10 Foods I Couldn’t Live Without

If you had to subsist on ten foods for the rest of your life, which ten would you choose? That was essentially the question posed to me by a reader email. In it, Jamie made an elaborate setup: having been chosen to man a mission to Mars in the near future, I have to program my Food Machine for the trip. The Food Machine is a wondrous piece of technology that can create any Earth-based food from scratch, but the catch is that it can only store ten “recipes” and the programming has to take place before we leave. Once I’m up in the shuttle, I can’t change my mind. I’ll have to live with these foods for ten years (and maybe longer – who knows how things will go down). More than simply survive, I’ll have to thrive on these foods. I’ll have to get all the essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, so I had better get it right.

It was hard to choose. Obviously, it’s just a thought experiment, but I really tried to balance flavor/pleasure and nutritional completeness. Sticking to Primal foods, this usually takes care of itself, but, well, it’s ten years.

1. Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Extra Thick Skin

To me, skin-on sockeye salmon gives you two foods in one. The flesh is great stuff, no doubt – flaky, delicate, delicious – but the skin is perfection. Crispy sockeye skin is like bacon of the sea, and yet people avoid it. I don’t understand why. I go crazy for the stuff. In fact, I’m never one to eat off of others’ plates, except when skin-on salmon is served. People eat around it, they scrape the meat off, they push it aside so it hangs off the plate, forgotten. But not by me. I will eat your salmon skin if you don’t appreciate it. So, yeah. Endless amounts of salmon skin bacon? Sure, I’ll brave the red planet for that.

Salmon takes care of selenium and omega-3s, and it gets me part of the way there for vitamin D. The skin is particularly fatty and nutrient-rich.

2. Bone-In Grass-Fed Cowboy Ribeye

Nothing can replace the basic human urge to eat the occasional massive slab of animal except actually eating a big massive slab of animal, and the bone handle that comes attached to the cowboy ribeye is perfect for low-gravity situations.

It’s a great source of quality animal fat (including a modest amount of omega-3s), protein, B-vitamins, and – because the “grass” the cow “fed” on “grew” in nutrient-dense soil – minerals.

3. Grass-Fed Butter

The rich golden goodness of butter is tough to beat, and I can slather it on just about anything. For the fatty acid profile (including CLA), vitamin A, vitamin K2, and omega-3s, grass-fed butter makes the cut. But let’s be honest. This is mostly about the taste: the creaminess, the richness and the mouth-feel that satisfies like nothing else.

4. Broccoli

I need my cruciferous fix, and broccoli is that fix. The absorbent tops do a decent job of soaking up meat juice, sauce, and butter.

5. Blackberries

A good blackberry is good. I mean, who doesn’t like biting into a plump one and feeling all those tiny bulbs explode, releasing their juices into your mouth. Because they’re so physically imposing compared to the other berries, I can eat blackberries one at a time and be totally satisfied, whereas with really good blueberries or raspberries I find myself shoveling them in.

Blackberries are good sources of soluble fiber (gut flora food), vitamin C, and deliciousness.

6. Pasture-Raised Eggs

It came down between grass-fed lamb liver (see Honorable Mentions below) and eggs, and eggs won out. Poached, fried, baked, scrambled, hard-boiled, and even raw at times, I love eggs just about any way they’re served. And hey, they pack a healthy dose of selenium, iodine, phosphorus, molybdenum, choline, lutein, vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, E, D and K. Add to this 5.5 grams of protein per egg and essential fatty acids, and you’ve got yourself a delicious and decadent powerhouse food.

7. Spinach

Spinach offers calcium and magnesium in spades, pairs well with meat of any kind, can be sauteed, steamed, thrown into soups, or eaten raw, and provides roughage when I’m into that sort of thing.

While there’s some concern over excessive consumption of oxalates in spinach leading to kidney stones, I won’t be eating it exclusively nor in massive quantities. I can’t say the same for the vegetarian dude who gets stuck with me as a crew member.

8. Okinawan Sweet Potatoes

I’ve really grown enamored of these purple beauties. Best of all, using the Food Machine means I won’t have to settle for those light lavender-ish “purple” yams I sometimes get at the Asian markets. Instead, I can make sure I get the deepest, purplest potatoes around.

Okinawan sweet potatoes take care of any blue-related antioxidant compounds I might be missing by skipping on blueberries.

9. Grass-Fed Greek Yogurt

I need something fermented, and I think I’d get sick of kimchi or sauerkraut after awhile, so Greek yogurt it is. But not just any regular old Greek yogurt, though Fage is a great brand. I’d program the Greek yogurt from Papa Cristos in Los Angeles, a Greek restaurant/grocer that makes their own Greek yogurt on the premises. Ironically, it’s a Bulgarian dude that actually makes the stuff, but in the Greek fashion. This is thick, rich yogurt with more tang (and therefore probiotics) than Fage.

Good Greek yogurt (not the 0% fat nonsense) is rich in healthy dairy fat. And, since this is my fantasy, this particular Greek yogurt would be made from A2 casein milk cattle raised by the Masai on fertile grassland, so I bet you’d get some vitamin K2 in there somehow.

10. Macadamia Nuts

I just ran the previous nine items through Cronometer, and I hit the RDAs with ease, so this one is pure pleasure. Macadamia nuts are perfectly nutritious – good source of monounsaturated fats, ultra low in polyunsaturated fats – but, as far as nutritional requirements go, they weren’t required. Besides, I can’t truly enjoy my Greek yogurt without macadamias and blackberries mixed in (seriously, try it; it’s insanely good).

Honorable Mentions

Grass-Fed Lamb Liver – While beef liver is often described as nature’s multivitamin, lamb liver is pretty similar nutritionally but with a milder flavor. I honestly enjoy beef liver. I just think I could eat lamb liver on a regular basis, and never feel like it was a chore. Lamb liver takes care of tons of micronutrients: folate, selenium, choline, vitamin A, copper, all B-vitamins. Really it was a toss up between liver and eggs for me, and eggs won out.

Cheese – I thought about swapping out the broccoli for really great cheese but couldn’t pull the trigger. But dang, would I miss it…

Bacon – The presence of sockeye salmon skin made this an easier choice that it would have been otherwise. Sorry, bacon.

Bone Broth – While many have tried looking into the specific nutrient composition of bone broth, there has never really been a definitive answer given. Regardless, the stuff is tasty, makes a nice warm drink for those cold Mars winters, and definitely contains something worthwhile. I’m not talking your standard variety six-hour bone broth, mind you. I’m talking three-day epic bone-disintegrating broth with Sally Fallon herself manning the stock pot while being presided over by the spirit of Weston A. Price. Broth that solidifies at room temperature. Broth that doubles as shoe-gel inserts. Broth that, though nutritious and satisfying, still didn’t break into the top ten.

Other Berries – I love all berries, usually equally, but blackberries got my vote today because I’ve been wolfing them down and they’ve been particularly good this season. Ask me in a couple weeks and I might say raspberries.

Cabernet Sauvignon – I wasn’t sure if I had to include this in the foods or if I could sneak it in with the water. If not, I might end up swapping out the nuts for the wine. Eh, since this is a thought experiment, I’ll just go ahead and think that the latter is true.

Of course, I could live without all of these foods. Oh, but how I would suffer. Fortunately, I won’t be headed to Mars anytime soon and I can enjoy the rich bounty of whole foods that are part of the Primal Blueprint eating strategy from my terrestrial station.

So, that’s me, but what about you? Which ten foods would you program into the Food Machine to be eaten exclusively for the rest of your life? How would you ensure that you both survive and thrive on a diet of only ten foods? Let us know in the comment section!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

293 thoughts on “10 Foods I Couldn’t Live Without”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. What a great, fun post, Mark. You finally gave me a reason to try salmon. “Bacon of the sea.” Awesome.

      1. I admit that I’ve been a skin-peeler from my salmon fillets, but I’m gonna try it now. I just bake my salmon fillets, skin-side-down, in a puddle of olive or coconut oil (350 for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness) and the skin’s all floppy. So is there a way to cook it crispy like bacon?

        1. Crispy salmon skin or other fish for that matter. Cast iron pan is the best but a saute pan will do. Start it on a lower heat with oil in the pan skin side down and just let it cook for several minutes. Yes it is easy to burn it but even with a bit of char it rocks. Marinating the fish before helps to coat it with oils essential to creating the crispy skin. I usually just let it cook all the way on the skin side then just flip it over for a minute or two at the end.
          I’m sure there is a youtube with far more precise instructions but the stove top and the pan is the way to go.

