The Monkey Biscuit Diet

(Content warning: If you click on links in this article, some lead to the site of the subject – the “Angry Young Man”. He is incapable of communicating without the use of obscene graphic gestures and profane language. Enter at your own risk.)

During nutritional research, I ran across a self-proclaimed “Angry Young Man’s” blog. What bothers him is not a “shortage of peace, love and happiness”, but instead, the “appalling lack of anger in the world”.

“We let it happen”, he opines. “We let a bunch of crazy jerks take anger away from us – the fanatics, the bigots, the zealots and the extremists….completely cornered the market on anger….” He continues, with some valid points in that “North Americans spend more on pornography than they give to charity. The leading causes of death for young black men are suicide and murder.”

In his worldview, “Every bus crash in Canada makes national news but millions of preventable deaths in Africa go unmentioned year after year.” If I’m reading this right, it’s okay when your fellow-Canadians meet their end in a mangled ball of steel-twisted wreckage because…..because…..well, he doesn’t quite say, but he’s sick of hearing about it. Give him something on the other side of the world, out-of-reach that he can be angry about! But boring, repetitive, mundane deaths on his doorstep just simply don’t fuel his anger!

What does Angry Young Man decide to do? Go on a hunger strike!! Being that he is young, it’s a pre-requisite he must re-invent the wheel. This is no “if water was good enough for Gandhi, it’s good enough for me” type of deal. His hunger strike will have meaning and substance, potentially offering a solution to world hunger!

Besides, he’s tired of cooking….scrubbing pots and pans…wasted too much time in the checkout line. His temperament may be best described as eccentric, not noble.

His Plan: Eat “Zupreem Primate Dry Diet Animal Food” for a week! For the uninitiated in the world to Primary and Parrot Feeding 101, the common name would be “monkey biscuits”, “monkey chow”, or “monkey food”. Monkey biscuits are recommended by most Avian Vets as great parrot supplements. My parrots won’t eat a single bite, touching them only long enough to THROW them at me, emphatically screaming, “NO!” at the top of their lungs.

Job 7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 11 Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?

Evidently, parrots are aware (roll with this for a second) that their DNA isn’t evolved from apes. I’d hazard a guess that Angry Young Man follows the line of thinking he IS made in the image of apes, and not God. But then I must ask, wherein is the sacrifice in eating nothing but monkey biscuits for seven days? Isn’t that like a, oh, I don’t know, a rabbit refusing to eat anything but carrots?

During his seventh day of consuming monkey biscuits (occasionally washed down with a hit of Vodka – not recommended for real DNA primates), Angry Young Man noted in his diary he was “shaking the bars to his cage”. Other than that, it didn’t appear Angry Young Monk…errr….Angry Young Man, appeared to suffer. Nor did he report getting in touch with his inner-monkey.

He seemed surprised by the amount of attention his antics received, confessing, “I’ve never pretended the Monkey Chow Diaries is about anything other than me amusing myself and anybody else who cared to watch. But in the course of this week, one thing I have grown to understand like never before is how bad hunger sucks.”

Of interest to me was the reaction of those watching Angry Young Man – some amused, but most were appalled, disgusted, and grossed out by his feeding…..errrr…...eating selection. Being one to test (eat) some foods before feeding them to my beloved pets, I found monkey biscuits right up there in texture, flavor, and overall unpleasant risidual, coating-the-tongue flavor with Rye Crisp crackers.

Yet, I had to wonder. For those less-than-enthusiastic people not enamored with the concept of monkey biscuits, how many of them are breakfast cereal eaters? I don’t mean the yummy English porridge, what we Americans simply call “oatmeal”, but c-e-r-e-a-l, as in zip-open the cardboard box (into which millions have been poured for product marketing, advertising and design), dump into a bowl, and saturate with pasteurized, homogenized, dead-nutrition store-bought milk.

Let’s do a little comparison.

Zupreem Monkey Biscuit – nutritional content:

Ground corn, Soybean meal, Cracked wheat, Sucrose, Wheat germ meal, Animal fat (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Dried whole egg, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Iodized salt, Vegetable oil, Choline chloride, Stabilized ascorbic acid (source of Vitamin C), Ethoxyquin (a preservative), Ferrous sulfate, Zinc oxide, Copper chloride, Manganous oxide, Cobalt carbonate, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite, Vitamin A supplement, uVitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic acid, Biotin,Vitamin B12 supplement.

Now, let’s look at a “healthy” human breakfast cereal – Kellogg’s All-Bran

Whole grain wheat, wheat bran, vanilla flavored cluster (sugar, toasted oats [rolled whole oats, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, molasses, honey], rolled whole wheat, crisp rice [rice, sugar, malt, salt], corn syrup, honey, cinnamon, artificial vanilla flavor, BHT for freshness), sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil, polydextrose, high fructose corn syrup, nonfat milk, malt flavor, salt, nonfat yogurt powder (cultured nonfat milk, yogurt is heat treated after culturing), whey, natural and artificial flavors, distilled monoglycerides, lactic acid, sucralose, soy lecithin, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), niacinamide, zinc oxide, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), citric acid, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), vitamin A palmitate, BHT (preservative), vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Looking at basic ingredients, they’re equally disgusting. At the very least, those among us who were appalled/grossed-out at the concept of a human eating a pelleted primate food would have to be struck by the idea that there’s really no difference between the two. You can do your own research, reading content labels of other purported “healthy” human cereals. They will vary, with wheat content higher on one, corn on another.

Monkey biscuits, at least, do NOT contain Kellogg’s sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, nonfat milk, yogurt powder, and artificial flavors, all of which should be avoided as much as humanly (or primate, depending on your theology) possible.

In an article, The Ultimate Convenience Diet – Monkey Chow a PhD, R.D. at the American Council on Science and Health, referring to Angry Young Man’s experiment states, “In fact, the monkey chow diet may indeed be nutritionally valid….We know that the plethora of diets in the marketplace can be confusing—and ACSH certainly does not endorse most of them, nor do we endorse this one.”

Well, whew, I am happy to see ACSH doesn’t endorse the monkey biscuit diet, but as always, I’m a bit let down that they didn’t mention that the major flaw in consuming monkey biscuits is the ground corn, soybean meal, cracked wheat, and wheat germ were not prepared in such a way as to reduce the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which are natural to those grains. A good pre-soak for 12-20 hours (corn needs to be soaked in lime) of those grains, would go a long way toward making monkey biscuits more nutritionally sound. But that’s another topic.

My parrots will be monkey-biscuit-free. My family will remain cereal-free. And I will continue to follow the solid, research-backed nutrition principles of Weston A. Price Foundation, as well as Sally Fallon’s, Nourishing Traditions.

And Angry Youn Man? He unintentionally fell into an interesting project, which I hope he continues to contemplate as having merit deserving of his anger – the food processing industry’s false claims to offering a healthy product.

He seems more contemplative these days, summarizing his adventures,: “….The thoughtful observations of Dr. Ruth Kava and Jeff Stier bring a lot to the monkey chow experiment. They, in their intelligent way, and I, in my buffoonish way, are looking at some really interesting questions. Questions that I, as a pretty lean guy, have never had to address: Why do I eat what I eat? If I was fat, could I lose the weight? Do food advertisements have an impact on me? I’m learning a lot about my personal relationship with food and about our society’s relationship with food. My perspective on diet, dieting and health has changed dramatically. The next time someone tells me french fries make them happy, I’ll know what they mean.”

  Textile help