Mmm ... pelletized nutritionally complete food.
June 6, 2006 8:11 AM   Subscribe

The Monkey Chow Diaries. In the spirit of Seth Roberts' dietary self-experimentation, Angryman has decided that he's tired of cooking, scrubbing pots and pans, and wasting time in the checkout lines. Instead, he is looking for a constant diet of pelletized, nutritionally complete food: Monkey Chow [pdf]. [via]
posted by monju_bosatsu (48 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've thought about doing this, but one week is far to short a period of time. I demand a whole year!
posted by I Foody at 8:39 AM on June 6, 2006

Stangely enough, I was just contemplating a diet of dog chow about a week ago. I guess monkey chow might be more geared to humans. I really hate grocery shopping and deciding what's for dinner. It will be interesting to see how he does.
posted by haikuku at 8:41 AM on June 6, 2006

This guy doesn't seem to be very serious about it. He might not be craving hot open-faced turkey sandwiches so much if he'd have gone into the project by degrees -- gradually eliminating hot food, meat, etc., from his diet. But this is very much an experiment worth doing. You'd think that with our current food technology, People Chow would have long ago been created and marketed (and please, no "Soylent Green" comments). Our whole culture of buying, cooking and eating food is tiresome to me. I pay money for a convenient way to opt out.
posted by Faze at 8:52 AM on June 6, 2006

I wish he'd go a month on the stuff to see if he could really be sustained by it.

Also, don't monkeys in zoos also eat fruits and veggies? They don't just live on monkey chow in any zoo I've been to.
posted by mathowie at 8:55 AM on June 6, 2006

I think this has never been marketed for humans basically because of the horrible taste.

If they could make it so that the main food part of it tasted ok, then have the horrible taste part of it be put into supplemental pills that you take with each meal, it might work out.
posted by parallax7d at 8:58 AM on June 6, 2006

I wonder where you could buy this stuff. There's no price information or order forms on their website, but then, I don't imagine that they sell much Monkey Chow to the general public.
posted by atrazine at 9:00 AM on June 6, 2006

also, I love food, but I think that this would be a cool experiment to do for a month or two.
According to that brochure it's nutritionally complete, so you could theoretically eat nothing else.
posted by atrazine at 9:02 AM on June 6, 2006

If you're tired of cooking, you aren't doing it correctly. :P

Interesting experiment, nonetheless.
posted by effwerd at 9:03 AM on June 6, 2006

Also, don't monkeys in zoos also eat fruits and veggies? They don't just live on monkey chow in any zoo I've been to.

Definitely, because zoos care about the happiness and liveliness of their animals and try not to let them get too bored. But primates in controlled experiments often live off just kibble and water, sometimes for years.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:04 AM on June 6, 2006

i remember resorting to dog food for a short while a long time ago, when I was very short of cash. It's pretty unpleasant, but not in the way you think it's going to be - the smell is deceptive, it doesn't taste meaty at all, it was almost tasteless. I agree that a week is far too short a time to test anything - this man needs to spend at least a month on the stuff before he starts talking about whether he's lost weight or not - not 3 days.
posted by silence at 9:05 AM on June 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

Food for our brave neo-compassionate world has actually arrived!

Crybaby old folks, starving nouvo poor and out-of-work slackers can assemble at sports arenas, and wait the arrival of National Guard feed trucks.

I see a great photo op in this for a first chimp. I can almost see a flight-suit clad Bush with a bull horn directing the dumping monkey chow into the troughs of the less fortunate. This is really working out quite well.
posted by BillyElmore at 9:05 AM on June 6, 2006

There' a Futurama ep that has Fry eating from an enormous bag labeled "Bachelor Chow".
posted by Jos Bleau at 9:06 AM on June 6, 2006

Why did he get two big bags like that if he's only going for one week? A week isn't long enough ... just for the sheer volume of monkey chow he bought alone. Will a zoo take the leftovers if its been opened? You can't donate open food to a homeless shelter -- are the same rules in play for open monkey chow donations to zoos?
posted by macadamiaranch at 9:06 AM on June 6, 2006

So this is one of the few people who never tried a dog biscuit as a kid, and now he thinks he has a great idea? Is it really not obvious enough that cultured taste, culinary skills and knowledge all contribute to your experience as a human being? Or you know... I might just be getting fooled by The Man. Hey, I heard having a woman around can also change your habits in a profound way. I better avoid that, don't want to waste any more of my precious life with such frivolous pursuits. Have fun getting bled dry from all the fine dining and hot women, you suckers!
posted by prostyle at 9:11 AM on June 6, 2006

If you're tired of cooking, you aren't doing it correctly. :P

Or lazy. Or would just rather spend your time doing something other than preparing food.

