« The Human Power Plant: How it Works | Main | Daily Power Production: Work Schedules »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


You need carbohydrates, not protein, to keep going.

Sam A

I find this hypothetical student building fascinating. It reads as a modern day secular monastery.

It’s easier to poke holes in an idea than to construct one, so I’ll try to keep my commentary constructive.

I think you should re-examine the role that fat plays in society and the body. Reducing it to simply “excess energy” ignores the incredible benefits of seasonal feast and famine conditions. Fat is a battery.

Additionally, it is deeply linked to mental health through things like temperature regulation, neurotransmitter production. All kinds of signals that tell you whether you are secure for the future or not.

Production of crops within biking distance means that a seasonal bounty can be stored for off season use without needing to can it.

Hope that helps.


"Moderately active adults require 2,000 to 2,200 Calories per day, which equals 2.4 kilowatt-hour of energy, or an average of 100 watts of power."
These are false numbers based on people under-counting what their intakes. Real caloric needs are way higher.

“The FDA wanted consumers to be able to compare the amounts of saturated fat and sodium to the maximum amounts recommended for a day’s intake–the Daily Values. Because the allowable limits would vary according to the number of calories consumed, the FDA needed benchmarks for average calorie consumption, even though calorie requirements vary according to body size and other individual characteristics. From USDA food consumption surveys of that era, the FDA knew that women typically reported consuming 1,600 to 2,200 calories a day, men 2,000 to 3,000, and children 1,800 to 2,500. But stating ranges on food labels would take up too much space and did not seem particularly helpful. The FDA proposed using a single standard of daily calorie intake–2,350 calories per day, based on USDA survey data. The agency requested public comments on this proposal and on alternative figures: 2,000, 2,300, and 2,400 calories per day. Despite the observable fact that 2,350 calories per day is below the average requirements for either men or women obtained from doubly labeled water experiments, most of the people who responded to the comments judged the proposed benchmark too high. Nutrition educators worried that it would encourage overconsumption, be irrelevant to women who consume fewer calories, and permit overstatement of acceptable levels of “eat less” nutrients such as saturated fat and sodium. Instead, they proposed 2,000 calories as: - consistent with widely used food plans - close to the calorie requirements for postmenopausal women, the population group most prone to weight gain - a reasonably rounded-down value from 2,350 calories - easier to use than 2,350 and, therefore, a better tool for nutrition education Whether a rounding down of nearly 20 percent is reasonable or not, the FDA ultimately viewed these arguments as persuasive. It agreed that 2,000 calories per day would be more likely to make it clear that people needed to tailor dietary recommendations to their own diets. The FDA wanted people to understand that they must adjust calorie intake according to age, sex, activity, and life stage. It addressed the adjustment problem by requiring the percent Daily Value footnote on food labels for diets of 2,000 and 2,500 calories per day, the range of average values reported in dietary intake surveys.”

Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics

To get something close to real caloric needs you need to use a BMR calculator and then adjust it with activity book. I used to use it when I was still into dieting (getting cold and hungry all the time until I regained more than I lost - which was 10kg in less than half-of-a-year has finally cured me from such eating disorders) to get caloric deficits like 400kcal per day, so it's quite precise.

A 180cm 25 years old weighting 80kg will have resting metabolic rate of 1806kcal. If we assume "moderately active" means 15 hours of sitting work and 1 hour 4km walk, you get caloric use of 2520 kcal.

If it means more active - like moderately physically active means a light physical job like sweeping you'll easily end up with caloric requirements over 3000kcal.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)