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Food Transformation Technology in Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl and What It Means for Us

Young-hyun Lee


This article argues that a stage in history has come where advanced technology, especially that of genetically engineered foods and animals, is quickening the humankind’s downfall. Bacigalupi represents this well in The Windup Girl, a futuristic novel that looks with great focus at the transformation of food and animals in the twenty-third century. In our own world, climate change is creating urgent food issues. Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) technologies, having been initially introduced to overcome dire food shortages, have turned out to have many negative side effects, both in our own world and in the fictional world of The Windup Girl. More problematic are the unknown dangers of food transformation technologies. These technologies are driven by multinational corporations both in the real and fictional worlds, and Bacigalupi suggests that the current trajectories of our food transformation industries and their technologies could lead to the demise of human civilization.


food transformation technology; GMO, The Wind-Up Girl, climate change, Paolo Bacigalupi

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2020.03329