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Replacing food: An engineer's approach to body fuel

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May 28, 2013

Soylent: the future of food?

Soylent: the future of food?

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There's a romance to food. It's one of life's great sensory and social pleasures. But a lot of us don't eat healthily, and a lot of us don't enjoy the process of preparing food, especially when we're eating alone. Furthermore, the way we eat today is incredibly wasteful throughout the entire production and consumption process, to the point where it actively damages our bodies and our planet. Enter Soylent: a food engineered to efficiently deliver 100 percent of the healthy body's needs with minimal waste, junk food-beating convenience and a very low cost, or, as the inventors put it, "creating an efficient form of fuel for humanity for the first time in history." Food has always been sexy, and this sounds about as exciting as artificial insemination. But when you check out the details, this ambitious plan actually makes a lot of sense.

This is a tough project to look at objectively, because food ranks alongside sex and sleep as one of the great pleasures of life. The subtle dance of flavor and texture, the mystery of the exotic, the social ritual of the shared meal that has glued families, tribes, friends and clans together for hundreds of thousands of years.

But if you can look past the romance and think about food rationally, there are some pretty significant problems with the way we eat in the developed world. For starters, it's wasteful. If two things cost the same and one is bigger, we'll go for the bigger one, all else being equal. American restaurant serving sizes have taken this to its logical conclusion. The result is either overeating or perfectly good food going in the bin, not to mention the packaging waste of all that extra food.

Replacing food: An engineer's approach to body fuel

Secondly, a lot of us aren't very good at it. I'd be fascinated to know what percentage of the population genuinely eats well, according to what the body needs, as opposed to overdoing it on the sugars, or salts, or carbs, or fats, or simply leaving out important nutrients because we felt like eating something else that day.

Thirdly, and more broadly speaking, there are supply chain issues. Steak, many people agree, is very tasty. But the land, water, feed and emissions cost of producing it is massive. As we have noted before, the calorie yield of a piece of meat is typically around one fifth of the calorie yield of the grain you've fed to raise that cow. Every time I eat a steak, I'm effectively throwing away four times that amount of calories. So I'm prepared to go along with Rob Rhinehart when he says there's got to be a better way.

Rob Rhinehart, creator of Soylent

Rhinehart is an electrical engineer and computer scientist whose main project coming out of college was a start-up focused on building cheap wireless networks for developing countries. During the process of trying to get the business going, he found himself increasingly frustrated with how much of a hassle it was, and how much time it was taking out of his day, to deal with food.

So he took the engineer's approach to solving the problem, asking what does the body need to survive and thrive? It doesn't need fruits and veggies and meat, they're just the way we usually ingest vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates and fats.

Rhinehart decided to get to work identifying exactly what nutrients the body loves and needs, and try to put together a super-food compound – a long-lasting, cheap, easy to use food replacement that could give him 100 percent of his daily recommended intakes, without him ever having to give food another thought if he didn't want to.

And thus was born Soylent. No, not the Soylent that's made of people, Charlton Heston need not worry. Through a bunch of research and experimentation, Rhinehart has arrived at a basic formula for healthy, no-fuss eating.

Soylent: the future of food?

It lasts for years without refrigeration, preparing it is as easy as measuring out your daily dose and mixing it with water, and according to Rhinehart, it tastes nice too. Here's the ingredient list:

  • Maltodextrin (carbs)
  • Oat Powder (carbs, fiber, protein, fat)
  • Whey Isolate (protein)
  • Grapeseed Oil (fat)
  • Potassium Gluconate
  • Salt (sodium)
  • Magnesium Gluconate
  • Monosodium Phosphate
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (Sulfur)
  • Creatine
  • Powdered Soy Lecithin
  • Choline Bitartrate
  • Ferrous Gluconate (Iron)
  • Various vitamin and mineral supplements

Sounds exciting, right? Still, the idea of a scientifically formulated, cheap, easy body fuel is one that a lot of people would find very attractive. Soylent takes care of all your nutritional needs, it's very easy to decide exactly how many calories you're taking in if you want to gain or lose weight, and "normal" eating can become more or less a social thing you do with your friends. "Eating to me is a leisure activity [now], like going to the movies. But I don't want to go to the movies three times a day," Rhinehart recently told Vice.

