Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can Man Live By Bread Alone?

I've been reading the Straight Dope for years (ever since I found it on America Online -- yeah, the mid 1990s!). Cecil Adams, the world's smartest human, has been on a quest to fight ignorance out of the teeming millions since 1973. One of my favorite articles addresses the age-old question, "Can man live by bread alone?"

Well, it depends. Let's assume you are serious about this: nothing but bread. No water. You're going to need to eat about 6 loaves per day just to get enough moisture to keep you alive. And that's assuming you eat low-sodium bread and don't do anything all day but knit (or you'll need more water).

So if you can get past the dehydration death, the next problem will be scurvy. You need to consume vitamin C, and to quote Cecil, "I am not going to sully this discussion by considering wacky, hypothetical 'breads' like lemon-peel loaf." Unfortunately, one of the early signs of scurvy is loss of appetite, so you'll need to really stuff those 6 loaves down.

"If you don't drink water, and consequently try to shove six loaves down your throat day in and day out--and that means consuming about 8,000 calories a day, four times what a 160-pound man needs when he's moderately active (and you won't be)..." Cecil gives you maybe six months.

8 comments:

Benjamin said...

Wouldn't your stomach shut down even before scurvy sets in?

the chelak said...

that picture is pure ecstasy for me

Beetle said...

I'm convinced that if you ate 6 loaves of bread---*nothing* would come out.

Jancisco said...

Is this directed at Clark. He'll probably take the bet.

Thaddeus said...

Ben, you may be right. But just remember that you have a whole day to eat the six loaves. You don't have to eat them all at once. I think I could get through at least a week.

Jan, Clark may be just the man to finally put this to the test.

Diana said...

I think man can live by bread alone as long as it's Toni's Tuesday Bread.

Bus Gillespie said...

This Cecil Adams guy (smartest guy in the world?) needs to look up the words Parable, analogy, aligory.

Jinx said...

Aw, don't blame Cecil, he just answers the questions. Plus, being the most intelligent person in the world, I'm sure he knows all about parables, analogies, and allegories. Whoever sent him the question "Can man REALLY live by bread alone?" may need a lesson or two in not taking things so literally, though.