Oh, and Bachelor Chow is featured in many more than one Futurama episode. :)
posted by antifuse at 9:17 AM on June 6, 2006

macadamiaranch, he actually only has enough food there for about 8 days.
According to the product brochure, he should be eating a pound of food for every 35 pounds of body mass, assuming that he weighs ~170 lbs, that's 4 or 5 pounds a day. Those bags are only 20 lbs.
posted by atrazine at 9:19 AM on June 6, 2006

I'm pretty sure that opening credits show a bill board for ths stuff. Bachelor Chow : "Now With Flavor!"

Also title of the official Fry fanlisting.
posted by Jos Bleau at 9:30 AM on June 6, 2006

That's some pretty awesome product design. Kudos to the folks at Zupreme. Get yourselves a CafePress account, and you've got my business!
posted by maryh at 9:37 AM on June 6, 2006

If he hates washing dishes that much, why doesn't he just buy a dishwasher, or invest in some paper plates?
posted by PurpleJack at 9:52 AM on June 6, 2006

I sympathise with this guy. I'm a lazy man and sometimes it's just a hassle to make dinner, and it's always a pain keeping up with dishes. I wouldn't switch to some Complete Meal Pellet for all my meals, just those that I'm too busy or tired to want to deal with. I just want something I can cram down my craw and not worry about it. Right now a bowl of cereal is what serves this purpose, though obviously this only covers the puff and froot food groups.

I've always thought that something like this is a good idea, something that gets all the nutritional stuff in one package, like a vitamin that sates the appetite. It wouldn't have to taste good, per se, just tolerable.
posted by picea at 9:59 AM on June 6, 2006

Personally I think the future of food will involve eating whatever you want, then using your personal stomach pump. Human chow will probably only be marketed to Africa.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:08 AM on June 6, 2006

picea: Frappuccino for breakfast. Lean Cuisines for lunch and dinner. Glass of wine for dessert. You've got all the food groups (chocolate, caffeine, sugar and alcohol) and no dishes to wash! Chuck in a multivitamin and you're good to go.
posted by onegreeneye at 10:10 AM on June 6, 2006

Stupid. Why eliminate one of the greatest pleasures of human existence just to show you can? Unless you're seeking some kind of zen, where the removal of pleasure gives you an ascetic high, I really don't see the point.
posted by luriete at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2006

Monkey Chow! Monkey Chow! Git yer Monkey Chow!
posted by blue_beetle at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2006

No good, onegreeneye. Lean Cuisines are way too complicated. You have to decide which flavor you want, open it, microwave it, eat it and throw away the remnants. There's far too much effort involved. A pill would eliminate all this bother.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:13 AM on June 6, 2006

For about a month I lived off only canned sweet potatoes, canned gorbonzo beans and canned coconut milk. I drank green tea and took a multi vitamin. I felt fine.
posted by I Foody at 10:31 AM on June 6, 2006

I knew a guy who lost weight by eating only lucky charms and hot dogs. Sure, he might've gotten scurvy after a while, but I guess any diet sufficiently boring will eventually work.

If I were going to do a boring diet, I think I'd go with like one cereal, something boring like total or raisin bran. Seems like a perfect enough food to me. Plus, lots of fiber.
posted by condour75 at 10:36 AM on June 6, 2006

Nutrablock Yapples

They a perfect time-consuming enrichment device for your primate. Primates lick and gnaw hard NutraBlocks while cuddling and boucing the Yapple. It's a fun way to supplement primates with nutrients while offering an effective, safe, enrichment device. Yapples are cage-washer safe.

As a parent, I find this description ... oddly compelling.
posted by maryh at 10:40 AM on June 6, 2006

You could live on Datrex bars for quite a while. They taste pretty good, too, if you don't mind coconut.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:43 AM on June 6, 2006

I thought we already had this for humans and it was called cereal. Whenever I don't feel like cooking it's what I eat.
posted by OmieWise at 10:48 AM on June 6, 2006

Does this make anyone else wonder how well monkeys and dogs like eating the same thing every day? Do they not care? And if so, why not?
posted by FortyT-wo at 10:50 AM on June 6, 2006

I'm surprised that so few of y'all find this idea so alien. I love eating, and I love cooking, but I would also love to lose a bunch of weight, and I have a lot of trouble sticking to my diet. If my diet was as simple as "eat six pounds of monkey chow a day, and nothing else" then it would be fairly simple for me, I think.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:06 AM on June 6, 2006

I saw the front page and immediately thought of I Foody's profile:

My last name is Foody, I am not a foodie, in fact if there was a dog food for people that could be bought in big bags and eaten to provide a fairly healthy diet that would be what I would eat.