So Soylent takes care of what you need, but you can still eat normally whenever you feel like it. You spend less on food, there's no cooking or dishes to do, which saves you time, water and power, and you can be confident that your diet is healthier and more nutritious than that of most, if not all, of your neighbors. There're no toxins, no allergens, and no carcinogens. Oh, and since it's just a big paste, you can easily tailor the mix if you have unusual dietary needs.

Soylent: the future of food?

That actually sounds pretty good to me. And it sounded pretty good to Y Combinator, too, which backed Rhinehart's original, failed wireless network project but has decided it's also on board for Soylent. (The biggest business pivot in YC history?)

Rhinehart is now gearing up to take Soylent to the market, using crowd-funding that has already covered its humble US$100,000 target more than three times over. For $65, you get enough for a full week's meals, so your entire diet comes in under US$10 per day.

Unfortunately, it's only available in America for the moment. But as much as Soylent seems to take the romance and mystery out of food, it looks like a brilliant way to get large numbers of people eating healthy in a way that's (dare I say it) even cheaper and more convenient than junk food. And that's one heck of a significant thing to achieve.

Check out the Soylent crowd-funding page for more information or to get yourself on the list for the first deliveries in August this year.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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55 Comments

It obviously has a low environmental impact, so Soylent is Green.

splatman
28th May, 2013 @ 05:57 am PDT

So you're basically crushing up/extracting stuff... If you have to grow it anyway how are you being more efficient?

Mitko Ian
28th May, 2013 @ 06:10 am PDT

As the earth continues to die I've been wondering where I was going to find food. This is a sad solution.

I think I should call my congressman, we could make smart changes and maybe we could all continue to eat real food.

The Hoff
28th May, 2013 @ 06:14 am PDT

Tastes just like chicken flavored sand?

Seth Miesters
28th May, 2013 @ 09:18 am PDT

How is this different from a meal replacement drink like a Weight Watchers shake?

citizenchan
28th May, 2013 @ 09:21 am PDT

Mitko Ian > So you're basically crushing up/extracting stuff... If you have to grow it anyway how are you being more efficient?

Because it's a lot more efficient environment-wise to go veggie than eating meat, especially red meat.

Most of the corn/soy is grown to feed cows: Modern agriculture has enabled us to eat a lot more red meat that we did before WWII.

Freyr Gunnar
28th May, 2013 @ 09:45 am PDT

$10 a day may seem "cheap" to someone who eats in restaurants or has fast food every day. But it's hardly "cheap" in the context of just eating right.

I can -- and have -- eaten adequately and nutritiously on $2 a day, and yes I mean recently. It isn't easy, but it can be done.

Anne Ominous
28th May, 2013 @ 09:58 am PDT

Charlton Heston passed away five years ago, may he rest in peace, and was not recycled. So the reference was, well, a bit 'tasteless'.

MBadgero
28th May, 2013 @ 10:38 am PDT

This is real food. But how does it taste, and isn't having to measure it out still a hassle? Why not put it in a nice foil packet like starbucks Via? Also once you have the paste, do you eat the paste, or do you put the paste on something, like your favorite pizza?

Chizzy
28th May, 2013 @ 11:11 am PDT

Seems to me it might help the world hunger problem; too bad it's only available in America. Hard to imagine that this is the direction humanity wants to move in though. We *like* to eat, we enjoy *variety* in tastes and textures, and we enjoy the social aspect of eating. For many people, eating isn't about supplying "fuel", but I can see why an engineer might think so.

