Could you make a single perfect food for humans? Why isn't there one?

It occurred to me the other day that trying to put together a balanced diet is a real pain in the ass. I have to worry about how much protein I’m getting, carbs, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and simultaneously ensure that I don’t get TOO MUCH of some things. That sucks and I’m lazy.

What I’d really like is a product called, simply, “Food.” “Food” might be served as a paste or a solid product or something, but what I want is a single item that I can eat that will give me 100% of exactly the right things and not too much of anything, providing that I eat the amount prescribed on the container and don’t have any unusual diseases or food allergies or aversions. I want something that comes in a big bin and tells me right on the container that for a man my height and age I should eat precisely X grams of “Food.” It would be boring, but it’d take one worry out of my day.

Would it be possible to put together a product like “Food,” where you’d have to eat NOTHING ELSE except for drinking water?

(Again, assuming no food allergies, aversions, dietary restrictions or weird things going on.)

I can’t find it, but I thought Cecil Adams answered this about Human Chow/Kibble. We’ve had threads on it before, and it usually leads to someone talking about the nutricious, but terrible bar that they feed bad prisoners.

Prevoius Thread from 10 years ago.

RickJay, how has someone who has been a Doper as long as you, and as actively as you, managed to remain ignorant of the benefits of people kibble.

It’s been the food of choice for Dopers almost a decade.

It’s an interesting concept, but do people really want this? Really? The same species of animal that spends so much time, effort and resource on inventing, manufacturing and delivering foods to be as interesting, varied and stimulating as can be, also includes individuals who want to suck monotonous nutritive pap from a bucket?


I prefer the term “Bachelor Chow.”

I remember reading a webpage once about a guy who, as a stunt, went two weeks (a month? a year? I don’t remember) eating nothing but chimpanzee food and water. I remember it looked like pale brown charcoal briquettes. He had no ill effects, besides being bored with the diet. My google-fu is weak; maybe somebody else can find it.

I am sure it can be done. Surely human nutrition is better know than canine nutrition and not too more complex. You can buy dog foods in the dollar a pound range that have a long, successful history as dogs sole diet. The AAFCO has a list of the nutrients dogs need. Companies have been formulating foods based on it for years and most dogs thrive on even the inexpensive ones. That is disputed by those selling more expensive foods and those buying them. They seem to be short of good studies to back it up.

I am sure the FDA has a list for people. How much of each amino acid, vitamin, mineral, etc. plus total calories we need. The AAFCO claims dogs need certain fats. I don’t know if people do, or if it is just that some fats reduce the harm others do. It shouldn’t be any big deal to throw a people kibble together. You could even get a good start with some of the dog kibbles that charge a premium for human grade ingredients.

How well would it sell? Single guys? Mothers that dragged themselves through the work day and now just want to fall into bed?

I’ve been a member since 1999… I nominate this as the most frequently asked question.

Who wants people kibble?

Why don’t they make People Kibble?

Is there one food you could live on?

Why no Human Chow?

Why is there no “people chow?”

Human Chow/People Kibble
There are more but I tire of the copy and pasting…

Long pork?

If you were a baby you could just drink breast milk. Humans don’t need anything else but breast milk for their first six months of life.

The perfect food is already here: bacon.

Is it made with real people?

You forgot the lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese and mayo.

If you ate nothing but bacon & water, what would you die from? Would the inevitable congestive heart failure get you before the scurvy did?

ETA: Of course, if you go with Ring’s plan, the lettuce & tomato would eliminate the scurvy concern.

What about the nutrient-rich sludge they feed to video game testers?

Heck, I remember the AOL days and I swear this even came up there.

What is literally the most frequently asked question here? I wonder what the real answer is.

I remember reading one of those threads, didn’t know there were so many. They do make people kibble – it’s called cold cereal in whole milk. If you’re lactose intolerant, or restricting animal fats, or hate milk and soy milk, or refuse the monotony of cold cereal and milk, then you’ve essentiayl listed all the objections a person could have to people kibble. Seriously, when Fry on Futurama eats Bachelor Chow ™, although it comes in a 50 lb bag and he eats it from a dog bowl, the rattle of the kibble and his eating pose just screams – cold cereal an’ milk.

As far as natural (rather than processed) foods, Quinoa probably comes pretty close. Not sure how a long-term diet of nothing else would work out, but it seems to have just about all the essentials. Incidentally, I have only recently discovered the stuff, been using it a lot and trying a lot of different recipes. It’s great stuff, nutricious and very tasty.

Labfood ie. man-made amino acids and vitamins