Potatoes? Europe was not a fan of this weird, dirt-colored knob when it first arrived from Peru. So the French showily planted acres of spuds outside Paris, placing armed guards around the plots. As expected, attentive thieves came in and stole every potato they could lay their hands on; right out from under the secret grins of the phony guards. Voila!
Since we’re trapped on this rock a scant 93 million miles from this bipolar nuclear neighbor, we’ll just have to find a way to make the relationship work. There are ways to partake of the sun’s glory without turning our skin into burlap. Let’s talk.
Dump 20,000 calories worth of water-soaked feed into a cow and what do you get? 2000 calories of food energy. That lousy 10% return means your steak is a calorically lame sponge into which you’ve poured a couple thousand gallons of scarce H2O, among other things. This disastrous return would ulcerize an investment banker.
A sun can throw unmediated energy at a cold wet rock for a million eons, and what do you get? A warm wet rock. Energy needs a mechanism to feed, to put it as unsentimentally as possible. So here’s a nutty idea—how about an ingenious (and generous) mediating force that eats the raw energy of the sun and turns it into stuff an animal can chew? We call these "plants".
Less and less energy is available through ingestion as you move up the food chain. This is known as Trophic Level Transfer Efficiency. Eating plant-based matter is as close as we can get to ingesting the full, raw energy of the sun. If you're devoted to HITT, you owe this energy to your workout.