    1. +1 on the Kale for me, I’d switch out broccoli for it. There are a few other finicky little switches I’d make as well to personalize it, but over all I’m very agreeable with that list of Mark’s.

  2. 1. Pastured Eggs
    2. Wild Planet Sardines
    3. Coconut (in all its forms)
    4. Spinach
    5. Blueberries
    6. Grass Fed Steak
    7. Broccoli
    8. Pastured Chicken Livers
    9. Grass Fed Butter
    10. Lindt 85% Dark Chocolate

      1. I haven’t been able to find either of those, but will give them a shot if I run across them. I like that the Lindt 85 doesn’t list soy lecithin as an ingredient (but mentions something about exposure to soy).

  3. Your list is spot on Mark but I’d have to pull the butter in favour of basic raw Jersey double cream!
    That way I could have the cream and also make the butter, cream cheese, hard cheese, the icecream, the creme caramel AND the yogurt.

    Saving on the yogurt then gives me room to slip in that cabernet sauvignon!

    1. I would love to know how you make butter, cream cheese, hard cheese, and yogurt from double cream. I know the butter 1 has been posted before, but maybe you do it a different way and the rest of the recipes would be awesome to know…

  4. The Cab would be top two for me, right along with the 90% dark chocolate.

    1. This is me, too. The rest of Mark’s list is totally doable for me for a 10 year stretch.

  5. Mark,

    I would have to have banana’s and apple’s and maybe another fruit or two. I am not a big fish eater, but a good filet mignon would work along with pizza (I could make it ten years with pizza being a staple I think)and I would have to have a red wine if allowed. I love the bacon and would also bring salted cashews (love em!)


  6. I’m glad salmon is #1 on this list and thanks for the idea of “salmon bacon!” That is a must try.

    I’ll add one of my favorites: beets. Something about this deep purpley red vegetable is just incredible. No salt, no seasoning, just boil them and enjoy.

    1. Jason, you’ve got to try roasted beets. Slather in Coconut oil, wrap in aluminum foil and pop into a 350 oven for about and hour… Heaven!

    2. oooh I’m with you!! LOVE beets. And Fennel, I’d really be sad without it.

  7. I would have to second the 85% dark chocolate suggestion. It is great and one square completely satisfies me.

  8. Grass fed ground beef, sweet potatoes, organic free range eggs, spinach, coconut butter, berries, wild salmon, sirloin steak, green apples, olive oil

  9. Totally with you on the salmon skin!
    I love my grass fed T-bone especially the part where I bite the last bits off the bone!

  10. This is tough. I’m not sure what the macro/micro nutrient profile would be, but this is my top 10.

    1. Organic Fresh Pressed Coconut Oil
    2. Grass Fed Beef
    3. Wild Alasakan Salmon
    4. Tomatoes
    5. Eggs
    6. Wild Tuna
    7. Sweet Potatoes
    8. EVOO
    9. Organic Salad Greens
    10. Raspberries

  11. Wild salmon.
    Pastured chicken (I just plain like chicken better than beef, heresy, I know).
    Real backyard tomatoes.
    Fresh whole milk (to make cheese, yogurt & butter).

  12. That’s a nice looking list that anybody would be happy with, but I’ve got a real fat tooth so I’ve made a few changes.

    1. bacon
    2. bacon fat to dip it in
    3. pastured eggs
    4. coconut oil to cook them in
    5. pemmican
    6. oysters
    7. bone broth
    8. the bone in grass fed cowboy rib sounds so good right now. That’s going on my list.
    9. raw jersey double cream ice cream sounded amazing too, thanks to localad
    10. merlot

    I would be happy forever with that.

  13. Mark –

    Great idea – its good to see other people’s faves.

    Glad to see spinach is on your list. It’s on mine as well. Here’s the easiest thing to do with it:

    5oz raw fresh spinach
    1 can (4.5oz) tomatoes w/ liquid
    1 tsp good olive oil
    Sea salt

    Makes a velvety smoothie, to drink or eat with a spoon. My fave thing to do is hold out the olive oil until after blending. Pour smoothie into cup or bowl and then drizzle the oil on top. It’s festive and decadent that way 🙂

    I LOVE berries too, especially in smoothie. I’ve found that using frozen ones can make for a very sorbet-like consistency, if you add just a little bit of liquid and some coconut butter.

    Another thing I love is almond meal – it’s good in smoothies too, as well as plain (sometimes I eat 1/4 cup of it, dry, with a little spoon).

    But if there’s one thing I couldn’t live without is grapefruit (OK, I could live without them, but it wouldn’t be pleasant) 🙂

    Thanks, by the way, for the links about overtraining. Hugely helpful. Here they are, if anyone wants to have a look:


    Great post, Mark. Thanks.

    1. 1) coconut (for all coconut products)
      2) avocado
      3) grass-fed cow (can i ask for the whole damn cow?? that’ll give me meat, organs, and milk/cream … but that might be cheating on the question 😀 )
      4) raw cacao (for all chocolate things)
      5) eggs
      6) wild alaskan salmon
      7) El Yucateco habanero hot sauce
      8) raw honey
      9) sausage
      10) bobas to make bubble tea. 😀 … or maybe i should put some vegetables or fruit on this list instead. hehe.

      1. Honey, sausage, and boba. I guess space travel has you punting primal!

  14. Mark, if you like Sockeye, you should try steelhead. I’ve never had any salmon that I consider superior to a steelhead fillet with a little olive oil, salt and pepper on top and grilled over coals. True paradise.

  15. The best I can afford/available of:

    1. Top loin beef steak
    2. Chicken Eggs
    3. Butter
    4. Broccoli
    5. Cauliflower
    6. Tomatoes
    7. Wild Sockey Salmon Skin On.
    8. Coconut Oil
    9. Olive Oil
    10. Cucumbers

  16. Wow you basically hit my list spot on except the sweet potatoes. And only because I haven’t tried those.

    Maybe bacon instead of butter though. Can always use the bacon grease.

  17. Will I be banned if I admit I’ve never, not once, tasted grass-fed butter? I’m bumping it to the top of my list, effective immediately.

    I’m feeling a little smug about my backyard blackberry bushes at the moment. They’re ripening nicely…

    My #11 would be the MDA primal energy bars. Yum!

    1. Once you do you’ll never go back! The flavor is amazing and the Omega 3 profile is so much better than grain fed butter. I eat it by the spoonful when I’m craving some good fat!

    2. Anne, before you try to find grass-fed cow butter, give a try towards finding Meyenberg Farms goat butter. The smell alone can sustain you. It smells like vanilla creme, and tastes better than any cow butter possibly could. I buy it by the case and freeze it till I need it.

  18. Cabot started selling 10% fat plain greek yogurt in the big tubs. Being from VT I’m sure the cows are pastured part of the year (ever had their butter?, it’s yellow and delicious!). The yogurt is the best, creamiest yogurt I’ve ever had.

    1. Good to know- I’ve been seeing this stuff in Giant; the price is better than the other greek yogurts too!

    2. Unfortunately, I do not believe Cabot cows are grass fed … they eat corn … also, unfortunately, no where on their products or website indicate they are organic,

      1. Cabot does not offer organic products. Most of Cabot farms are not organic and have chose to remain that way due to their size and the expense of becoming certified. However, all 1,200 of our farm families work together to maintain the highest standards and insure that our products, including the World’s Best Cheddar, is produced in a natural way. You can read about what our cows eat here, if you’d like! https://www.cabotcheese.coop/pages/your_health/askus.php

  19. Remember in the old Popeye cartoons how the situation would always get really grim. Then Popeye would eat a can of spinach, which somehow went directly to his bicep, allowing him to punch out whatever was bothering him? I’m like that with diet-wild-cherry-pepsi. I know it’s not primal, or even remotely healthy. And I’m fairly sure it doesn’t actually make my biceps bulge. But I swear the little Popeye jingle plays whenever I take that first swig of the stuff, and I’m ready to go. So I’d have to put it on my list.

    Oh, and bacon, too. Otherwise, Mark’s list is good.