And then of course I clicked and found he'd posted the first comment.

Personally, TV dinners are about as far as I'm willing to go.
posted by russilwvong at 11:21 AM on June 6, 2006

Geez, wanting an easy 'chow' instead of varied meals?
I couldn't do it. If you'll pardon the pun:
"Variety is the spice of life"
posted by Radio7 at 11:22 AM on June 6, 2006

Does this make anyone else wonder how well monkeys and dogs like eating the same thing every day? Do they not care? And if so, why not?

Dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell, which plays a role in increasing the palatability of food which to human senses has very little taste. Dogs enjoy variety (treats); "spoiled" dogs may be finicky about eating plain extruded dog food.

Being conditioned to a food is a major factor in being content with it. This is true of monkeys and people as well.

A craving for "variety," under natural circumstances, helps ensure that all nutritional requirements (essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals) are met. Such cravings may decrease when needs are consistently filled.
posted by zennie at 11:31 AM on June 6, 2006

Prison Loaf.
Some enterprising entrepreneur could extrude this into kibble and make a mint!
posted by Floydd at 11:51 AM on June 6, 2006

Thinking about it, sex is a messy awkward time-consuming procedure requiring at least little thought, effort, and foresight too. Yup, if there were only some way to get that done and over with faster...
posted by scheptech at 11:55 AM on June 6, 2006

Back before I became a banker I was a biker (they are sorta the same professions after a point), and I spent an entire summer living on Jack Daniels and Twinkies. Well, ok, maybe not the whole summer, but definitely August. And a good chunk of July.

I turned out fine. I think the human body can tolerate periods - even prolonged periods - of nutritional homogenity.
posted by Mutant at 12:00 PM on June 6, 2006

This guy is limiting himself arbitrarily - there's a LOT more for monkeys than just monkey chow. Like

Monkey Chewies

Banana and Marshmallow Softies

Nutty Monkey Treats

Prima Treats

Mini Marshmallow / Pina Colada / Chocolate / Banana Treats

Monkey chow nutrition varies by maker, but 3 kcal to 3.5 kcal per gram seems to the range.

Using the lower figure, 3 calories per gram, gives 1360 calories per pound (approx). Six pounds of monkey chow a day would be 8160 calories - you would be a a pretty chunky monkey after a week of that.

But a just a pound a day would do for weight loss.

BUT - 3 years ago, this guy claims to gone more than 2 weeks on an all monkey chow diet -

"Day 14

Note to self: Don't eat Monkey Chow in front of coworkers.

posted by Jos Bleau at 12:28 PM on June 6, 2006

Back before I became a banker I was a biker (they are sorta the same professions after a point), and I spent an entire summer living on Jack Daniels and Twinkies.

This explains A LOT about my bank.
posted by briank at 12:35 PM on June 6, 2006

Bachelor Chow, now with flavor!
posted by nyxxxx at 2:32 PM on June 6, 2006

"I wonder where you could buy this stuff. "

I used to buy it at a local pet store (to feed my parrots). Parrots seem to like Monkey Chow that's been soaked in water. I never tried it myself but now I'm thinking maybe I should have.
posted by MikeMc at 2:52 PM on June 6, 2006

Living off of a single food reminded me of a yogic practice of eating only shilajit, a sort of tarry substance, mineral pitch, scraped off boulders in the Himalayas.
posted by nickyskye at 4:28 PM on June 6, 2006

If life is too messy for you, there exists a pellitized source for all of your nutritional needs. You only have to 'eat' it once.

At least, that's what it would come down to for me if I no longer enjoyed eating.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:49 PM on June 6, 2006

posted by sluglicker at 7:32 PM on June 6, 2006

I don't hate life I just have a poor sense of smell
posted by I Foody at 7:43 PM on June 6, 2006

I used to love Meow Mix when I was a kid. My parents wouldn't try to stop me from eating out of the cat's bowl... they'd just laugh and take pictures. Yeah, in those days kids were raised proper.

I tried Meow Mix again recently, expecting the taste to be as I remembered, like a mix betwen salted bread crumbs and tuna fish. Inexplicably, I gagged. Then that shit stayed on my breath for days. Damn.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 8:47 PM on June 6, 2006

I certainly like the idea of ready-to-eat non-cooking meals, although I think MRE's are pretty easy, as long as you don't mind eating them cold, and you don't think ripping open multiple little pouches is too much work. (not that I've actually had one in years, I just like the idea)

I wonder how long one could subsist on plumpy-nut.
posted by milovoo at 2:06 PM on June 7, 2006

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