David Webb
28th May, 2013 @ 11:46 am PDT

@ David Webb

Biologically it is about supplying fuel, there is hardly room for an opinion there. Enjoying what you are eating is a perk. Calorie is after all measurement of energy.

As well I hardly think this will wipe out our desire to eat food, especially for social occasions. In fact the article mentions that this is for those times where your far to busy to cook something.

I really like this idea, I would probably use this 5 out of the 7 days of a week at a minimum.

This is a wonderful i

Chris Robson
28th May, 2013 @ 02:19 pm PDT

Who decided what is required for the daily nutritional balance? There are a lot of odds and ends that go into a well balanced diets, various enzymes, etc. Better living thru chemistry requires quantification of the complete requirements up front and I have not seen that completed anywhere, particularly with the endorsement of any panel of experts (not engineering major)

Dekarate
28th May, 2013 @ 03:40 pm PDT

I would be amazed if that brand name catches on! I hope all the obscure trace elements and obscure vitamins etc. are included so that people who eat it consistently do not get scurvy or something. It would make a good substitute for food stamps though, for the displaced or homeless (hurricanes? famines?) through natural disasters especially around the world.

The Skud
28th May, 2013 @ 07:13 pm PDT

Nutritious, perhaps, but what about satiety value? I can't imagine drinking one of these and feeling full for more than a few minutes.

Gadgeteer
28th May, 2013 @ 07:52 pm PDT

Let me guess this guy has Anosmia, no sense of taste or smell.

Wesley Bruce
28th May, 2013 @ 08:00 pm PDT

I see a problem with this and it is common amongst many people. The problem is the reductionist view of human biology being akin to a machine that has distinct quantifiable requirements that we understand. Now obviously taken to the extreme we can see that the body does have distinct quantifiable requirements but I'd argue we don't have that depth of knowledge and may never have it in any foreseeable time scale.

What I'm saying is that not all carbohydrates are digested and metabolised equally. Neither are all amino acids and fatty acids. There is also the gut flora to be considered. The average human is home to an enormous number and variety of bacteria that live in symbiosis with us. What we eat is actually largely eaten by them which in turn provide specific sets of nutrients to us. The complexity of digestion and metabolism probably can't be adequately addressed by a mixture of processed foods in some pre-determined proportion based on average daily requirements. There is a reason we are told to eat a wide variety of whole foods for optimal health and that reason is because we don't really know exactly what we need. At least not to the point of being able to permanently replace our diet to best effect.

This mix would be an excellent emergency food source that could for example be dropped to disaster victims who have little or no access to real food.

Scion
28th May, 2013 @ 08:10 pm PDT

Cultural difference be damned.

If the world turns to this hippy solution for solving world hunger I'll be the first to look at my neighbor as a giant walking drumstick.

Nairda
28th May, 2013 @ 09:46 pm PDT

I suspect that some of the advocates of this and a lot of the backers have either Crohn's disease or Anosmia or some pretty nasty food allergies. I live with and cook for someone with the food allergy problem. Its a pest. For someone with life long Anosmia the pleasure of food is an unimaginable mystery. This if it is $10 will help because most of the supplement these people use are above that price point. The mix has a lot of whey so it not vegan or animal free. Adding some bleached spiralina my add protein that is animal free but its a different protein mix. The ingredients are cheap because they are all by-products of other industries. The whey is a major by-product of cheese making world wide.

I can see a business opportunity for someone developing a gelling agent (alginate perhaps) and a dozen flavouring agents that combined in some basic molecular gastronomy can produce a wide variety of interesting dishes.

In the third world this will be limited by the availability of clean water. It will have the same problem that baby formula companies, Nestle, had in Africa.

Wesley Bruce
28th May, 2013 @ 10:10 pm PDT

@Scion

Exactly! Many great points.

Also, where is the roughage? Your digestion system needs volume and solid foods to function properly. This is no real replacement.

Racqia Dvorak
28th May, 2013 @ 10:26 pm PDT

I predict FAIL.