  20. Tough one
    1) eggs (patured and organic ofcourse
    2) Butter or better yet double cream from jersey cows( pastured)= creme fraise, butter and cream in one 🙂
    3) Dark chocolate 75 % fairtrade
    4) berries -wild blueberries slighly rated over raspberries.
    5) Big juicy red steak
    6)smoked wild salmon
    7) summer cabbage
    8) avocado
    9) almonds
    10) asparagus

  21. 1. Grassfed beef shanks
    2. Organic broccoli (fresh)
    3. Organic Eggs (XL because I like the yolk undercooked which is easier when they’re larger)
    4. Grassfed ground beef (nothing beats the texture)
    5. Peppers…all spicy varieties
    6. Kimchi
    7. Fish sauce (I can’t help it)
    8. Pasture Butter
    9. Mangos or pineapples
    10. Organic chicken (so I can eat the skin)

  22. Kombucha, raw cheese, red onions, seaweed, salmon!

    YUM! This post made me so hungry.

  23. 1. Tesco finest 85 % chocolate
    2. Tecso finest 72 % chocolate
    3. Tesco finest 60% chocolate with orange
    4. Tesco finest 60% chocolate with pepper
    5. Tesco finest Swiss chocolate
    6. Tesco finest Milk chocolate
    7. Tesco finest White chocolate
    8. Lindt 85%
    9. Kit Kat
    10. Mars bar

  24. Bacon of the sea, eh? Sounds a lot better when ya put it that way!

    My list is similar:
    Unsalted Kerrygold
    Bone Broth
    Brussels Sprouts
    Sweet potatoes
    King salmon

  25. Now I’m hungry:

    Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin
    Heirloom Tomatoes
    Arugula (Love this stuff)
    Pasture-raised Duck’s eggs
    Arctic Char with skin on
    Apples (old heirloom varieties)
    Pasture-raised raw Goat’s milk (can have the cream on the top sort of as yogurt)
    Bison Jerky (for the odd snack;))
    Dark Chocolate (at least 70%)

    + scotch, tea and water. See you on the red planet!

    1. Loving this list; trade you the jerky and char for avocados and albacore

  26. Here’s my list in no particualr order:
    1. Wild Caught Salmon(I think we all agree on this one.)
    2. Avacodoes(I eat one almost every day)
    3. pastured eggs (I have a five eggs omelet almost every day)
    4. grass fed lamb chops (Thanks to my Croatian father, lamb has been a staple of my diet my whole life)
    5. bananas (my favorite fruit)
    6. whey protein(Can’t believe no one mentioned this one)
    7. a good green whole food supplement( Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health would be my pick)
    8. grass fed bison new york strips(I prefer bison over beef)
    9. grass fed whole fat yogurt(I know this might sound gross but I mix bananas and avacodoes in my yogurt. Don’t dis it til you try it. It’s awesome!)
    10. Miller High Life(I’m gonna be on Mars for 10 years!)

    1. I totally understand #10, but prefer the NorCal Margarita:

      And how can #6 & #7 be on your list of “Top Ten Foods You Couldn’t Live Without” – can they really be considered “Foods”?
      Why not just eat meat and vegetables? Meat is soooo delicious (regardless of source), why not eat the real thing?

      And bananas over berries? It’s your list, and therefore your call, but I beg to differ… I’d think yogurt+berries would be more delicious & nutritous than yogurt+bananas

      my list:
      1) any wild fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, oysters, smelt, etc.)
      2) spinach
      3) eggs
      4) bacon
      5) NorCal Margaritas
      6) avocadoes
      7) nuts (despite the omega 6s): macadamias+cashews usually, but sometimes with pecans, almonds, &/or pistachios
      8) berries (preferably blueberries, to avoid the seeds in my teeth)
      9) any meat (even mass-farmed; with a CLA supplement, which I do NOT consider as food)
      10) any other vegetable (I try to eat my water, rather than drink it)

      Honorable mention:
      beef jerky/nuggets, despite the additives;
      light beer – as I said, I understand your #10, but can’t you stand High Life Light? (possibly the best beer ever, despite Ultra having the highest alcohol%/carb ratio of any beer I’ve come across);

      1. Ditto on the NorCal margarita. I do it Robb Wolf syle: about 5PM, before dinner, on an empty stomach. As he says, it ‘changes your head’ but then by the time bedtime rolls around it won’t interfere with sleep! Pure genius.

  27. Bone-in Ribeye steak
    Greens- turnip, collard, spinach
    chicken thighs

  28. All wild, grassfed, organic, pastured.

    1. Beef
    2. Asparagus
    3. Berries
    4. Eggs
    5. Garlic
    6. Coconut Oil
    7. Salmon
    8. Bacon
    9, Mac Nuts
    10. Garnet Yams

    (Wish I could have included dairy, but I’m intolerant. If I weren’t, I’d definitely add the butter in there somehow.)

  29. Hm, if we ever dined on salmon together, we’d be fighting it out over other people’s salmon skins. I adore the stuff.

    My own list:
    1. Salmon (I actually tend to go for steelhead trout, but that’s an environmental/conservation concern.)
    2. Grass-fed ribeye
    3. Grass-fed lamb liver (I’ve been eating livers and kidneys for breakfast this week; awesome stuff!)
    4. Tomatoes
    5. Cherries (Note to self: please do not eat your weight in cherries this year like you did last year.)
    6. Spinach
    7. Broccoli
    8. Bacon (I’m counting rendered fat as a package deal; I’m completely and utterly dairy intolerant, so this is my cooking fat of choice.)
    9. Roasted goose and its attendant offal and fat (Delicious and an amazing comfort food; my family’s always eaten goose rather than turkey for Thanksgiving.)
    10. Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (Another family-memory comfort food; we’re a long way from home, after all!)

  30. 1. Wild Salmon
    2. Ntrate Free Bacon
    3. Free Range Chicken
    4. Grass Fed NY Strip
    5. Blueberriess
    6. Spinach
    7. Eggs
    8. Avocados
    9. Coconut (milk & oil)
    10. Broccoli

    Wow it was hard to narrow it down to just 10 favorite foods!

  31. That sounds like my weekly menu + quite a few other things. Glad to hear I am meeting all my nutritional requirements! But Mark, how could you leave bacon off the list??!!

  32. I live in Maine so I will have to go with the following:
    1. Venison
    2. Moose and moose liver
    3. Wild Blue berries
    4. Lake trout
    5. Lobster
    6. Fiddle heads
    7. Sun Chokes
    8. Dandelion greens
    9. North Atlantic salmon
    10. Goat milk

  33. 1. BACON (I’d never tried baking it in the oven until recently–revolutionary.)
    2. Eggs
    3. Broccoli
    4. Blueberries
    5. Venison sausages
    6. Apples
    7. Spinach
    8. Avocado
    9. Almonds/Walnuts
    10. CHOCOLATE.

  34. 1. grass-fed ground beef
    2. almonds
    3. pastured eggs
    4. EVOO
    5. wine
    6. chocolate
    7. coffee
    8. um… more beef
    9. ” ”
    10. ” “

    1. oh geez… what a nightmare mission that would be… I forgot my beloved hot sauce!

  35. Salmnon is perpetually on sale, here in Vancouver.
    Those Okinawan yams are called ‘Kumara’ in New Zealand and they’re a Maori staple food. They make great fries!
    I was so happy when i found an Asian supermarket that stocks them! 😀

  36. Is that what you call it, Okinawan sweet potato? We call it “camote” or sometimes, “Japanese potato” same thing. You can slice those real thin and fry them in coconut oil, very tasty! You can also bake them and slather coconut oil on top :).

  37. Hmmm… In no particular order:

    1) chard (swiss)
    2) coconut milk
    3) local, grass-fed beef steaks (any, just not minute steak)
    4) local double-smoked bacon (how I love thee!)
    5) red onions
    6) broccoli
    7) eggs
    8) olives (I’ve become addicted to garlic-stuffed green olives)
    9) blueberries
    10) red peppers

    Okay, I’ve decided I can’t actually live with only 10. I need at least 15, having to add: mushrooms, cabernet-sauvignon, Mill St. Organic (beer), field greens, and… garlic, perhaps?

    Get rid of my bed? No problem. Reduce 800 books down to 75? Done. Eliminate a huge chunk of my wardrobe? Happily. Etc etc. But don’t ask me to reduce or eliminate foods. I just can’t. It hurts my soul to even contemplate it.

