Could someone technically survive with no actual food?

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secret_pineapple
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Okay, so this is very random, but I'm curious..

I know some people have to live off feeding tubes etc..

But theoretically, could a fully healthy person live off no real food? And I'm not talking about liquid diets.

In solely survival terms we eat food purely to get the right nutrients for our body to function properly and to get energy to carry out the functions. So, with all the different vitamins and supplements someone could easily have access to the correct nutrients in those terms.

Obviously we then get to the issue of carbs, protein, fat etc.. as we still need those. I don't think these exist, but if a compressed form of, for example, 50g carbs was made into a tablet, like literally just pure carbs squidged to the bare minimum into a pill, so that you could just take that and have your carbs for the day. If these things existed for protein (I know there's protein powder but really you have to combine that with other food), fat, salt etc.. would someone be able to just take the correct selection of pills each day and survive?

**disclaimer.. I do not plan on doing this at all, nor do I recommend it **
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ThomH97
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You've asked if we can live without food, but allowed extracting the useful bits of food to be eaten separately.

Yes you could survive getting your individual nutrients one by one rather than altogether.
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WoodlandSorcerer
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Yes. We only eat food to get those nutrients. If pills were ever made that contained all the right amount and ratio of necessary proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals etc then we wouldn’t need to eat.
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MiaNova
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(Original post by WoodlandSorcerer)
If pills were ever made that contained all the right amount and ratio of necessary proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals etc then we wouldn’t need to eat.
Can you imagine?
Imagine all the problems this could solve
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WoodlandSorcerer
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(Original post by MiaNova)
Can you imagine?
Imagine all the problems this could solve
I would personally prefer eating normally. The thought of living on pills forever is horrifying.
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MiaNova
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(Original post by WoodlandSorcerer)
I would personally prefer eating normally. The thought of living on pills forever is horrifying.
True
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vicvic38
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How is this different to like Soylent or Huel?
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ThomH97
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(Original post by MiaNova)
Can you imagine?
Imagine all the problems this could solve
I think people would get pretty hungry and overeat even more. We already have that problem with food being so calorie dense but us still wanting to fill our bellies
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vicvic38
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(Original post by ThomH97)
I think people would get pretty hungry and overeat even more. We already have that problem with food being so calorie dense but us still wanting to fill our bellies
Yeah, you'd have to make sure there is enough fibre to make us feel full.
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Dax_Swagg3r
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(Original post by vicvic38)
How is this different to like Soylent or Huel?
Because soylent/huel is made from food it is not pure protein, fats and carbs.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by Dax_Swagg3r)
Because soylent/huel is made from food it is not pure protein, fats and carbs.
When I refer to Soylent, I don't mean so much the product. I'm thinking more the subculture of people who used to do this exact kind of formulation to replace all their meals. There's a subreddit for it I believe. It's become very commercial in the last 4-5 years, but there were people trying to do exactly what you're describing.
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adam271
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Mao would of loved this idea.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by secret_pineapple)
Okay, so this is very random, but I'm curious..

I know some people have to live off feeding tubes etc..

But theoretically, could a fully healthy person live off no real food? And I'm not talking about liquid diets.

In solely survival terms we eat food purely to get the right nutrients for our body to function properly and to get energy to carry out the functions. So, with all the different vitamins and supplements someone could easily have access to the correct nutrients in those terms.

Obviously we then get to the issue of carbs, protein, fat etc.. as we still need those. I don't think these exist, but if a compressed form of, for example, 50g carbs was made into a tablet, like literally just pure carbs squidged to the bare minimum into a pill, so that you could just take that and have your carbs for the day. If these things existed for protein (I know there's protein powder but really you have to combine that with other food), fat, salt etc.. would someone be able to just take the correct selection of pills each day and survive?

**disclaimer.. I do not plan on doing this at all, nor do I recommend it **
You aren't defining what you mean my 'living off no real food' specifically enough. Do you just mean solid things you can swallow? Otherwise, lots of people have to do it for medical reasons. You can have a naso-gastric tube - which I presume is what you want to exclude by saying 'not liquid diets', but people can also be peg fed by a tube straight into the stomach, or TPN fed, directly into the bloodstream. So ultimately your answer is yes, in several ways, but no-one has bothered to compress it into a set of pills and accompanying fluids, because why would you.
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secret_pineapple
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
You aren't defining what you mean my 'living off no real food' specifically enough. Do you just mean solid things you can swallow? Otherwise, lots of people have to do it for medical reasons. You can have a naso-gastric tube - which I presume is what you want to exclude by saying 'not liquid diets', but people can also be peg fed by a tube straight into the stomach, or TPN fed, directly into the bloodstream. So ultimately your answer is yes, in several ways, but no-one has bothered to compress it into a set of pills and accompanying fluids, because why would you.
What I originally meant by liquid diets was the fad diets where people liquidise their food, because by 'real food's I was initially thinking about solids, but in hindsight solid food in liquid form (?) still counts as real food (idek anymore). I did say before 'assuming the person was completely healthy', so no additional support including things like feeding tubes etc..
My question was mainly about just the bare essentials e.g carbs, protein, being compressed, even though I agree, I think solid food would be way more convenient, there may be situations where pill forms of 'survival' would be useful possibly

that was very waffley but I hope you get my point lol
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