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Each day, you're supposed to get a certain number of servings of grains, vegetables, fats, etc. You know, the food pyramid.

However, instead of going to all the trouble to prepare three meals with several courses each and every day, I'd like to just have the same thing to eat, all the time. I'm hoping this isn't considered sacrilege for this site!

What I'm describing is an Überfood, as it has a near-perfect balance of all of the daily intake requirements. They make it for cats, dogs, and other mammals, so I'm sure it's possible for us primates. Like cats and dogs, I'd of course have the occasional treat, but it would always be above-and-beyond and not part of my daily nutrients.

What considerations should I put into making an Überfood? Ideally, it would be shelf-stable and not need refridgeration. Texture and taste are less important.

Clearly, I don't know much about cooking or food preparation... But I think there's a better way than just buying an industrial blender, throwing a bunch of vitamins, vegetables, protien, etc., and seeing what turns up.

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I think you may be mistaken in your impression that there is some perfectly-balanced combination of nutrients that a human can eat every single day and remain healthy. Humans are omnivores, we are evolutionarily programmed to eat a variety of different foods, with a number of internal biological processes that regulate our nutritional intake far more accurately than any diet, and different people have different nutritional needs depending on their environment and lifestyle. If such an überfood could be made relatively easily (and shelf stable), it would probably already be on the market. –  Aaronut Dec 13 '10 at 1:05
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That said, have you considered gruel? –  Aaronut Dec 13 '10 at 1:08
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Be sure you use the freshest possible über, from a reputable supplier. Über quickly degrades into unter if stored, and no one likes unterfood. –  Shog9 Dec 13 '10 at 1:10
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Reducing nutrition to what current science knows about nutrition has mostly been a fool's game. By the time science understands all we need to synthesize this "perfect food", we could have eaten a lot of very nice, very simple, very varied meals. –  JasonTrue Dec 13 '10 at 3:34
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Have you considered eating dog food, or soylent green? –  David Jan 8 '11 at 6:52

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Sounds like you want Nutraloaf. If you search google you will undoubtedly find recipes for this abomination. It is designed to meet nutritional needs while minimizing the need for utensils. You did say taste and texture weren't important.

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AKA prison loaf. Yum! The only thing is, I'm not sure if prison wardens are considered a Reliable Source when it comes to nutrition, so I'd do some research before making this the staple of my diet. Then again, I can't seriously imagine anybody voluntarily eating it. –  Aaronut Dec 13 '10 at 15:06
    
+1 it sounds just like the thing @jj is looking for. Horrible, but nutritious. –  BaffledCook Dec 13 '10 at 17:27
    
This is exactly what I was looking for. I'm sure adding some salt will make it taste acceptable. –  JJ Caldwell Dec 13 '10 at 23:29
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+1 for recommending cruel & unusual punishment –  mfg Dec 14 '10 at 15:54
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From wikipedia:"In one common version, it is made from a mixture of wheat bread, non-dairy cheese, various vegetables, and mixed with vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk and dehydrated potato flakes." Sounds like pizza delivered from hell. –  philosodad Jan 9 '11 at 15:27

One thing I've learned recently with regards to food is that there are some things your body needs that simply must be alive shortly before you consume them. If you have money, find a service/store with prepared & nutritionally balanced food. If you have time, study up on the kinds of things you can make. If you have no money or time, now you see how the US got mired in this fast-food culture.

That said, oatmeal & stirfry can take care of 2 meals a day and wrap up most nutritional needs. As was mentioned in comments, variety is important (in large part to hold off various health problems that may crop up due to factors too complicated to predict).

Fun reading, check out some of the studies done on populations with the best health, and what their diets consisted of.

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Weston A. Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration would be a good place to start. It's fascinating! –  Mrs. Garden Dec 13 '10 at 15:56

Do a search for Pemmican recipes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pemmican

Done correctly, you can balance the proteins, fat, carbs, etc. needed for a high calorie diet required for living in the cold outdoors. Does it taste good? It really depends on the recipe used.

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Pizza and Salad.

You don't have to prepare every day, maybe once a week or twice for salad. Salad cutting can be easily accomplished with one of those slap dicing things.

Pizza: make four large doughs with some whole grain in them. Add ingredients to optimize fat, protein, etc. Cook one pizza every two days, fridge the rest. After a few weeks, you'll be able to do your weeks cooking in a couple of hours, and your food will be DELICIOUS.

When I was single, though, I ate nothing but beef, some bread, and lots of fresh fruit at home, which seemed to work just fine for me. Didn't have to think much, didn't have to cook for long, and had meals that were hot, fresh, and delicious.

Another option is to add a crock pot to your life. Buy some stuff on sunday, chop it up, fridge it, and then make a big pot of whatever (beans and rice, red lentils and couscous, beef stew, etc) and eat it until it runs out. Then set another big pot to cook overnight and eat it in the morning. Repeat as necessary, again supplementing with fresh fruits and vegetables as desired/convenient. Beef Stew is pretty damn close to an überfood if you use the right recipe, and so are beans and rice.

The best advice I ever heard on cooking and eating was this: "Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

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That is THE BEST food advice ever. –  5arx Aug 4 '11 at 22:08

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