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RobinGBrown
10-19-2009, 09:27 AM
Doing nsome research for a horror story:

How many meals could you get out of an average human body?

e.g. If you were the average American housewife and you were crash landed somewhere inaccessible with a few other people and a handy corpse how many meals could you make out of that corpse and what would they be?

I'm sure those ****ers on Lost couldn't have survived on that island

poetinahat
10-19-2009, 09:38 AM
I cannot WAIT to see who shows up with "well, in my experience...".

And "a handy corpse"? Um, as long as I have a packet of Cadaver Helper...

Williebee
10-19-2009, 09:43 AM
"Well I don't know. How big a boy are ya?" :)

Robin, welcome to the 'Cooler. And what an excellent post!

Seriously, though, I need some more info, like do we have wild veggies available? Equipment or resources to make dishes, like for soups?

Ken
10-19-2009, 09:57 AM
... the way to calculate this would be to determine how many pounds of meat the average human body contains. This will vary, depending on whether innards are included along with the flesh. If so, then simply subtract the weight of the skeletal frame from the average weight of a human and then divide that by the average amount of food eaten, in pounds, per meal. All these figures should be easily obtainable on the web. Of course you might obtain a more precise measurement by conducting the research first hand :P

Nivarion
10-19-2009, 10:42 AM
I cannot WAIT to see who shows up with "well, in my experience...".

And "a handy corpse"? Um, as long as I have a packet of Cadaver Helper...

Well, In my experience. :P A human needs about a minimum of 1000 calories to keep burning in a survival situation. cooked meat (pork, the most like human) contains an average of 50 calories an ounce. so to get your 1000 you would need to eat one and a quarter pounds. You can eat less if its raw. Guesstimating about 130 lbs of edibles on a human, you could go for a rough 104 days on them. Although, they would decay well before this time. So eating 2000 calorie diet of human you could feed off of a 150 lb human for 50 days. If you can retard decay.



... the way to calculate this would be to determine how many pounds of meat the average human body contains. This will vary, depending on whether innards are included along with the flesh. If so, then simply subtract the weight of the skeletal frame from the average weight of a human and then divide that by the average amount of food eaten, in pounds, per meal. All these figures should be easily obtainable on the web. Of course you might obtain a more precise measurement by conducting the research first hand :P

In a serious survival situation, you would want to eat the innards, since they would contain many of the vitamins and minerals you need to keep running, that are not found elsewhere in the flesh.

Granted, I figured this Math with a couple of seconds, and for just one person eating.

And for gods sake, if you do personal research, don't do it on me. :D

RobinGBrown
10-19-2009, 02:34 PM
>If you can retard decay

Let me try for a different situation, one that I've seen in horror stories:

If you had someone locked up alive and you were able to remove limbs without killing them outright, thus 'retarding decay', how many family meals could you make? We can assume, in this situation, that a small supply of veggies are available as accompaniment but the meal would chiefly be meat. Also assume discarding bones and innards.

A victim might last a month like that?

Ruv Draba
10-19-2009, 02:39 PM
You can eat human heart, liver, kidneys... all the muscle, skin... just about everything except the bones (including spine) and the brain (which you can eat but risk prion diseases similar to mad cow disease). The bones are around 20% of human body-weight (http://www.dairycouncilofca.org/Milk-Dairy/Milk_Bones.aspx). The brain is around three percent (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=people-only-use-10-percent-of-brain)of body weight, so potentially with the right preparation 77% of human body-weight can be cannibalised. Average adult US male weight is around 190lb (http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/growthcharts2/f/avg_wt_male.htm), so around 146lb are edible. At a pound of flesh per meal (if that's all you're eating, less if you add other ingredients), there's my estimate.

