While one of H.G. Wells' lesser-known works, The Food of the Gods has been retold in many forms in Science Fiction novels and films for the past century. It is the cautionary tale of scientists tampering with nature with the disastrous result of giant animals at large. Mr. Bensington and Mr. Redwood create a new food material, Herakleophorbia, later called Boomfood, they hope will have beneficial uses to mankind. They set up the Experimental Farm, managed by a Mr. Skinner and test the powdered material on newly hatched chicks, which in turn grow to 6 times their normal size, killing cats and threatening children. Unfortunately, the dispersion of the food is uncontrollable at times and in rapid succession there are giant wasps, rats and earwigs running amok. The first two plagues cause several human fatalities including the demise of Mr. Skinner. After those creatures are brought under control and Boomfood has been given to children, runoff material from the manufacture of the food leads to the outbreak of giant eels, beetle larvae, flies, red spiders, and cockroaches, not to mention colossal plants.
Eventually, Mr. Bensington is no longer a part of the narrative and the story shifts to the human impact caused by the feeding to human offspring including the sons of Mr. Redwood and Mr. Cossar. The story moves on to follow the lives of the children affected by their incredible growth and the societal outcomes. Overeating beyond minimal amounts necessary cause lesions, cancers, and tumors. If the consumer tries to stop eating Boomfood before reaching physical maturity the eater will become anemic and die. Therefore one cannot eat a little and grow just a little larger, one must consume a constant and steady diet until full grown to gigantic proportions.
This report prepared by David Fletcher