11

votes

If we could only eat one food, what would be the most optimal for survival and thriving?

Answered on February 21, 2015
Created January 03, 2012 at 3:55 PM

If we for whatever hypothetical reason could only ever eat a single food ingredient for the rest of our lives, what would be the most optimal for survival and thriving?

Spinach, eggs, monkey brains?

Edit: Prompted by Sara S. Just to add some clarification... One ingredient could be an entire animal. Obviously quantity comes into play, but if quantities are somehow equalled would it be better to eat a whole elk or a hefty amount of broccoli. I may have just answered my own question, but I was thinking about it last night and wondering about choosing the best ingredients for meals if I had to eat the same thing every day. A salmon or a pumpkin?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 24, 2013
at 04:43 PM

Naming a whole animal seems like cheating. An animal has a diverse array of parts and organs that function together as a whole, so of course it will provide more varied and balanced nutrition than a single plant food. If your one food can be "a cow," then a vegan should be able to select "a farm."

52d493763a23e2b14854533600846a67

(114)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:54 PM

back in the day before you became such a jackass, and women allowed you near them?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:30 PM

Pandas is a good answer, because they've already processed all the stuff for us. But not readily available.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:28 PM

Fish is multiple foods. Wrong answer again.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:26 PM

Sorry two foods disgusted as one. Yer out!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:24 PM

This is hands down the most stupid question posted on Paleohacks. So far.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:04 PM

close..but i think natural bacon is the correct food/answer :)

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:03 PM

yogurt or kefir

57bef671ea7e05631c9fa56f708bcaa9

(258)

on May 11, 2012
at 05:47 PM

Reminds me of the episode of Survivorman where he eats all the coconuts in their different stages to get all the different macronutrients, etc. Coconuts are cool things.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:45 PM

Absolutely! There are lots of tasty goods inside that animal!

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 03:10 PM

@Karen I agree.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on January 04, 2012
at 02:52 PM

This seems a poor method for determining the ingredients for a real diet. There are plenty of very good foods like greens and berries that won't be mentioned here because they aren't practical as a single food source, but are significant parts of a multiple food source diet. Single food source seems highly unlikely for hunter/gatherers (note the two words). Even the traditional Inuit had lichens and tiny tubers etc with their seal etc.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:07 PM

+1 on the monkey brains!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Yup, and nose to tail at that, including making bone broth out of the bones, and eating the marrow, and organs.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 11:35 AM

Apparently 1 teaspoon of Bee Pollen is 15 Calories. So I have a feeling we would need a lot of hives and teaspoons to survive. :) http://www.fitday.com/webfit/nutrition/All_Foods/Meat_Beef_Pork_Misc_/Bee_pollen.html

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 11:33 AM

Now that is interesting.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:33 AM

looks like you can click "community wiki" when answering. all the answers I've posted and I never noticed that.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:32 AM

very strange. i've never seen that before. i think it's a glitch.

Ed92809f18ca70e360768b4f2c9c9df6

(356)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:02 AM

@Sara, i didn't get any points for this answer, if that helps. confused.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Nance, it is mainly because I am interested to know on a kind of scale what are the most beneficial items. Kind of like a superfood list, that if you have to choose which one would be better to eat regularly. I eat broccoli and blueberries pretty much every day, maybe I should be eating spinach rather or perhaps pumpkin etc. Obviously I am all for a varied mix, but I am just asking out of interest to hear what others think. If anything it may help someone on a really really tight budget. :)

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Lifetime. Maybe milk is the way to go.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 03, 2012
at 08:27 PM

How did this answer get tagged "community wiki"? The only place I've seen "community wiki" described is briefly in the FAQ, just saying that community wiki answers don't provide points when upvoted.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 03, 2012
at 06:52 PM

They eat seals/whale/etc too don't they? Pretty much anything they can get.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 03, 2012
at 06:11 PM

I'm not down-voting or clicking close but, honestly, I don't think this is real question.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:39 PM

@Kamal, thanks Sara S. posted that link already. I didn't see it when I searched first. Maybe I should rather be pushing on what non-meat ingredient next then.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Mash-- interesting question, but I wonder if previous questions have sufficiently answered it. As you've hinted at, eating one plant would probably not be wise. So the below noted question, as well as a couple others, may be duplicating this question...http://paleohacks.com/questions/81266/one-meat-for-life/81274#axzz1iPNA2Oie...http://paleohacks.com/questions/42431/10-foods-and-thats-all#axzz1YWmD9lZ2

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:24 PM

This was not trying to be a loaded question at all, but it is interesting to think that perhaps it is an animal sourced ingredient rather than plant? But perhaps not?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Oh, on rereading your question, I think you're not allowing eating a whole animal, but just parts? Would ground whole cow get in on a technicality? But if you're not allowing that, I guess eggs would be my next choice, since they do contain a lot of nutrition in a decent balance.

  • Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

    asked by

    (8574)
  • Views
    28.7K
  • Last Activity
    1098D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

28 Answers

best answer

9
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Whole grass fed cow!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on January 04, 2012
at 12:07 PM

Yup, and nose to tail at that, including making bone broth out of the bones, and eating the marrow, and organs.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:45 PM

Absolutely! There are lots of tasty goods inside that animal!

6
Ed92809f18ca70e360768b4f2c9c9df6

(356)

on January 03, 2012
at 06:12 PM

human breast milk seems like a solid contender, since we live on it for a great while.

Ed92809f18ca70e360768b4f2c9c9df6

(356)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:02 AM

@Sara, i didn't get any points for this answer, if that helps. confused.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 03, 2012
at 08:27 PM

How did this answer get tagged "community wiki"? The only place I've seen "community wiki" described is briefly in the FAQ, just saying that community wiki answers don't provide points when upvoted.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:33 AM

looks like you can click "community wiki" when answering. all the answers I've posted and I never noticed that.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on January 04, 2012
at 05:32 AM

very strange. i've never seen that before. i think it's a glitch.

6
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on January 03, 2012
at 06:10 PM

"For survival and thriving"... for how long?

There is no 'one single food' item that is perfectly ideal for long term.

One could sustain themselves on many different single foods for quite a long time.

Eggs could be a top choice

Beef or another red meat like lamb would rank high

Chris Voigt basically proved tubers can sustain human life for a time

But if you took a large mixed group of people (say 10,000 or whatever) and put 1,000 people on 10 different food items to see which one produced the highest and longest thriving survival rate...

I would bet that whole animal milk of some kind (cow's, goat's, etc) would win over the long haul.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 03, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Lifetime. Maybe milk is the way to go.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:03 PM

yogurt or kefir

5
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on January 03, 2012
at 05:07 PM

Human has all the nutrients humans need.

Just saying.

Kidding.

But this may be relevant: I eat a pound of cottage cheese per day.

4
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 04, 2012
at 11:09 AM

Pemmican (pdf). Although it's a prepared food, it needs only one source (meat). AFAIK the only food that's actually successfully tested in long-term (months) usage as the only source of calories.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 11:33 AM

Now that is interesting.

E7e7e1c856d4494d4a1b700b6869df90

(982)

on May 11, 2012
at 08:04 PM

close..but i think natural bacon is the correct food/answer :)

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:26 PM

Sorry two foods disgusted as one. Yer out!

3
Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 03, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I like hypothetical questions and this one is pretty silly.

So hypothetically this would be a desert island.

And the hypothetical single best food would be coconuts.

But you might want to roast the second best food - a wild pig - for your luau.

57bef671ea7e05631c9fa56f708bcaa9

(258)

on May 11, 2012
at 05:47 PM

Reminds me of the episode of Survivorman where he eats all the coconuts in their different stages to get all the different macronutrients, etc. Coconuts are cool things.

2
46bee6b93ee79082ea1094f26c2da5a4

(837)

on January 04, 2012
at 02:12 PM

.... Chocolate.

2
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on January 03, 2012
at 09:37 PM

Grass-fed ribeye but I'll take the whole cow if I can get it.

2
E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on January 03, 2012
at 08:27 PM

I was going to say potatoes, but now that you mention it, monkey brains sound delicious.

2
D5a52362ba91628833829a52acf1c227

on January 03, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Hmm, one of these:

eggs

yams

raw milk of some animal

seaweed/other ocean plant like that

fish

I think I'm leaning towards eggs. Or... ok this has me thinking!! In any case, maybe I should start eating all the things on that list, if I think they're so great. I wonder what my health would be like then!?! (still kinda new to paleo...)

Edit: I just realised Okinawans eat most of those things! Atleast the ones who eat the traditional foods. Okay, that must mean something. :)

2
6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:19 PM

Based on Inuit experience (closest I think we have to a one-food-source ancestral type diet), I'd go for fish.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 03, 2012
at 06:52 PM

They eat seals/whale/etc too don't they? Pretty much anything they can get.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:28 PM

Fish is multiple foods. Wrong answer again.

2
C3edabc6267abec9b5f8178e5d73552c

(725)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:16 PM

If you can tolerate dairy, raw grass fed milk should be in the discussion.. considering that we already go a few months of our life on nothing but raw milk ;)

2
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:07 PM

This question is very similar to this one, except that this question calls for any one food rather than any one animal.

