The Diet Problem

The Diet Problem

September 5, 2018 0 By admin


Tonight I would like to quickly outline the Diet Problem. You maybe asking yourself what is the diet problem and why should I care? This is in fact the problem we are trying to solve when discussing growing food. I know I have mentioned in other posts and will go into more depth here that I am interested in driving growing decisions on how I want to support my diet. Now not everyone has this goal but this can still be a useful for any food crops. If you are not growing food crops then obviously isn’t quite as important to you. Lets outline the problem.

Problem Outline

Say I wanted to grow all of my food and wanted to find out the best quantites of various crops to grow. The first thing I want to know is what nutrient quantities do I want to achieve. I will use a very simple example and only look at macronutrients for now(Carbs, Fats, Protein). Assume 2500 calories/day and you are interested in a 65% Carb, 20% Fat, and 15% Protein macronutrient spread. That means the following below:

Nutrient Grams/day

The table outlines grams/day needs for each macronutrient. You then of course will have yields for all of those nutrients in for plants in a list of ones you would like to grow. From there you need a mathematical method to solve that problem. To help make the decision you can weight each food item by how much space it takes to grow, cost to grow, etc, whatever you would like. The problem is essentially based on achieving those specific goals.

This is a very rudiementary version of the problem since the goal is to gleen more information from the answer than just which combination of foods we would like to eat. We are interested in information about growing as well. So we must introduce constraints for the model to consider on some of the things mentioned above. As an example how much acutal space do you have to grow? Since more land for most people isnt something you can pick up on a whim what you currently have from a land resource perspective is very important. This can and should be added to this model.

In the coming weeks I will be solving this problem for myself and will be sharing with you so you can do it as well. Happy Growing!!