    Please excuse me. I have to go hug my asparagus now. It knows I’ve excluded it from the above lists and I can feel its passive-aggression radiating from the fridge….

    1. Love the addiction to garlic stuffed green olives myself….the perfect side condiment to any meal.

  38. 1. Eggs: I eat them every day
    2. Salmon: I’d eat it every day if I could afford to do so.
    3. Grass-fed beef. I typically get it from a farm in Iowa that I found through Eat Wild.
    4. Peanut Butter: I don’t think PB is technically primal but I eat it like it’s going extinct.
    5. Sweet Potato: I still can’t believe something that tastes this freaking good is really healthy. Actually scratch that, this is true for most primal foods.
    6. Spinach: I like Kale but not as much
    7. Almonds: sometimes you feel like a nut. When I feel nutty it is almost always for almonds.
    8. Garlic: the key ingredient in my morning eggs every day. 1-2 cloves depending on the mood and size of the cloves.
    9. Grass-fed bacon: crispy, meaty, sweet and salty goodness. As far as I’m concerned bacon combined with peanut butter is a delicacy.
    10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    1. I couldn’t live without sweet potatoes either. I typically indulge in them once a week after sprinting. It’s like a big ol’ hunk of candy. Especially with pastured butter!

  39. I had both wild alaska sockeye salmon, baby spinach, and greek yogurt (Fage Total) for lunch – this is funny! I agree with all of your picks. I am surprised though that chocolate does not get an honorable mention? 😀

  40. I like how blackberries are a good source of ‘deliciousness’ in your post today, Mark. Definitely an important nutrient for anyone living the good life. 🙂

  41. 1. Trout, Bass and Oysters
    2. Grassfed Meat of any kind
    (Pork, Elk, Rabbit, Chicken, Goat, Lamb, Cow)
    3. Grassfed Butter
    4. Lard, Kidney fat
    5. Raw Goats Milk
    6. Eggs
    7. Bone Broth and Bone Marrow
    8. Organ Meats
    9. Lettuce of any kind
    10. Blueberries

    (11. Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt and all fresh Herbs)

  42. Bacon wouldn’t ever come off of my list. 😉 BACON IS A KEEPER… But I really liked the rest of your selection. lol

  43. Nice choices there.

    I think I’d have to programme bacon in there two or three times, just to be safe 😉

  44. Nice list- Perfect list in fact. Greek Yogurt has always been a favorite of mine but this no fat BS is now personal. The major supermarket in my area ( I shope the perimeter only and less and less now that farmer’s markets are here ) stopped selling the Fage full fat “Total” version claiming that Fage stopped making it. Of course fage hasn’t and claims that this supermarket still sells it- they don’t. I stopped buying Fage and from a different brand vermont’s Cabot (the cheese people)- not the same but good and half the price. Lots of protein fro strength training months and all the good fat. Fage has been less than helpful but I thank them for letting me discover another product. Eat your full fat folks

  45. I can’t believe that bacon didn’t make the cut. That is pure blasphemy! Add bacon to ANYTHING, and it becomes 10X better…

    I can’t think of 10, but here’s my list:

    #1 Bacon
    #2 Mushrooms (Morels are king, but are only available 1 month each year. I’d settle for shiitakes or even portobellos)
    #3 Mangos
    #4 Peppers of any kind
    #5 Tomato
    #6 Chocolate
    #7 Ribeye Steak
    #8 Eggs

  46. “I’m talking three-day epic bone-disintegrating broth with Sally Fallon herself manning the stock pot while being presided over by the spirit of Weston A. Price.”

    Ha! Loved this! I’m picturing a cauldron at Stonehenge and druid robes.

  47. Who says a whole animal isn’t a “food”?

    1) Whole pastured cow
    2) Whole pastured pig
    3) Whole pastured chicken
    4) Raw whole pastured cow’s milk
    5) Pastured chicken eggs

    Which gives me meat and offal from my 3 major meat animals, as well as all forms of pastured dairy (cheese, butter, ghee, and yogurt, yogurt, yogurt!)

    6) Asparagus
    7) Broccoli
    8) Spinach
    9) Blueberries
    10) Pistachios (my very favorite nut, raw or roasted, but unsalted please!)

  48. Brussel sprouts, butter, coconut oil, leg of goat roast, kale, radishes, beets, pork shoulder, chicken livers, & bacon to wrap around.
    (must have: sea salt, garam masala, & garlic in the seasoning allowance)

  49. Coconut oil
    wild salmon
    dark chocolate

  50. 1. Salmon
    2. Beef
    3. Heavy cream
    4. Broccoli
    5. Blueberries
    6. Kale
    7. Yukon Gold potatoes
    8. Okinawan sweet potatoes
    9. Dark chocolate

  51. Love this post!

    Pastured eggs (in my dream world they’re from my dream chicken)
    sweet potato
    spinach (seriously)
    grass fed beef (for grass fed burgers)
    carrots (of the baby variety)
    dark chocolate (ditto the 70% or greater)

  52. mark, if water is provided you can go ahead and simmer those ribeye and sockeye bones for some kick-ass stock!

    an endless supply of pastured raw milk is #1 on my list. a little patience, a little skill, and voila! raw cream, clabber, farmer’s cheese, yoghurt, cream cheese, and whey. (as a bonus, once whey is in the culinary arsenal so are fruit and vegetable chutneys, preserves, wine, and vinegar. now we’re talking!)

    2. coffee, whole bean french roast
    3. whole coconut (meat, milk, and oil)
    4. washington blackberries (kudos, mark!)
    5. raw sunflower honey
    6. cabbage, red and green
    7. sweet potatoes
    8. whole pastured chickens (skin, meat, organs, bones, heads, and feet – but i’ll pass on the feathers, thanks!)
    9. whole wild alaskan salmon (skin, meat, organs, bones, heads, and tails)
    10. whole pastured cows (i just can’t bring myself to commit to muscle meat versus organ meat, so i’ll butcher the dadgum things myself!)

    i’m also bringing the following medical supplies: my entire herb garden, garlic, and chocolate (in case of dementor attack.)

  53. For the salmon skin, does it matter whether there are scales still on it? They seem really thin and pretty soft, but I’m not sure if it’d be advisable to eat them. They’re usually mostly removed, yet there are also usually quite a few stragglers still on the skin.

  54. I cant believe you didnt say the tomato… I dont know what I would do without bbq sauce, maranara sauce, or salsa… oh wait, the chili pepper too

    great pics though…

  55. LOL! We just ate wild salmon at a friends – and I ate the skin! Our host even commented on it..but it IS SOOO good!
    I add to those who choose kale over spinach, and somehow I’d add chocolate instead of wine!
    Grok on!

  56. Ah geez, after seeing all these lists, I have to make my own, and it would be…

    1. Bacon
    2. Eggs
    3. Salmon
    4. Spinach
    5. Elk Backstrap
    6. Albacore Tuna
    7. Cream (via Localad’s suggestion)
    8. Sweet Potatoe
    9. Liver (Buffalo is my fave so far)
    10. Apple (My favorite food to eat and cook with, a definite)

    And I think that I could be pretty happy with those foods. Next would be coconut oil, kale, sweet onions and chicken breast (I like the legs the best, but damn those omega sixes!).

  57. Hmmmmm, I think I’ll just volunteer to pilot the space craft to ferry you guys back and forth — that way I can have my top 10 list along with me and bum off your lists as well!

  58. I think it is amazing that you can get all your nutritional requirements from just 9 foods.

  59. butter, yogurt, cheese, bacon and wine – c’mon that aint paleo.

  60. 1 Coconut Milk
    2 Avocados
    3 Bacon
    4 Cab Sav
    5 Rib Steak
    6 Lindt 90%
    7 Cod (Filets,Cheeks and Tongues)
    8 Moose
    9 Blueberries
    10 More Bacon 😉

  61. Grass-fed beef and fine extra virgin olive oil drisseled over-top. Nutrition aside, I could live on just this for 10 years.

  62. Mark,
    I’m excited to read about the Okinawan Sweet Potato here and on the jump. I’m moving to Okinawa in three weeks and freaking out a bit about what the food is going to be like. Glad to have something specific to look for and try.