For whole nutrition a grass-fed ungulate of some sort wins, hands down, eating nose-to-tail. I'm not sure if there is any nutritional benefit of elk, moose, or deer over cow, though it does seem intuitively that a wild animal would be healthier than a raised one.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Oh, on rereading your question, I think you're not allowing eating a whole animal, but just parts? Would ground whole cow get in on a technicality? But if you're not allowing that, I guess eggs would be my next choice, since they do contain a lot of nutrition in a decent balance.

1
D368401c3ed923c54a46c0878cb4204a

on March 07, 2013
at 06:48 PM

Pandas are able to easily subsist their entire lives on bamboo alone - as are koalas on eucalyptus.

I personally find this incredibly amazing. It leaves me to wonder if we humans too, are perhaps more nutritionally adaptable than we realize.

I would like to know what studies have been conducted on average lifespans of humans living on minimal variety diets.

I would stock up on some type of grain or legume, and sprout it, before eating it raw.

For a human to suddenly shift to eating only red animal tissue would most likely eventually give one very bad diarrhea, thus causing more loss of nutrients than gain; as we primarily rely on an internal fermentation process for digestion - unlike say dogs or cats, who rely more on acid than enzymes for assimilating their foods.

Our intestinal tract being considerably longer than theirs makes us more prone to problems revolving around germs that break down animal tissue. This, given that those same microorganisms are suited for breaking down our own tissue as well, can present the risk of various gastric infections and other complications resulting from having decaying flesh contained within our living flesh, and no important plant fibers for helping to push out the potentially infectious matter.

In short, the fermentation process we rely on, could well end up working against us in the case of a red meat only diet (( fermented meat ? )). So I'd personally prefer to eat fresh spouted seeds of some sort, if that was the only source I had.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:30 PM

Pandas is a good answer, because they've already processed all the stuff for us. But not readily available.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on May 11, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Wild Salmon. Nice and Fatty and has protein.

1
81cf1892bafcdfa38779f4b9b488198d

(606)

on January 04, 2012
at 01:34 PM

I could eat steak everyday

1
1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on January 03, 2012
at 05:17 PM

whole fish eggs

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 03, 2012
at 04:23 PM

If it is one animal I'd say grass fed beef and if it is only one cut I'll take my chances with prime rib!

0
395af564c901b23f31e954d15f255dc7

on February 21, 2015
at 02:24 AM

Ants

0
395af564c901b23f31e954d15f255dc7

on February 21, 2015
at 02:23 AM

Ants

0
028e70a250f38bd61fa81b0e0789bb6e

on March 24, 2013
at 06:20 AM

Speaking of whole animals, I'd actually take pig over cow (of course, it is more important for the pig to be pastured). I just think that it's more fatty and macros can be ... easier to manage I think?

0
B94001a7e2ffd43e797fe0a6a15a8df5

on March 24, 2013
at 05:35 AM

Moringa oleifera is a tree originally from the Himalayas and is used extensively in tropical and subtropical areas. Much of the plant is edible and is the most nutritious plant known (one that is easy to grow and drought tolerant too and is aptly named the miracle tree.)

It grows incredibly fast and can also be used for fences and simple structures. It makes excellent kindling and firewood- starts quick and burns hot.

It tastes a bit like horseradish and spinach.

I would rather eat ice cream and die 20 years earlier rather than eating it for every meal.

I grow it and eat it regularly. With my ice cream diet I might split the difference half.

It is a good compromise.

0
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on May 11, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Bacon!

Maybe topped with a little more bacon.

0
77d189eace32ec539d57eb7d2bce0425

on May 11, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Avocado - vitamins, minerals and essential oils

0
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on January 04, 2012
at 08:56 AM

I read that bee pollen is a complete food - nectar of the gods! In fact, pretty much everything from the hive is sensational for health, if eaten raw and organic. So I would say 'a hive' - if I got to live out this option I know that I would be doing some good for the eco-system as a whole too, as many other kinds of food production relies on the humble honey bee for survival. ;)

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on January 04, 2012
at 11:35 AM

Apparently 1 teaspoon of Bee Pollen is 15 Calories. So I have a feeling we would need a lot of hives and teaspoons to survive. :) http://www.fitday.com/webfit/nutrition/All_Foods/Meat_Beef_Pork_Misc_/Bee_pollen.html

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on January 03, 2012
at 06:51 PM

I vote for zero point energy. Ok, so we don't know it really exists, and can't consume it if it does. :) But if you're going single source anything for food, you're going extinct.

0
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on January 03, 2012
at 06:08 PM

US Wellness or Slanker's Meats high organ, high fat, grass fed pet burger.

-2
8c84665c4b00e656a82e145497bb66ca

on December 06, 2012
at 06:12 PM

Remember that thing we used to eat back in the day...what was it called... oh yeah, PUSSY!

52d493763a23e2b14854533600846a67

(114)

on March 07, 2013
at 07:54 PM

back in the day before you became such a jackass, and women allowed you near them?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!