Michael Ament
28th May, 2013 @ 11:43 pm PDT

@Freyr Gunnar

"Grow" does not automatically include animals, he didn't say anything about animal or plant farming.

The point is valid - it takes energy and creates waste to distill the ingredients for Soylent, even if they are only foraged from naturally occurring flora (or rocks, for that matter).

The question is whether the conversion from one state to another is more energy-costly than procuring consuming with out that conversion. It doesn't seem like it would be.

Out bodies are fairly good at that conversion process, and the waste produced fits into an ecological cycle.

The problem is our desire for convenience.

Not that meat is a necessity, but if we only ate wild game, we'd probably see less of the health problems associated with it. It is becomes harder and more expensive to procure that way, thus leading to a reduced consumption of it.

Nutrition study seems to be leaning incrementally toward a basic idea: the LESS processing and mass production is involved in our food chain, the better it is for us and the food sources.

C. Walker Jr.
29th May, 2013 @ 01:52 am PDT

After we have gone virtual living in so called social networks, we get virtual in food now. Well, it might solve some of our problems with food, but not all, and not the most important. Finally fully virtualized: Who are we? Do we know who or what we want to be?

So after we switch to this kind of nutrition (I do not want to call it food) we will probably be losing all connections with nature that remained so far. Why protect nature if we don't need it any more? Get on with burning all our resources, we can still buy 'fueltrition'! If we can afford it, that is.

This is good for the mars mission, probably. I'll stay down here and cook up some nice tasty meal every now and then. Yes, and with wine, when appropriate.

Cheers,

martinkopplow
29th May, 2013 @ 02:59 am PDT

If eating is an inconvenience the simple solution is to train your self to eat once a day.

Try it - it takes about 4 days to re-adjust to one meal a day (but make sure you drink)... after days you don't get any hunger pangs until about 6 PM (and then you really enjoy the meal!) ... If you do decide to have breakfast at a later date you almost have to force it down.

And as mentioned above, there is far more to human nutrition than simple food groups - for instance the knowledge role of bacterial fermentation products such as the VFA butyric acid is constantly evolving - in the last 5 years science has discovered it acts as a signaling molecule to stimulate digestive processes and the immune system, as well as being used as an energy source and directly affecting the villi structures of the intestine. Amongst other things.

Marke
29th May, 2013 @ 03:59 am PDT

People eat steak for protein, not calories, and there, the yield is only 5% of the input grain, not 20% as noted for calories. If the world just adopted a vegetarian diet, we would be healthier, and could return half the farmland to wilderness.

Bob Stuart
29th May, 2013 @ 05:53 am PDT

I don't understand the hate for this product. If you don't like it then don't buy it.

If the benefits like production/distribution efficiency, healthiness, cost-effectiveness, environmental soundness, [insert positive aspect here], etc. are as good as they claim then all the power to them.

Personally I would adopt this as my primary source of nutrition in a second if were available internationally! Worst case is it makes you sick for a few days and you have to switch back to regular food. Big deal. Not to mention the fact that it's flexible enough to use as a supplement and not just a replacement for food.

So frequently I find myself trying to figure out what I can prepare from the scraps left in my house and feeling completely unmotivated to put in the effort due to lack of ingredients. If I had something this convienient I would use it all the time. Then whenever I felt like eating something else I would just eat something else because it was designed to allow that.

Chris B
29th May, 2013 @ 07:31 am PDT

I fundamentally disagree on the environmental side of it. As to produce those single basic ingredients is surely energy intensive and wasteful. So you are just moving those downsides to another place.

You could achieve an equivalent result by blending together legumes (beans, soy, chickpeas, etc.), grains (rice, oat, wheat, etc.), oil, in case eggs for a protein boost and few missing or deficient vitamins (such as ascorbic acid). Oh, and the magic ingredient: glutamate, to make it tasty.

