Could humans permanently live off a single food-like block, made of various edible materials, which contains all their daily requirements of calories, vitamins, and minerals?

Preferably is there a way for this food block to be in a dehydrated state, allowing it to be as portable as possible (only requiring the person to add water for consumption)?

How long would the shelve life be, preferably while being stored unrefrigerated?

What would this food need to be made of?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding. Plese take the tour and visit the help center, in particular this section about on topic question and the counterpart on off topic question. Your post seems to be mixing more than one question, can you please refine it? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Aug 15, 2018 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! While you ask valid questions, this site works best if you ask one question at a time. That is what StackExchange is built for. One question and many answers of which to select the best one. It can only work if there is just one question to answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2018 at 10:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ real world food blocks exist you may want to look at them, Nutraloaf and Kongbap prison food would be good starts. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 15, 2018 at 11:44
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To add to @John's comment: you can also get dehydrated food powders that supposedly contain all of your daily nutrients etc - just add water and mix them up like a protein shake, then drink. I am aware of at least one person (a webcomic writer/artist who I won't name, but you are welcome t' hunt for him if you like) who reportedly subsisted on nothing but for a year. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2018 at 12:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Soylent Green I'd write that as an answer, but I'm sure I'd get complaints... $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2018 at 14:33

3 Answers 3




It's a powder rather than a block but for your purposes a binder could be used to make it into a block. Some people with damaged digestive systems have to use this for life.

  • $\begingroup$ ah, there is always a solution somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – Exostrike
    Aug 16, 2018 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ Survive, yes. Enjoy life? No. $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2018 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ @GarretGang The question was "survive". I presented an example of something that met the requirement other than not being a block. $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2018 at 17:13

Kinda but it wouldn't be something that you'd be able to live on long term. Looking at modern day survival food it would be possible to create a single food block that could keep you alive.

While these blocks supposedly last for 5 years after manufacture, the main issue I can see is their limited protein content (9g for a 250 caloric block for example). You could solve this by adding additional protein sources but that would compromise the shelve life of the product.

The real killer would be the micro-nutrients from real plants that can't be replicated/supplanted very well and which has a major effect on health.

Ultimately food blocks of various types could make up a viable diet they would have to be supplemented by real food as well.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 9g of protein for a 250 calorie block is fine. My Fitbit says I use a bit over 2000 calories/day (varies based on how much hiking I do.) That would be 72g/day of protein, plenty for my size. As for micro-nutrients--see my answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 16, 2018 at 2:19

We know what macro- and micro-nutrients are needed, and it what amounts, per day, for infants, children, teens (male and female), adults (active, sedentary, male, female, pregnant, nursing, etc).

Thus, someone just has to actually do the work of making such a food block.

(This all ignores the fact that it would soon become very boring and the vast majority of people would really start to grumble.)


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .