lemon, strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, bubblegum, butterscotch, marshmallow fudge, pecan mocha deluxe, wildberry banana delight, apple carrot and beetroot with ginger (50 cents extra). There would be country women’s associations dedicated to collecting old phones for Africa and the school fair would be host to multiple stalls selling phone jam – ‘proceeds to a good cause’. Some enterprising publisher would release a series of How to Feed a Family on Less phone cookery books with a special edition for refugees and people living on phone handouts. Chapter headings might include: How to Combine Unlikely Flavours, Cooking with Phones in a Solar Oven, How to Make your Phone go Further.There would be phone cooking competitions and celebrity phone chefs, each one sponsored by a different phone company. There would be a reality TV series following one of the celebrity chefs as he toured the world teaching the poor and disadvantaged how to cook healthier meals with their secondhand phones. Ad breaks would feature a special edition coffee table book available for purchase online or from your local Borders megastore and the website would have recipes for download straight to your phone - crumb it, batter it, fry it, bake it, boil it, toast it, grill it, roast it. But most people would just use the nearest Dial-A-Phone, where you could trade in last week’s handset for a discount on any gourmet model freshly oven fired.
Naturally, there would be some parts of the phone that were not so tasty and best avoided, but advances in microelectronics would make digestible components much more palatable. Special edition health phones would come with silver loaded circuitry known for its anti-microbial properties and even low cost models would be embedded with chelating agents to make sure that the non-essential minerals passed all the way through. After the first few large component incidents – someone with a GPS stuck in their small intestine, or a camera lodged in their colon – visceral mods would become quite the thing and getting an internal ring tone the new teenage rite of passage.
There would be a thriving market in recycled metals and microcomponents panned from the sewage and thousands of illegal immigrants would come to the West seeking to work the sewers for a better quality of life. Shit miners would also prosper in the developing world, but the incidence of fecally transmitted disease would be high and organised gangs of shit poachers would control most of the trade. On a more positive note, earth mining would diminish in scope and intensity and eighty percent of the remaining Congolese gorillas would rank higher on the WHO Well-Being Index.
Of course, there would be those who didn’t take to the idea, grumbling about a time when the same phone would last for years, shit collectors spoke English and food was something that came from the supermarket. But they wouldn’t be able to resist the inexorable pace of change for long. To begin with, they would hold onto their handsets until they were covered in mould and wonder why their children didn’t want to sit near them in public. Then people would stop calling them, colleagues would start to avoid them and friends would stop responding to their requests on Facebook. Before long, they would be rushing to buy the latest model every Monday morning and devouring their way through hundreds of phones a year just like everyone else.
Dear _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _,
I wish to sincerely express my belief that the world would be a much better place if we could eat our phones.
Being able to feed the hungry with our leftovers would make it much easier to sell democracy to the developing world, fecal mining contracts could be offered in exchange for political concessions and the ability to control nutrition world wide would bring down health costs across the board.
I would like to see the government use its economic advantage in this time of crisis and put pressure on industry to develop the technology needed to make edible phones a reality.
Yours truly, _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _