The Perfect Meal

I’m about to share with you one of those life hacks that ceases to be a hack the moment it becomes public knowledge. It’s like announcing how you can bypass the 90-minute wait for a table at The Cheesecake Factory by using first-available seating at the bar. Anyway, here’s another one: Whole Foods sells oysters for $1 each for Prime members on Fridays — while supplies last.

To put that in perspective, the typical restaurant oyster in Miami goes for $3.50 each (plus tax and tip), down to $1.75 at Happy Hour. In Venezuela, for $1 each you can get the largest, finest, tastiest oysters in the world. But you need to be on a beach in Venezuela.

For Whole Foods’ oysters, a bit of set up is required. You have to shuck your own oysters, so you’ll need the special pointed tool that lets you crack open the shell. I also bought a cut resistant glove to protect my left hand when my carving hand loses control of the situation.  

Oysters are the healthiest food in the world. They’re likely the protein source that fueled the dominance of homo sapiens. Imagine a shrunken, hairy biped wandering around the beach looking for something to eat. The fish in ankle high water escape his grasp, but then he comes across this unlimited supply of a stationary superfood. It has no claws, doesn’t bite back, and tastes great raw.

Now ordinarily, I’m a believer in taking supplements. Our modern diet has abandoned our ancestors’ snout-to-tail lifestyle, and Big Agriculture grows our food in nutrient-depleted soil. We also consume large quantities of antinutrient grains that interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. We’re deficient in almost everything.

However, for lunch today I had the perfect meal: from Whole Foods a dozen oysters; half a package of a blend of beef liver, beef heart, and ground beef; and six pasture raised eggs (birds naturally eat worms and bugs, not commercial grain-based feed).

When you eat like this, you really would be pissing your money away on supplements. This feast fills you with extravagant amounts of minerals like zinc and copper; ludicrous quantities of vitamin A (retinol); the whole B vitamin complex; vitamin K2 as a cow uses its four stomachs to convert the K1 in grass into a vital nutrient for human bone and heart health; and stupendous concentrations of protein and the building blocks of collagen. Beef liver is even a good source of CoQ10, which is important for heart health and can decrease your risk of brain ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Compared to supplements, the nutrition in food is also served up in a way most readily absorbed by the body.

Liver and oysters are so nutrient dense, in fact, that it’s possible to overdo it. A 100-gram portion of beef liver, about the size of a quarter-pounder patty, contains more than six times the recommended dietary intake of vitamin A, and seven times the RDI of copper. A dozen oysters is 714% of the RDI for zinc. With due respect to the Cookie Monster, these delicacies are also a Sometimes Food.

What you cannot overdo is dietary cholesterol. As a reminder, you should immediately close and delete from your browsing history any article that suggests otherwise. Dietary cholesterol has no relationship to serum cholesterol. You should also do the same with an article that recommends limiting shellfish because of mercury. This guidance has been debunked because the selenium found in seafood binds to and neutralizes the mercury.

So what does the perfect meal cost? Here’s the math. 12 oysters = $12. Eight ounces of beef liver, heart, and ground beef is $6. A half-dozen pasture raised eggs are about $4. In total, you spend $22, but save more by being able to forgo your tablets and pills.

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