The Monkey Chow Diet

We wrote about Seth Roberts’ Shangri-La Diet in the New York Times last summer, which he has since turned into a best-selling book. Seth’s research suggested that the key to weight control was consuming flavorless calories.

Adam Scott has a new diet idea: Monkey Chow. For the next week, he plans an experiment in which he consumes only Monkey Chow. As he puts it:

“Wouldn’t it make economic sense for people to have a pelletised,
nutritionally complete food source with a long unrefrigerated shelf
life? Think of the immediate financial savings – less than a dollar
per meal; no dishes or pots and pans required; no electricity for the
fridge, freezer, stove, microwave. Not to mention the time saved – no
shopping, no cooking, no dishwashing.”

Since there is no Human Chow, he is going to give Monkey Chow a shot. He is blogging about it. So far he is through Day 2. It doesn’t sound like it is going well.


jcl

If it works, does this mean United Nations has found a new way to feed a continent by easier means?

jonathan

Sadly no, it won't make economic sense. For one thing, Scott's not going to be a nice person to know which means his circle of friends will diminish as will his effectiveness at work,
Secondly, eating is one of our primary social activities. Cooking, whether for friends or for yourself is one of the few opportunities we have to be creative, and to think.
Cut out that thinking time and your attentiveness and other skills will suffer, plus no one will come round for dinner.
Thirdly, the agriculture sector is an enormous contributor to the world economy. If we all stop eating real food, that sector will cease, causing a cascade into all other sectors of the economy (rising fuel prices, unemployment, migration to cities etc etc).
So no, not really much of an economic argument to support it.

Of course if all you're used to eating is over-flavoured, over-salted and over-sweetened processed foods, it might do you good to detox your system. But after you're fed up with the same thing every day, resist the urge to go down the empty calories route of supposedly cheap food (that is so nutritionally devoid that you have to buy two or three times the helping, thus wiping out the cost benefit) and buy organic food instead. Remember when strawberries actually tasted of something? And potatoes were weird shapes?
Being well-fed with tasty nutritious food, even if it costs slightly more than the rubbish supermarkets force on us, ultimately makes more economic sense because of fewer days off sick, better mood, more energy and more restful sleep.

Maybe there should be a control experiment going on at the same time?

Read more...

John S.

Johnathan, the detox seems to have wiped out your sense of humor as well. I think you need a Happy Meal.

www.acsh.org

Interesting! This provides... grist (which probably tastes better than the monkey chow) for some nutrition commentary:
The Ultimate Convenience Diet: Monkey Chow
at:
http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.758/news_detail.asp

ZinXin

Jonathan, I don't know if I agree with your economic reasoning. First, Scott (being a nice person, and hopefully having nice friends) is unlikely to let his quirky interests get in the way of him enjoying time with said friends. As you say, cooking can indeed be a social activity for many, but perhaps the problem is we desire social interaction, and we use our need to feed as a good time to kill two birds with one stone. Perhaps, without the need to spend such time feeding, we'd find other (perhaps even more productive) ways of engaging in social interactions with others. Finally, your argument that the downfall of agriculture would cause a cascade doesn't seem to make much sense. First, many farmers would simply switch from making whatever they're making to making the ingredients that go into chow. Second, every place in the world isn't suddenly going to stop producing normal human food because some do. The lightbulb has been around for a good long while, and even though it is more efficient than lamps or candles, there are places that even today don't use such technology. Third, saying that the world's economy would collapse when food becomes nearly free would be like saying that the world's economy would collapse if we suddenly discovered a magical fuel that burns perfectly clean and creates more power than fusion - because it would put the oil companies and countries that rely on oil revenues out of business. These displaced jobs would simply be recycled into some other sector of the economy, driving down the prices of all sorts of things and helping everyone to live better lives.

Read more...

davidglover

A friend who is an animal trainer for the movies had a roomate who ate Semian Food for a month. So a week seems like no big deal.

MaryLCole

For years now I've been saying I'd like to be able to buy Purina People Chow. Sadly Purina, or somebody like them, has not obliged.

I have fed my Australian Shepherd IAMS/Eukenuba Restricted Calorie dog food for years with the understanding that she will get supplemental meat and veggies as scraps and treats. People Chow would be terrific. We could take a baggie with us for breakfast and/or lunch. That doesn't mean we wouldn't have a good meal from time to time. The convenience and presumably improved calorie control would be fantastic.

