The food pill is, if you pardon the pun, a staple diet of science fiction based in the future. It appears in various guises in Star Trek, Doctor Who, Blake’s 7, Babylon 5 and probably many more then I could list. It is an element I have used in my own fiction, my first ever radio script has “synthetic food” worked into the plot line to ease a few troubling plot holes I had somehow developed. Now that script wasn’t exactly science fiction but I used some elements from the genre to help compose the plot which revolves around cryogenic suspension. A concept I believe is probably not so much science fiction any more but probably a topic under research.
The invention of such a series of pills would be no doubt a socio-economic disaster as a huge source of financial income around the world comes from hospitality and food trade. To have a pill which did all our needs would force a huge number of farmers out of a trade because there would not need for food crops anymore, millions upon millions of livestock would be destroyed and risk endangerin more species as they would be redundant.
Then there would be the loss of the hospitality industry on many levels as who would go out to pay someone put a pill on a plate?
Imagine the black market which would evolve, people sneaking around corners and meetings in anonymous buildings in order to indulge in some Fish and Chips or a Bounty bar.
There is more to food then just nutrition, food should be a pleasure for the senses from the appearance on the plate, the aroma in your nostrils and finally the taste, feel and texture as you consume the item. To deny oneself these sensations would starve the most important thing of all, feeding the soul.