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GrassForFreeFood

Grass for Free Food
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Food and energy prices are on the rise and even in the USA masses struggle to buy food. It will only get worse with the weakening dollar and increasing energy costs. Of course there are other countries too...

Research bovine bacterium a bit more and get something that lives well in the human intestine. Distribute a one-time pill for everyone to eat. After eating the pill, cellulose is somewhat digestible because the bacteria stay alive in the intestine. Now it's just an ego thing: eat grass, something culturally wrong like potatoes were once considered wrong.

As a quicker fix, eat a cow's first stomach or buy some bovine cultures and get them growing in a pail of grass (no oxygen), then eat lots of that stuff.

Here is a similar idea: Survival_20Grass#1110421363

Downsides: (1) destroys food industry as we know it (imagine $3 bales of hay in supermarkets instead of $60 worth of cabbage), (2) reduces US's 'wealth gap' over the world, (3) fulfills certain end-of-world prophecies.

Bcrosby, Jun 28 2008

Survial Grass Survival_20Grass
- another similiar idea [Bcrosby, Jun 28 2008]

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       Every once-in-awhile this site invokes a 'Pleasantville' scene, in this case a black&white film of people "cutting the lawn" goat-style on Saturdays. (the other one was "time out bag", sidewalks littered with drawstring bags containing people who have had too much). There'd be enough methane produced to make population density unsupportable, though.
FlyingToaster, Jun 28 2008
  

       Is all that is needed a bacteria? I think even with the right bacteria our intestines aren't long enough to get any meaningful nutrition out of grass.
MisterQED, Jun 29 2008
  

       Can bacteria break them down?   

       Check out Wikipedia: Cellulose, Cellulolysis, "..symbiotic anaerobic bacteria (like Cellulomonas).. "   

       Terminates do this too, and decomposition, fungi.   

       How many intestine-feet? Can the human body hold these guys without killing the bacteria or the human? I guess that's why I posted this instead of searching for venture capital..   

       [ stuffs another clove of grass in mouth ]
Bcrosby, Jun 29 2008
  

       Upsides: (1) destroys food industry as we know it, (2) reduces US's 'wealth gap' over the world.   

       I met someone once who claimed to have lived on grass and associated vegetation for some months. He and a friend watched what cows ate and copied them. They used a blender or a juicer to process the herbiage. He was a very interesting and serious person, and I'm sure he wasn't making it up.   

       You won't be able to digest cellulose effectively just by introducing the appropriate bacteria to your gut. The best thing might be to design a mechanical digester, with appropriate grinders and fermentation tanks. You would have one up on the cow, in that you wouldn't have to carry the digester internally.
spidermother, Feb 04 2011
  

       //He and a friend watched what cows ate and copied them.//
Cows sit around for large parts of the day, just regurgitating stuff, having another go at it, and then swallowing it another way.
I hope they had a good mouthwash.
coprocephalous, Feb 04 2011
  

       The only part they copied was the selection of what to eat.
spidermother, Feb 04 2011
  

       [spidermother] During the seige of Leningrad (and, doubtless too, at many other times & places in history) people ate things that weren't food -- like shoe leather -- and lived, at least for a while. Which doesn't prove that shoe-leather is nutritious, it only proves that it takes quite a while to starve to death. Several months is stretching it, though, so either your acquaintence was exaggerating, or there were at least a few bioavailable kilocalories in what he was eating. After he blenderized and juiced the stuff, is there any chance it fermented?
mouseposture, Feb 05 2011
  

       Not all the energy in grasses and herbs is in human-indigestable forms, such as cellulose. They would have been getting starches, sugars, protein, and lipids. A cow would have been able to get much more energy from the same food; there method was wasteful in that sense. They had to process large amounts of the stuff.   

       I don't recall that he deliberately fermented the stuff, but there may have been some unintentional fermentation.   

       I asked whether he lost weight; he said he was skinny at the end, but then he'd been skinny before, as well.
spidermother, Feb 05 2011
  

       Quite a few common meadow plants (dandelion, purslane, among others) are at least partly digestible by humans, as are the seeds of many grasses, this may keep someone alive on a "meadow" diet for some time.   

       Given that something as simple as getting the wrong strain of e. coli in your gut can be fatal, trying to introduce random bovine bacteria strikes me as a bad idea. I would like to see actual evidence that bovine gut bacteria can live in a human stomach/intestine, I have my doubts.
MechE, Feb 05 2011
  
      
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