It also reminds me of the scene in the movie matrix where they argue about eating always the same gooey whitish soup providing all the necessary nutrients

ugosugo
29th May, 2013 @ 08:24 am PDT

Enjoy Bachelor Chow!! - Now With Flavor!! :-)

Rustin Haase
29th May, 2013 @ 09:23 am PDT

Is this the stuff they are going to feed us once we are all hooked-up to the Matrix?

Nelson
29th May, 2013 @ 09:26 am PDT

I don't see this as big news. Alot of bodybuilders use most of those ingredients for their protein shakes. Secondly, 10$ a day isn't cheap! I can easily buy fresh healthy food for much less than that. Sure, i think it's ok to replace a meal once in awhile with a protein shake, but not all the time. Anyways, pretty sure we'd get fed up drinking this after about a week

David Girard
29th May, 2013 @ 09:48 am PDT

This approach seems to lack an appreciation of the role of internal flora and the need for fibre in order to maintain proper nutrition and a healthy immune system. If I could not feed myself for less than $10 a day, I would go 'he'!

Robert Duckmanton
29th May, 2013 @ 10:01 am PDT

I come here from protesting GMOs and synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, promoting organics, grass fed livestock.

The diet of the article is insufficiently tested to know if it is healthy.

Lots of comments to this article.

Art Toegemann
29th May, 2013 @ 10:05 am PDT

I am a vegetarian (mostly vegan, because the wife is) going on two years, and frankly whey (an ingredient in "Soilent") is a pretty expensive (environmentally) method to get protein. As much as I love cheese, I am well aware that it only comes from pregnant cows, who (as the article mentions) take several times their weight in grain to keep alive, and who create more cows that have to be dealt with (usually turned into meat). Protein from wheat gluten and other vegetable sources is high quality (don't ask a vegan about protein unless you want a long lecture) and environmentally low cost (it's also actually lower cost if you count in the double subsidy most "western" governments provide on both corn farming and cattle ranching).

If we were actually worried about protein (not a concern for people in developed countries, but something worth thinking about in terms of world hunger) A far better source of protein would be mass produced locust protein (conversion of about 9/10 efficiency vs. about 1/10 for cattle, with much lower water requirements) or simply eating wheat gluten (second best normally available source of protein by weight after chicken, with lower production cost and fairly minimal processing required before ingestion).

Phyzzi
29th May, 2013 @ 10:17 am PDT

It may turn out to be a great solution too...

Volodya Kotsev
29th May, 2013 @ 11:04 am PDT

Sounds like a start.

Why not make pemmican? Dry meat, Grind to fine powder, addfat.

tresfor 20 plus years. Can be sole source of food.

If desired add a second product to meet RDA's

Keyogenic diet is 87 percent fat 8 percent protein and 5 percent carbohydrates. The bodt make all the glucis we need via neoglucogenesis so really no carbs are needed to ingest as the metaboloc and digestion makes the small anount of glucose. Ketones are the much better fuel.

100 grams fat + 100 grams protein meets protein requrements an can be eaten daily or everyother day to induce autophagy.

Fat bars like tallow or coconut can include miconutrints.

Emergency eat pemmocan and dayin day out pemmican and what is available like butter, cream, eggs, green and other fresh vegetables

eric25001
29th May, 2013 @ 11:13 am PDT

At 10$ a day this won't be feeding the needy any time soon, think how much it costs to buy a 50lb bag of rice, and how many meals you get out of that, a very large part of the world live off rice and they pay even less then we do. They can probably feed their whole families for 5$ a day.

Of course at 10$ thats not what the real cost is, it may really only cost 3-5$ to actualy make, this is the first commercial run so price needs to be high to pay for further increased production.

That said i do see the difference from this and protein shakes and body building suppliments, protein shakes usualy have protein and maby some carbs, even some of the higher end ones might have some enzymes and some vitamins, but this is a complete package for what the body needs, more or less. It may not be an exact science as we dont know 100% exactly what the body needs(and everyone could be abit different to).

