This article is part of our Stupid Diet Series, therefore we do not recommend this diet.
When comedian Adam Scott, a man with no nutritional expertise or understanding of basic human physiology, decided that he was tired of cooking and washing up, and was only going to eat monkey food, thousands of people decided to follow him.
Unfortunately, the only reason they decided to follow him is because he is the mildly humorous author of the Last Angry Young Man blog, and quite a well-known actor and comedian. He kept a diary of his dietary experiment, which apparently only goes up to day 7.
It is unclear whether or not he actually intended this to be a real diet, just a joke, or a publicity stunt. But people followed. I mean, we’re basically monkeys, right? And their food is nutritionally complete, kinda like dog food, right?
Apparently there’s more to the whole ‘eating’ thing than that.
The idea, if it can be called such a thing, is that the monkey pellets that the zoo gets delivered should contain all of the nutrients a healthy primate like yourself could need in a convenient, easily-digestible form that requires no cooking.
The idea is actually more along the lines of, “If I eat monkey food for a week, it might make more people come to my shows and my website.” There is little to no evidence available to suggest that this was ever a good idea, nutritionally. It does mean, however, that you pay less than $1 per meal, never cook, and never have to wash up.
What’s In It?
The Monkey Chow in question was basically pet food, specially formulated for monkeys and great apes. We’re great apes, so it should be good for us too, right? It also contains 2.5% crude fibre, which as you’ll see later becomes a little bit of a problem for our protagonist.
In theory, Monkey Chow has just about everything you need in a meal, except for a few bits and pieces you can get by eating an apple. It doesn’t taste great, and it’s a bit of a pain to eat.
Who’s On It?
Aside from Adam Scott, a few dedicated followers in 2006 and the primate population of the San Francisco zoo, nobody. It is unclear as to whether or not anybody took him seriously, but I wouldn’t put any money on it.
Don’t waste your time. Seriously – monkey food?
Why You Might Want to Avoid It
I could write an entire book about why eating pellet-form monkey food is a bad idea. It’s a really freaking bad idea, okay?
While it might give you the nutrients you need, it is clearly not in a form that is easily absorbed by humans, and it will probably be the least appetizing week of your life. Adam eventually lost 4 lbs on the Monkey Chow diet, but that’s not surprising considering that he lived on what is basically dog food pellets for a week.
The fact that he lost anything at all is quite surprising, however, because of that 2.5% crude fibre bit I mentioned earlier. Now, that is not exactly the type of fibre you need to be getting in your diet. Adam kept a detailed (thank heavens) record of his daily bowel movements, and we can see that the Monkey Chow diet had a pretty negative impact on these. On day 5 he reported poop as being ‘problematic’, and by day 7 it was ‘suspiciously absent’. That is all.
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