  63. Thanks for the thought experiment. This was fun!

    1.Grass fed lamb. Do I have to select a cut? I love them all. But if I have to choose, leg of lamb.
    2. Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with Extra Thick Skin. I love this idea
    3. Pastured chicken eggs
    4. Mustard or collard greens. I love them both!
    5. Vidalia onions. They would be great raw and good cooked.
    6. Roma tomatoes – I went too many years not eating tomatoes because of heartburn to give them up for 10 more years!
    7. Coconut oil/milk/meat (does this count as 3 or 1?)
    8. Pastured chicken -whole, so I have the bones, skin and giblets (as long as they come in a small plastic bag in the cavity
    9. Wild blueberries
    10. Cauliflower or asparagus, I can’t decide.

  64. Loren C does mention red wine so that’s paleo enough for me. And I’m not thoroughly strict so butter and bacon still in. Sockeye is my fav salmon. I’m in the Pac NW. I saw those Okinawan sweet potatoes at the green grocer today so next time cn get em.

  65. Hey Mark…

    I buy ribeyes like that all the time but havnt found the best way to cook it medium rare….the cut is so thick I cant get it right…you have recommendations?

    I usually char the outside and inside is rare.

    Any suggestions would be welcome…the cut is usually 4 inches thick with bone in.



    1. OK, we cook these where I work but no way are the 4″ thick! That would be 2 or 3 rib bones…
      Either way, “low & slow”. I’m assuming you are grilling, so what I would do is cook it as far away from the flame or the flame as low as possible. You can use an old (metal) pie tin or cake pan & put it over the steak. That’s how we grill them in the restaurant. Ours are about 22oz w/bone & I would say they are about 1.5in thick (lookin at a ruler)

  66. 1. wild salmon (and I have one in my freezer too)
    2. Irish butter
    3. grass-fed beef
    4. syrah
    5. dark chocolate, not particular about brand – even home-made fudge
    6. fresh, organic strawberries
    7. fresh, organic mangos
    8. organic, mixed greens and herb mix
    9. organic avocados
    10. organic carrots for crunch

  67. Here’s my list (no order):

    1. Grass-fed beef
    2. Eggs
    3. G&B’s 85% dark choc
    4. Cherries
    5. Sweet Potatoes
    6. Spinach
    7. Silverbeet (Swiss Chard)
    8. Cream
    9. Good Cheese
    10. Nuts

  68. 1. Marinated Kangaroo Steaks
    2. Sweet potato
    2. Kale
    3. Blueberries
    4. Coconut milk
    5. Coconut oil
    6. Almonds
    7. Wild Salmon
    8. Any kind of pork (belly, rinds)
    9. Bacon
    10. Dark chocolate
    and 11 – Red wine

    That list was kinda hard, because I basically only survive on items 1-7, items 8-10/11 are only very very occsaional!

  69. Hamburger (saturated fats + protein), sugar snap peas, cheese, olives, and skin-on peanuts (sorry! I am a legume [email protected]) & raw vegetables for the savory enzyme therapy.

  70. I couldn’t live with those:

    1. Pork
    2. Eggs
    3. Cheese
    4. Tomatoes
    5. Cherries
    6. Chilli peppers
    7. fullfat milk
    8. Shrimps
    9. Butter

  71. Plant matter is a luxury

    Ground Beef
    Jimmy Dean Sausage
    Smoked Pork Chops
    Smoked Sausage
    Hot Dogs
    Vienna Sausages

  72. 1. grass-fed beef
    2. organic heavy cream
    3. spinach
    4. lox
    5. coconut oil/whole nuts
    6. farm eggs
    7. raw almonds
    8. blueberries
    9. tangerines
    10. beer

  73. Bison, eggs, raw milk, broccoli, berries. lighter load I get there quicker and start farming.

  74. I got hungry just reading that. Macadamia Nuts are my favorite, I eat it in large amounts every day. I have to agree, I couldn’t live without any of those things either, well I could probably live without butter since I don’t really like the taste.

  75. Like the list, Mark, but personally I’d have to sub broccoli rabe (aka rapini) for the spinach. By far my favorite green vegetable! (just please tell me garlic and olive oil are assumed and not part of the actual food list — I mean, c’mon!).

  76. 1. Meat with Bacon
    2. Meat with Fat
    3. Meat with Butter
    4. more Meat with Bacon Fat and Butter
    5. more Meat…
    6. …

  77. About the salmon skin, I can’t seem to get mine crispy. Does anyone have any cooking tips on how to make it less soggy and more bacon-like? Also does anyone have a recipe for bone broth?

  78. Need good sources for chicken livers! Any ideas? Also sources for some of the other goodies would be great. 😉

  79. 1.Coconut – gonna multi purpose this for all it’s worth. I love the stuff.
    2. Steak
    3. Cream
    4. Spinach
    5. Eggs
    6. Tea – not really a food but I act like a grandma and drink like 5 cups a day.
    7. Almonds – also going to use these for every purpose under the sun.
    8. Squash – probably Kabocha if I had to choose just one. (So much more delicious than yams imo!)
    9. Berries – any.
    10. Bell peppers/Mushrooms… I’m so torn.
    A super interesting post would be which seasonings we can’t do without!

  80. Agreed on the salmon skin! I love it..and people pull a face when I say I love salmon with the skin left on!

    My top ten…

    1. Really good coffee
    2. Really good dark chocolate
    3. Berries, pretty much any type..but strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are my favourite..having these top 3 together? Heaven!
    4. Bacon!
    5. Definitely salmon with the skin on..fried to a crispy perfection.
    6. Plain yogurt, either over 3% fat or the full fat Greek…I have this almost every morning over berries.
    7. Delicious rib eye steaks
    8. Sea salt and pepper
    9. Fruit wines..my favourites..a pineapple wine from Washington and a local winery that makes Strawberry wine in Fort Langley.
    10. Broccoli also..my favourite veggie!

  81. My 10:

    organic eggs
    grass-fed butter
    butternut squash
    grass-fed ground beef
    pastured chicken breasts
    shoulder of pork (for pernil)

  82. I’ll play:

    1. Wild Sockeye Salmon
    2. Coconut(all forms)
    3. Avocado
    4. Blueberries
    5. Chocolate(all forms)
    6. Pastured eggs
    7. Kale
    8. Broccoli
    9. Olives(all forms)
    10. Sourkraut

    ** Bonus Yerba mate/chaga tea

  83. Have to say I would go with your list but would swap lambs liver for the ribeye!

  84. Not in any particular order….

    1. All parts of coconut
    2. Blueberries
    3. Rib eye steak
    4. Bacon
    5. Eggs
    6. Cocoa Camino 80% dark chocolate or Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate
    7. Greek style yogurt
    8. Sweet potatoes
    9. Spinach
    10. Organic aged white cheddar

    Honorable mentions…

    Sulfur free dried Mission Figs
    Berries in all shapes and sizes
    Halibut and salmon
    Organic cream
    Unpasteurized wildflower honey

    Wow it is actually hard to pick out my favorites but that definitely sums it up 🙂

    Sorry Mark but I have lived on the West Coast my whole life, my families were avid ocean fishermen, and I have never touched the skin of a salmon…. the whole idea grosses me out, lol.

  85. Living in northern Wisconsin, my local fare would include:

    * free range chicken thighs/legs
    * grass fed bone-in ribeye
    * venison tenderloin and heart
    * wild blueberries
    * wild asparagus
    * lightly smoked fresh brook trout
    * wild raspberries
    * free range eggs
    * fresh watercress
    * fried walleye pike

  86. With multiple food intolerances, this blog was not only fun, but the foods you mentioned all passed my intolerant criteria! 🙂

  87. Great Post!

    I love all those foods you mentioned. Except blackberries haha. I love pretty much everyother food except blackberries. (blueberries and rasberries are my favorite)

    Glad you mentioned sweet potatoes. My favorite food. Probably wouldn’t be able to be full primal without yams.

    Also kale would be a good addition to that list. One of the most nutrient dense foods on this planet.

  88. This list is FTW! Right on target! Except, I could do without the butter. Dairy, as I’ve found out, isn’t really my friend whilst being primal… then again, Dairy and I weren’t BFFs to begin with; she gets along with my sister, who’s also primal.

