Food me.
March 22, 2009 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Imagine you are an alien with a pet human.

Now tell me the simplest, quickest, and/or cheapest mix of commonly available in America foodstuffs and/or supplements that will provide this pet with all necessary and potentially helpful nutrients, with no attention wasted on things like variety, taste, or any other aesthetic factors. I want to be able to purchase (metaphorically) 50 lb bags of pure, scientifically validated, lifespan-increasing, healthy coat producing humanfood.

(In other words, I'm a bachelor low on time and fridge/freezer space. Tell me how to min/max my way into an uncomplicated but amazingly healthy eating regimin that I don't have to think about, but that covers all the bases that scientific consensus agrees may be helpful to have covered.)
posted by Nonce to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Well, there was the guy who thought about living off of monkey chow.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:26 PM on March 22, 2009

Also asked here and here.
posted by Mapes at 8:33 PM on March 22, 2009

Beans. Oats.
posted by Autarky at 8:36 PM on March 22, 2009

posted by paperzach at 8:53 PM on March 22, 2009

whole wheat pasta and jars of pasta sauce.
posted by lizbunny at 8:55 PM on March 22, 2009

Brown rice, chicken thighs and some mixed frozen veg you don't mind. If you get bored, this can be varied with almost any kind of spices. or if you like fish, you can swap that in for the protein occasionally. If you find yourself wanting fresh veg, you're getting over it.
posted by zadcat at 9:04 PM on March 22, 2009

posted by cmgonzalez at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2009

protien shakes such as spirutine. we're rasing our son on it, at least in the mornings. it's all the cooking i can handle so early
posted by Redhush at 9:16 PM on March 22, 2009

Rice & beans. Together they have all the amino acids humans need, plus vitamins and fibre.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:22 PM on March 22, 2009

Yep, beans and rice, and eggs. A varied diet of different kinds of beans and rices will provide all the amino acids you need, (specific types can be googled easily), and eggs provide an incredible amount of protein and healthy fats. In fact egg protein is one of the easiest proteins for a human to digest and absorb, plus they're cheap and plentiful. Whey protein is pretty awesome as well, and giant tubs of it are sold at WalMart for 10-20 bucks. You can't beat that.

For extra super stupendous results sprout your beans first, an incredible range of beans are sproutable. The chemical changes that occur during sprouting make a lot more nutrients available.
posted by Science! at 9:47 PM on March 22, 2009

Almost everything you need is in potatoes, milk, and an occasional molybdenum supplement.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:40 PM on March 22, 2009

When people are too sick to keep much food in them, doctors sometimes suggest Ensure (meal replacement drink). Blech, but it will work I guess. Here's a list of the ingredients... it seems to mostly be water, milk protein, sugar, and a multivitamin.
posted by Houstonian at 4:19 AM on March 23, 2009

If you take the ensure route be sure to add some dietary fiber of some sort to keep your digestive system working. (Lived on a liquid diet for a while with my jaw wired shut)
posted by Pollomacho at 4:57 AM on March 23, 2009

Read MFK Fisher's recipe for sludge in "How to Keep Alive," which is in How to Cook A Wolf and The Art of Eating. I believe Jeffrey Steingarten actually tried the recipe, and wrote an essay about it in The Man Who Ate Everything.
posted by kestrel251 at 6:31 AM on March 23, 2009

Beans and rice is a good idea but you need some fat in a diet for your brain to function. Whey protein shakes would work but if you are lactose intolerant that could lead to problems. Give him a can of lard or oil to go with the beans and rice and he'll be fine.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:01 AM on March 23, 2009

Variety is the way humans get *all* the different nutrients they need. One or two foodstuffs and a supplement won't cover it. At the very least I would suggest mixed frozen fruits and yogurt to form a base for different smoothies and different bags of mixed vegetables to mix in with rice, beans, or whatever. Even frozen or canned fish will add a lot of nutrients to the diet (NOT tuna fish). You would be surprised all the different ingredients in high grade pet food.

I would look at simplistic regional diets that there are already books about, like the Okinowa diet and others. Check out books at the library and save money by carefully choosing where you shop. If you have access to a farmer's market or local discount stores (like Aldi) you will save more money than going to bigger chain stores.
posted by CoralAmber at 12:26 PM on March 23, 2009

« Older The best music resources online?   |   Please help identify this weird RF connector? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.