PeterL
10-19-2009, 05:30 PM
>If you can retard decay

Let me try for a different situation, one that I've seen in horror stories:

If you had someone locked up alive and you were able to remove limbs without killing them outright, thus 'retarding decay', how many family meals could you make? We can assume, in this situation, that a small supply of veggies are available as accompaniment but the meal would chiefly be meat. Also assume discarding bones and innards.

A victim might last a month like that?

A month!! Hell no! The victim would last for months. Let's assume a human weighing 180 pounds. Bones and other inedible parts would run to about a third of the weight (this amount would vary widely, and one third is the low end), leaving 120 pounds. If one assumes that you will be eating six ounces of meat per meal, then there would be 320 meals. If you mean how long would it take for the victim to die, then it would be safe to think that the arms and legs wouldn't kil the victim, and those would be about half the weight or 160 meals, which would be more than 50 days. If you made soup wih the bones, that probably would stretch things for a couple of days. There are people who who take great pride in being able to remove the pectoral muscles and the rump without killing the victim.

GeorgeK
10-19-2009, 09:43 PM
When I butcher a pig I salvage the cheek meat and tongue off of the head. The rest of the head goes to the dogs since I shoot them in the head and I don't want to bother with picking around all the bone shards. The dogs also get the hide and the feet as well as the intestines, pancreas and lungs. We eat the skeletal meat, heart and solid organs. The bones are pressure cooked down into concentrated stock which we then can and save for soups etc. Done this way, you can utilize roughly 60% of the live weight. Skin is surprisingly heavy, but in a survival situation I'd assume you'd fry the skin up as pork rinds, in which case you'd be approaching roughly 80% of live weight. Also note that humans have a higher surface area to mass ratio (more skin as a percentage of the weight) when compared to a pig since pigs are more spherical than people.

Also amputating and keeping a victim alive in the meantime would reduce the amount of salvageable food because it takes far more energy to try and heal a wound than to simply keep breathing. Also the victim would likely die of sepsis or blood loss. In the middle ages without refrigeration people would preserve meat with salt, drying or keeping it submersed in a stew with a thick layer of fat on top. If the stew is heated every day and the cauldron is covered when not in use, most of the time there was little if any wasted by the time the boar or stag was consumed.


... and you were crash landed somewhere inaccessible with a few other people and a handy corpse how many meals could you make out of that corpse and what would they be?



Remember that depending upon your surroudings a person's caloric requirements might be higher than usual. Most of the caloric requirement charts assume modern society (light work and controlled climate). If they are in the arctic they might need 6000 calories a day just to stave off freezing to death and then on top of that they will be doing heavy labor to build a shelter etc.

It's also worth mentioning that in a survivial situation, one would want to dice up the intestines (washed thoroughly prior to dicing) and cook it as tripe soup. As long as there are ways to cook your food, nearly the whole creature can be eaten. In the third world people eat tripe all the time. Our food sensibilities as to what we will and won't eat is really more a matter of culture than biology.

BigWords
10-19-2009, 10:20 PM
It would depend both on the weight of the person, and how hungry the cannibal was. There is a Stephen King story called Survivor Type (I think) where the MC cannibalized himself, and in the notes to the story King says he talked the story over with a doctor to get the facts right...

Williebee
10-20-2009, 01:56 AM
There is definitely something wrong with me. This gets my vote for best thread of the Halloween month. Thanks everybody.

And, I'm thinking that, yeah, if you have some grains available (rice, say). You can stretch Mister Unlucky for a couple of months, anyway.

backslashbaby
10-20-2009, 02:23 AM
I'd go on and kill them, then do the bulk of the body preserved like Country Ham and Pork Rinds. The ham is very salty, but awesome. It lasts forever.

Apparently, pickling meat is a good idea, too. Go to a gas station in the deep South and you're likely to find jars of pickled pigs feet.

Don't forget the marrow! Have you ever had a big ossobucco bone? Mmmmm (really!).

Nivarion
10-20-2009, 11:21 AM
Don't forget, You can also break open the long bones and eat the marrow, which is high in calories and protein.