  89. Great post & premise Mark, what Fun! I’m pretty much down with your list, however I gotta figure out where to slide in (&what to replace) COCONUT (nuts for all things coconut) & Avocado! Oh & lest I forget…Tequila…a Great 100 % Agave smooth, sipping tequila..to sip neat or in a Nor Cal Margarita..or even better TRY this: 1.5 oz Topo Chico Sparkling Water (Perrier on Steroids), 1.5 oz Tequila (Blanco or Reposado), lime & lemon wedge & 2 slices of fresh jalapeno (w seeds). Shaken over ice, not stirred. Salud! 🙂

  90. No bacon? Uncured bacon is what satisfies me the most when I am absolutely craving junk food. Knowing that one of my meals during the day can be bacon is just enough to see me through.

  91. 1. most seafood
    2. leafy greens
    3. berries
    4. nuts
    5. eggs
    6. plain yogurt
    7. coconuts
    8. avocado
    9. 100% dark cacao (nothing added)
    10. chicken (with the skin on. lol)

  92. Omg, I’m so with you, Mark, on the bone-in ribeye! I just wish more butchers carried the grass-fed kind.

  93. While you don’t talk about it in your books I find it interesting that everything in your list of top 10 is Kosher. Just a thought that stuck out at me while reading your post. ~Jon

  94. halibut, blueberries,walnuts,grass fed beef london broil,spanish,organic eggs,organic sweet potatoes, Broccoli,onions and red peppers

  95. Filet mignon
    Ahi Tuna
    Blue cheese
    Heavy cream
    Red wine

    I’m with Adrian on the diet-wild-cherry-pepsi thing. I didn’t even drink soda til someone turned me onto it recently. No, not remotely healthy and I don’t drink it often but that stuff is gooood.

  96. I’m probably being dense–hey, I’m a relative newbie–but these lists seem to involve an awful lot of dairy. I thought the idea was to generally avoid dairy, and definitely ixnay on potatoes and other super-carb veggies? Enlighten me.

    1. Generally, there are a couple things that separate Paleo and Primal (Mark’s coined term for his bluebrint). Mark encourages the educated use of dairy (just as long as you can tolerate it), super dark chocolate and wine. The idea is though some of these calories aren’t pure ‘paleo’ they have good fatty acid profiles and nutrition and are ok in small doses. And more importantly it can make the diet more doable. As far as potatoes go, white potatoes (because of their glycemic rating of nearly 100) are discouraged if you’re going to lose weight, but sweet potatoes and other starchy vegetables are healthy and encouraged in a balanced primal diet.

  97. I like to make my own Greek yogurt from fresh, raw, non-homogenized, grass fed locally grown Jersey cows. I culture the milk then strain it through cheese cloth for a few hours. I keep the whey and use that for smoothies, or just drink it, it’s delicious.
    Lately my yogurt has been turning out really grainy, I don’t know why. It’s not as creamy as store bought but surely better for me. I use the Brown Cow cream on top yogurt as a starter.
    I tried blending it in a blender to smooth it out, and it was still a bit “textured”. My Greek yogurt is coming out more like a ricotta cheese than yogurt but I prefer it like lebneh.
    If anyone out there is a yogurt lover with experience with that, let me know if you have any tips.

  98. I love that Sockeye is #1. It is an amazing food in several ways. Mark didn’t mention that it is also a rich source of astaxanthin, a very powerful antioxidant. The Copper River run are especially fatty and almost melt in the mouth when cooked in the microwave. If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life this would be it.

    Cannot go 10 years without a salad, and no salad is complete without bell peppers and cucumber. Oil, garlic and vinegar are for the salad dressing.

    1) Copper River sockeye
    2) Okinawan sweet potatoes
    3) Broccoli
    4) Red peppers
    5) English cucumber
    6) Red leaf lettuce
    7) Macadamia nut oil
    8) Onions
    9) Garlic
    10)Apple cider vinegar

  99. This is a great topic and a great list! Here’s mine with a few changes:

    1) Steak grilled with real wood/charcoal.
    2) Greens cooked in Garlic and EVOO (Collards, Arugula, Escarole, or any other veggies picked fresh from my garden).
    3) Eggs
    4) Raw Milk (esp Jersey)
    5) Tuna
    6) Pecans (also almonds and walnuts)
    7) Blueberries (also strawberries and blackberries)
    8) Chicken
    9)Ground Turkey, lean
    10) Peppers and Onions

  100. Just did my own list and I can’t believe I left off avo and asparagus! Mine are: bacon, eggs, spinach, walnuts, cream, berries, leaves, lamb chops, chicken and spinach.

  101. Here’s my top 10…is it too obvious how much I love fatty foods?

    1. Pastured eggs
    2. Macadamia nuts
    3. Avocados
    4. Spinach
    5. Dark chocolate, 70% minimum
    6. Wild Alaskan salmon
    7. Broccoli
    8. Brussels Sprouts
    9. Coconuts
    10. Bok choy

  102. I just moments ago finished making grass-fed jersey butter, given me by my very generous grass fed jersey cow, Daisy. Daisy’s a doll. And I have 1/2 a gallon of yogurt from her milk cooking in the yogurt maker as we speak. I strain it overnight through sack cloth, and no greek yogurt anywhere can touch it for flavor and texture!

    I love this life 🙂

    1. Yes! That’s the way. But tell me does your yogurt turn out smooth and creamy because mine is coming out grainy….see my comment above. I have no idea why it’s turning out so cheesy.

  103. Bone in ribeye gets you bones for bone broth anyway… You could also use salmon bones for broth too.

  104. I’ve got one no one has mentioned: A large supply of Himalayan Crystal Salt. So good and so good for you!

  105. Ah ha, but you wouldn’t have to give up the bone broth, just save up a bunch of your ribeye bones & make it!

  106. Cowboy cut ribeye for sure. I had one last nite and it was soooo good.

  107. Duck eggs
    Tea bone steak
    Baby tomatoes
    Potatoes with LOADS of butter
    Roast lamb
    Onions (including spring onions& garlic)

  108. Awesome post – it’s very hard to keep it to 10 though! All organic/best quality and in no particular order…

    – Eggs
    – Almonds (from which I can make almond meal, butter, or just have a crunchy snack).
    – Raspberries
    – Creme Fraiche (potential to make butter and cheese from this. It contains probiotics, and I can use it to make other meals i.e. pancakes, smoothies, or berries and cream.)
    – Wild Alaskan Salmon
    – Dark Chocolate (minimum 85%)
    – Venison (I love the flavour of this red meat more so than beef or lamb)
    – Chicken
    – Avocado
    – Lettuce

    Honorable Mentions…
    – Lemons
    – Bacon
    – Carrots
    – Red Pepper
    – Kale
    – Spinach

  109. What is the ‘Food Machine” referenced under the purple sweet potatoes?

    1. The Food Machine is an imaginary machine that creates any Earth-based food from scratch (first paragraph) 🙂

  110. avocados
    sashimi grade ahi
    carrot-celery-parsley-red bell pepper juice
    nutritional yeast
    goat cheese (no, milk – I will make butter, yogurt and cheese)

  111. Mark’s entry for Broccoli got me thinking: meat juice.

    I often roast lamb in the oven (covered in tin foil), and it always comes out in a pool of liquid (mostly water and fat I presume), it rarely looks appetizing and I kept thinking it might have a bunch of oxidized PUFAs in it, so I always drain it down the sink. But now I can see it making a tasty dip perhaps (I remember family members dipping bread in it during family lunches/dinners when I was young)

    1. I always save mine and stick it in the fridge. Gives me decent-sized layers of high quality meat broth and fat, which I scrape off and use for rubbing on the next piece of meat I intend to cook.
      I think it’s safe to use the fat again if you slow-cook your meat at low temps. I’m hesitant to do it at high temps, but I’d still save the broth!

    2. Traditionally, in our household (and probably most other British households), the juices from the “Sunday roast” would be used to make the gravy (perhaps together with some of the vegetable water).

      Any remaining fat would be saved, and used during the week to spread on bread (“bread and dripping”).

      These days, with meat being generally less fatty, there seems to be little enough for the Sunday, let alone to save for the rest of the week.

      But throwing away one’s meat juices and fat is a terrible waste.

  112. Great list. Eating sure is simple and enjoyable with these basic primal foods, huh?

    My list:

    1. Wild Venison backstraps
    2. Wild ducks
    3. Sokeye Salmon
    4. Wild ruffed grouse (for white meat)
    5. Blueberries
    6. Asparagus
    7. Sweet Potatoes
    8. Raw Jersey Cream
    9. Pastured eggs
    10. Broccoli

    I might sneak some coffee in the water barrels!