With the big HOWEVER, that every few years a bunch of pets die because the big pet food companies farm out their manufacturing and some manufacturers allow mold to grow in their equipment, generating toxins that kill. It would require tremendous attention to sanitary conditions to make People Chow practical. (And do we really know what makes for a "complete" human diet?)

Anway, I'd buy it.
MaryLCole

Read more...

karrie

Load of pellets would definitely be a safer and more nutritious choice for the MacDonalds crew of kids
And most likely healthier than your average sugarload of cereal

jcl

If it works, does this mean United Nations has found a new way to feed a continent by easier means?

jonathan

Sadly no, it won't make economic sense. For one thing, Scott's not going to be a nice person to know which means his circle of friends will diminish as will his effectiveness at work,
Secondly, eating is one of our primary social activities. Cooking, whether for friends or for yourself is one of the few opportunities we have to be creative, and to think.
Cut out that thinking time and your attentiveness and other skills will suffer, plus no one will come round for dinner.
Thirdly, the agriculture sector is an enormous contributor to the world economy. If we all stop eating real food, that sector will cease, causing a cascade into all other sectors of the economy (rising fuel prices, unemployment, migration to cities etc etc).
So no, not really much of an economic argument to support it.

Of course if all you're used to eating is over-flavoured, over-salted and over-sweetened processed foods, it might do you good to detox your system. But after you're fed up with the same thing every day, resist the urge to go down the empty calories route of supposedly cheap food (that is so nutritionally devoid that you have to buy two or three times the helping, thus wiping out the cost benefit) and buy organic food instead. Remember when strawberries actually tasted of something? And potatoes were weird shapes?
Being well-fed with tasty nutritious food, even if it costs slightly more than the rubbish supermarkets force on us, ultimately makes more economic sense because of fewer days off sick, better mood, more energy and more restful sleep.

Maybe there should be a control experiment going on at the same time?

Read more...

John S.

Johnathan, the detox seems to have wiped out your sense of humor as well. I think you need a Happy Meal.

www.acsh.org

Interesting! This provides... grist (which probably tastes better than the monkey chow) for some nutrition commentary:
The Ultimate Convenience Diet: Monkey Chow
at:
http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.758/news_detail.asp

ZinXin

Jonathan, I don't know if I agree with your economic reasoning. First, Scott (being a nice person, and hopefully having nice friends) is unlikely to let his quirky interests get in the way of him enjoying time with said friends. As you say, cooking can indeed be a social activity for many, but perhaps the problem is we desire social interaction, and we use our need to feed as a good time to kill two birds with one stone. Perhaps, without the need to spend such time feeding, we'd find other (perhaps even more productive) ways of engaging in social interactions with others. Finally, your argument that the downfall of agriculture would cause a cascade doesn't seem to make much sense. First, many farmers would simply switch from making whatever they're making to making the ingredients that go into chow. Second, every place in the world isn't suddenly going to stop producing normal human food because some do. The lightbulb has been around for a good long while, and even though it is more efficient than lamps or candles, there are places that even today don't use such technology. Third, saying that the world's economy would collapse when food becomes nearly free would be like saying that the world's economy would collapse if we suddenly discovered a magical fuel that burns perfectly clean and creates more power than fusion - because it would put the oil companies and countries that rely on oil revenues out of business. These displaced jobs would simply be recycled into some other sector of the economy, driving down the prices of all sorts of things and helping everyone to live better lives.

Read more...

davidglover

A friend who is an animal trainer for the movies had a roomate who ate Semian Food for a month. So a week seems like no big deal.

MaryLCole

For years now I've been saying I'd like to be able to buy Purina People Chow. Sadly Purina, or somebody like them, has not obliged.

I have fed my Australian Shepherd IAMS/Eukenuba Restricted Calorie dog food for years with the understanding that she will get supplemental meat and veggies as scraps and treats. People Chow would be terrific. We could take a baggie with us for breakfast and/or lunch. That doesn't mean we wouldn't have a good meal from time to time. The convenience and presumably improved calorie control would be fantastic.

With the big HOWEVER, that every few years a bunch of pets die because the big pet food companies farm out their manufacturing and some manufacturers allow mold to grow in their equipment, generating toxins that kill. It would require tremendous attention to sanitary conditions to make People Chow practical. (And do we really know what makes for a "complete" human diet?)

Anway, I'd buy it.
MaryLCole

Read more...

karrie

Load of pellets would definitely be a safer and more nutritious choice for the MacDonalds crew of kids
And most likely healthier than your average sugarload of cereal

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Jasmine

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image of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
Thus that's why this post is perfect. Thanks!

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Kay

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

Here is my web page: plants require different

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