  113. I’d be pretty happy with your list, but I might make a tweek or trade or two.

    Salmon is a good choice for taste, but if I could only have one, I might substitute sardines for nutrition. If I can have any steak I want, I think it would take grass fed WAGYU ribeye because of greatest fat marbling. Grass fed ghee would eliminate some milk solids. Acai is lower in carbs and high in omega3, so I might want that for my purple berry. Again, for lower carbs, I’d go with pumpkin instead of sweet potato. My biggest struggles would be choosing either coconut kefir or aged grass fed cheese over greek yogurt, and perhaps avocados or olives over macnuts. There doesn’t look like anything I could trade Dagoba 100% cacao chocolate for on the list of ten.

    As I said, I also be happy with your list.

  114. WOW>>>>
    I have loved reading everyones tops!! YUMMY!
    I think mine would be very similar except if you live or vist Phoenix you gotta try Crows Dairy goat cheese! amazing family! amazing cheese! they hand poor the milk and it has no “bucky” flavor! it is heaven!

  115. Great list! After having grass fed cultured butter, I can never go back to just organic. I think more people would enjoy vegetables if they would let themselves enjoy real butter.

  116. I can’t decide on my 10 foods, but after reading all these posts, I know what’s for dinner: a NorCal margarita and bacon!

  117. Just quickly and off the top of my head:

    1. grass-fed raw cream/butter

    2. Kale

    3. Some cut of grass-fed beef (guess I’m not picky)


    5.Coconut (flakes,oil, milk, flour)

    6.Good organic fair trade coffee (this is a luxury of course)

    7.Tuna or salmon

    8.Pastured eggs

    9.Kefir (or some other lacto-fermented food or beverage–sauerkraut, kombucha etc)

    10. dark chocolate if I get one more luxury item–otherwise I’d say spinach.

    Funny–all these things are primarily what I eat anyway. And people wonder what’s left to eat when they cut out sugar and grains :0 All the foods everyone has listed sound absolutely decadent and delish to me:)

  118. Well, since I try to grow almost all of my own vegetables, fruits and eggs, I am partial to them.

    But, there is NO QUESTION in my mind what number one is: Home grown heirloom tomatoes from my farm. And please fellow groks, do not refrigerate tomatoes, it saps 99% of the texture, taste and sensory experience of a true tomato.

    1. Tomatoes (mine)
    2. Hot Peppers(and I mean hot, hotter than habeneros)
    3. Farm-grown strawberries
    4. Dark Chocolate
    5. Fine Wine
    6. Salmon, preferably sushi style
    7. Apples (farm-grown)
    8. Peaches (farm grown)
    9. Mulberries (really, right off the tree…yum!)

    10. Dried Seaweed
    11. Mixed nuts


  119. My favorite post so far. I’ve been following this site for about a month now… Mark, did you actually write this post or did your editor? Either way, it’s some damn good descriptions of food. Good writing… and I’m a writer 🙂

  120. I’m worried about the radiation entering our food supply.This diet is rich in foods likely to be the most highly contaminated.Gulf stream goes from japan straight to Alaska so the Alaskan seafood will all be contaminated.Grass fed,contaminated,bone broth,strontium 90 green leafy vegetables,the worst.

  121. Fun article. Oddly enough, I had a tough time finding enough foods that I would want to put on my top 10 for the next 10 yrs.

    1. Bison burgers
    2. Bacon wrapped asparagus
    3. Eggs
    4. Shrimp and fish ceviche
    5. Sweet potato and chorizo soup
    6. Walnut “paleo” brownies
    7. Tea
    8. Avocados
    9. Baby carrots dipped in baba ghanoush
    10. Cinnamon baked pears with cream

    Who needs to go to Mars for this list? That’s practically what I eat all the time anyway. 🙂

  122. One ripe Organic Hawaiian Papaya.
    Nancy’s Organic Cottage Cheese.
    One ripe Organic Lime.

    Slice the papaya in half, top to bottom.
    Remove the seeds from papaya half.
    Fill the cavity with cottage cheese.
    Squeeze half lime over cottage cheese.

    Enjoy the textures and flavors, sitting in the morning sun, as the sound of the surf breaks near by.

    Follow up with second half.

  123. I’m a wild salmon addict. But I’ve never once eaten the skin – you’ve convinced me. Naive skin-to-skin question though, do you remove the scales? Seems like the skin would be no problem, wish I’d tried this sooner… but not sure on the scales? I buy the run of the mill wild sockeye filets with skin on one side. One more – I always cook it skin-side down so the Omega-3’s saturate the filet… any suggestions on how to grill this way to keep the skin intact? Thanks 🙂

  124. Great post Mark – I am very pleased with the response by you and everybody else to my original question. I’m absolutely thrilled that you took the time out of your busy schedule to answer the query.

  125. Ring doughnuts – no, wait, let me explain…
    They’ve a low calorie centre, taste great & could you really go 10 years without one?

  126. Eman, when you make your yogurt, what do you use for culture? Using a powdered culture could cause graininess. Also, I use milk and cream to do the yogurt, never tried with just cream, I wonder if that could cause a different texture?

    Recipe for yogurt:

    Heat 1 quart of raw milk w/cream to 180 degrees. Cool to 125 degrees. Stir in culture. Place in yogurt maker per makers instructions. I don’t add anything else to mine. Strain through sack cloth for as long as it takes to get your desired text, Usually over night.

    Sweet Cream Butter:

    Allow heavy cream to come to room temp. between 60 and 65 degrees. Place in a food processor, mixer or blender and spin until it separates into butter. Strain off buttermilk through sack or cheese cloth. Wash butter in cold water until water runs clear. Salt if desired. Portion and wrap in wax paper. Can be frozen.

    1. If you only heat the milk for yogurt to 100-110, it remains raw.

      Doesn’t get quite so thick, but if you’re straining it for Greek anyways, won’t make much difference.

  127. Hey man, you’ve got the bone-in ribeye — you can use that to make bone broth. Just make sure the piece they replicate has a really good bit of bone. 🙂

  128. I add sesame butter (along with nuts and blueberries/blackberries)to my Greek yogurt and it is to die for.

  129. Great list!! I’m not sure what I would substitute them for, but my list would not be complete without asparagus, and some type of chocolate. I would need a “top 12”.

    We better upgrade the memory in our food machine…

  130. Mark,

    I keep linking to your articles through Lew Rockwell’s blog…I wonder…has he gone primal?

    I like the article!

  131. This is tough, but here’s a go at it:

    1. Ribeye Steak
    2. Aged Cheddar Cheese
    3. Kalamata Olives
    4. Bacon
    5. Eggs
    6. Dark Chocolate
    7. Wild Caught Northern Pike
    8. Butter
    9. Asparagus
    10. Pork Sausage

    I hope I could survive on that!! LOL With my ever changing tastes!!

  132. Plain Organic Greek yogurt, Vietnamese cinnamon, frozen blueberries and chopped walnut sprinkles will be my death bed request. (and maybe a nice version of “Stella Blue”)

    Great choices and great article. Thanks!

  133. You must add beets and home made sauerkraut. Something (my body) has drawn me to automatically consuming quantities of these all my life. I’m 43 now, healthy, and seek out these two gems whenever directed. My distant ancestry is Polish, so I suspect there is some evolutionary connection in there somewhere driving my glands to salivate at the mere sight of a beet root or picked cabbage. This year I’ve constructed a garden bed and am now attempting to grow the bloody bulbous things so I can get my fix. Really enjoyed your article via lewrockwell, thank you.

  134. What about the rest of the world? Grok is from Africa and we have no salmon in Africa or blackberries so they certainly did not form part of early human diet in Africa. There is a lot of evidence though that Grok spent a lot of time on the coast eating shellfish and nutrient and fat rich animals like tortoises.

  135. 1)Lamb Kleftiko slow roasted in red wine, garlic & rosemary for 4 hours
    2)Keffir with raw milk & egg yolk
    3)Greek yoghurt or riccota
    5)Spinnach with lemon, salt & evoo
    7)Slow roasted Oki Sweet Potatos
    10)Dark Chocolate

  136. My categories may be too broad, but I couldn’t decide on just one type of berries or fish.
    Grass fed lamb (Didn’t realize how good lamb was until I tried this!)
    King crab legs
    Wild fish
    Heavy cream
    Dark Chocolate

  137. Everything organic, pastured, biodynamic, etc.
    Goat milk (for drinking, butter, cheese)
    Lamb liver
    Bone Broth
    I’ll figure out a way to make wine SOMEHOW. Scrape some lichen off the Mars rocks or something. If desperate, I think I could make vodka out of the potatoes, right?

  138. Top 10:
    grass-feed beef in general
    peaches & stone fruits
    coconut products
    kerrygold butter
    pork products (incl. bacon of course)

  139. This was hard, and I think I really need 12 items. Everyone had really good ideas, some of which I copied, but some are very different. Here goes!
    1. organic free range extra large eggs
    2. spinach–cooked or for salad
    3. double cream–someone’s suggestion, but I need the directions to make the yogurt, ice cream, and cheese (can’t go too long without cheese)
    4. wild caught Alaskan salmon
    5. Dr. Konstantin Frank New York State wine-R-Katsitelli (it’s outstanding)
    6. blueberries–large fat ones, best for heart health
    7. haricots vert–best tasting green beans
    8. tea
    9. Lindt chocolate–any kind or all if possible
    10. heirloom tomatoes
    And I really also need:
    11. EVOO
    12. lemons

  140. 1.Bacon
    2.Wild Boar
    3.Grassfed ground beef
    9. coconut flour
    10.Raw milk butter

  141. I. Love. This. Post. This is SO much fun. You’re great at parties, Mark, aren’t you?

  142. Assuming seasonings as per Mark, I assume the following: unrefined sea salt, whole peppercorns, stevia, fresh ginger, cocoa, vanilla, tamari, basil, oregano, flat parsley, cumin, cinnamon, rosemary, turmeric, peppermint, spearmint, bay leaf, mustard seed, chili, cloves… these are minimum needed for flavoring foods for variety. I actually have many more seasonings but could live without most, these being the necessities.

    Then the foods…

    1. raw pastured milk (includes yogurt and simple soft cheeses which I make)
    2. pastured eggs
    3. pastured beef (which includes bone broth)
    4. alliums (one word encompassing numerous yummy veggies)
    5. coffee
    6. raw pastured cream (which includes butter, cream fraiche, half-and-half, and ice cream)
    7. tomatoes
    8. coconut
    9. Diet Pepsi (yeah, I know it’s crap, but it’s MINE)
    10. Endangered Species Chocolate Sea Turtle Bar (72% dark chocolate with blueberries) – you guys can keep your Lindt, mine has blueberries!

    On the above diet, what I’d miss most…
    1. pork (especially bacon)
    2. raw hard cheeses
    3. bell peppers (all colors != green)
    4. mushrooms
    5. artichokes
    6. avocados
    7. sugar snap peas and snow peas
    8. Romano green beans
    9. melons (all types)
    10. all berries (especially blueberries and mulberries)
    11. chicken broth (I’d miss that worse than meat, it’s my favorite broth)
    12. both raw and braising greens (all lettuces except iceberg, radicchio, kale, swiss chard, rapini, collards, mustard greens, EXCEPT spinach which is horrid stuff)
    13. cabbages of all sorts – green, savoyed, red, bok choy, napa
    13. nut butters (especially pecan, macadamia and pistachio)
    14. wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay)
    15. citrus fruits – I crave them for a month or two, then don’t eat them for a year, but in ten years, I’d be wanting some
    16. pasta & bread (could live without rice forever though) – rarely eat them, but miss them even NOW after only 20 years mostly without them…

  143. Glad someone mentioned pemmican. It seems to be the natural food for explorers, and if I were limited to one food, that would be it.

    Another one I would throw in would be kippers. Not for everyday, but it makes a nice tangy treat.

    Does no one have concerns about cruciferous vegetables? Chris Masterjohn has, or certainly used to have. I’ve not checked recently to see if he’s revised his opinions.

    A couple of links. The 2nd one is to an article by CM. the first one refers to it and makes additional comments:-



  144. 1) Bacon (I have always said, if terrorists ate bacon they wouldn’t be so angry)
    2) Guacamole (the recipe my grandpa makes)
    3) Pineapples
    4) Eggs (scrambled in coconut oil or fried in bacon grease)
    5) All kinds of Steak
    6) Too many types of sausage and salami (I know most sausage and all salami isn’t paleo though, but I can’t resist)
    7) Raw Spinach with Olive Oil and Vinegar!
    8) Bananas
    9) Shrimp, Crab, Lobster, etc… (I just love seafood. I ate when they ruin it by frying it!)
    10) Pork Ribs

  145. Salmon Skin + Me = the sexiest love affair of the century! Hm, ten foods I cannot live with out…
    1. Salmon (ALL PARTS – skin, flesh, belly, collar, sashimi cut, etc)
    2. Spaghetti Squash
    3. Butternut Squash
    4. Eel
    5. Hamachi Kama
    6. Spinach
    7. Eggs
    8. Olive Oil
    9. Ground Ostrich, Elk, Beef, Bison or Venison
    10. Green Beans


  146. My list would be:

    1) Grass fed beef
    2) Bacon
    3) Coconut (in all forms)
    4) Strawberries
    5) Mangoes
    6) Onions
    7) Sweet potatoes
    8) Raw spinach
    9) Free range organic eggs
    10) Lobster

    Honorable mentions are grass fed butter, wild trout, chicken (livers especially), goat’s cheese, pine nuts and red bell peppers.

  147. 1. Baked Wild Mackerel
    2. Steamed Kabocha Squash
    3. Avocado
    4. Roasted Turkey Breast
    5. Braised Goat Shanks
    6. Grilled Grass Fed Bison Filet Mignon
    7. Almonds/Almond Butter
    8. Fuji Apple
    9. Tomatoes
    10. Asparagus

  148. As a vegetarian, healthy balance is essential as well as yum factor, so here goes.
    Greek Yogurt
    Mixed Raw nuts (macadamias,walnuts, almonds, cashews and brazil nuts)
    Coconut milk
    Sweet potatoes
    Chic Peas
    Curry Spices

  149. This list is so unbelievably perfect! Although I can’t say I’ve had a true bacon-esque salmon skin. Sounds delicious though, I’ll have to perfect that method

  150. My top ten
    1) Eggs
    2) Bacon
    3) Sardines
    4) Coconut oil
    5)Frozen berries
    6)Double cream
    8)Lindt 90% chocolate
    9)Rib eye steak
    10)chicken breast

  151. I must admit… I do greek yogurt with almond butter and blueberries (sometimes dark chocolate shavings), but I guess your mixture will do!

  152. GiGi’s Food Machine =
    1. Salmon Belly/Skin (extra thick just like you!)
    2. Grass-Fed Ground Beef
    3. Grass-Fed Ground Elk
    4. Grass-Fed Ground Ostrich
    5. Hamachi Kama
    6. Eel
    7. Spaghetti Squash
    8. Butternut Squash
    9. Spinach
    10. Green Beans (I am obsessed with these suckers)

  153. I just thought of something. Of all the times I have walked through the woods, I have never seen broccoli growing.

  154. OKay, so In the article Mark mentions “The Food Machine”.
    I am not getting that reference?
    Does he mean us, the human body?

  155. I’m late to the party but I love this!

    1) Lamb. All the time. All the ways. Obsessed.
    2) Grass-fed butter
    3) Cheese
    4) Strawberries
    5) Avocado
    6) Broccoli
    7) Sweet potatoes
    8) Shellfish (Is this cheating? Oh well.)
    9) Bacon
    10) Eggs

    I’m going to pretend beverages and booze don’t count. Pickles almost made but eggs defeated them. Other runners-up include spinach, tomatoes, garlic, olives and salmon.

  156. My all time favourite MDA post! Although I admit choosing 10 foods would be very difficult. Bacon, liver, dark chocolate (not the supermarket variety, but this https://www.chocolatiers.co.uk/products/pralus-chuao since I assume money is no object :), raw honey, olive oil…The list goes on and on

    To my question, just out of curiosity, have you calculated the macro nutrition profile (ie % fat, protein, carbs) of this list, assuming a standard (as in primal standard) serving size?

    Cheers Mark!
    Mike from UK

  157. Hi there,

    anyone know the calories in salmon skin?