I think the point someone made about roughage is important.

All that said i think its a good idea, if they could drive costs down through mass production, and if someone started making it with less of a desire for profit, something similiar to this could indeed be used for feeding needy people, rice might keep people alive but it doesnt have everything needed for people to be completely healthy.

Nathaneal Blemings
29th May, 2013 @ 11:21 am PDT

This formula would probably sustain someone for the short term with no ill effects. Problems would arise in the long term, however, as this "food" is processed and some vital nutrients are certainly lost. There have been and will continue to be new nutrients discovered that are found to be vital to supporting a long healthy life. All the best nutrition is found in eating a wide variety of what grows in nature or manna from God. Even manna got old though.

WiseCracker
29th May, 2013 @ 11:27 am PDT

$10 a day isn;t cheap

rice and beans, peanut butter...?

you could live a LONG time on just that, cheap

and where is the fiber in this soylent junk?

i guess the guy wants to cut his toilet paper bill at the same time..

just go once a month..

that;s healthy

not

oh wait

oat powder

?

wle

Larry English
29th May, 2013 @ 11:33 am PDT

Soy is IMO not healthy. Research the ketogenic diet feed to children with epilepsy and what use to be the diet ala 1020's for diabetis.

The body uses ketones much better than carbohydrates. A ketogenic diet is much more scientific as well as promoting healthty weight, less illness and longer life. When combined with Alternate Day Fasting or Modified Alternate day fasting it is both healthy and economical as well as convienient.

eric25001
29th May, 2013 @ 12:01 pm PDT

But the elite that could afford this would probably not want it. It is too expensive by at least a factor of three. Solve that problem and it could benefit mankind. As is it's an elitist toy. C'mon engineer, do the second part of what engineers must do.

DonGateley
29th May, 2013 @ 01:24 pm PDT

Unless I missed it in the article, the stomach has a specific size that needs to be filled until the "full receptors" kick in and tell the brain to stop eating. Eating small but highly nutritious portions of food don't fill it up and the body asks for more, which results in over eating and the problem we have, too much protein and calories.

No matter how we look at it, at least until we physically change our anatomy, a plant based diet helps keep the body running a maximum efficiency, both in terms of nutrient and space used. Just a thought.

33Nick
29th May, 2013 @ 01:38 pm PDT

One word... STUPID. It's like having children without having sex

willemco
29th May, 2013 @ 03:29 pm PDT

Scion: Well said.

Nutrition is an art, not a science. For starters the engineer should read: "Food Combining Made Easy" by Herbert Sheldon. We can violate all the advice in this booklet and live, just not as well or long.

Making matters worse is the emotional connection we make with food beginning at birth. Challenging eating habits is like challenging cultural tradition. They are sacred to most. Few will choose to think outside these boxes because it is painful. The irony is that these are the most important values to challenge. No pain, no gain.

That said I am still struggling with maintaining a vegan diet at 70.

Don Duncan
29th May, 2013 @ 03:59 pm PDT

I have to call total bullshit.

GMO Pretty well everything.

SOY 93% is gmo

Malto same

Protein isolate see Dr Mercola on that one. Should be using whey concentrate 85.

Various minerals and vitamins, ok what are they , are they trace minerals.

You know I design products like this. but until I see a non gmo ,hormone and antibiotic free protein. that your body can absorb , this is a bunch of total BS. The story is not even valid.

Yeah tastes like sand in one comment. I would total agree, but probably like sandpaper.

You know the marker should look at all natural flavouring that is gluten and kosher so it would at least taste like ASS.

We just set back the nutrition industry ten years by printing this article. You know there are a ton of companies offering real life solution. Maybe the developer should stick to 802 wifi protocols.

Also I d like to go head to head with the guy who came up with this formula. Be good to hand someone there ass.

RWS

Ron Shirley
29th May, 2013 @ 05:20 pm PDT

I just don't understand. I feed my dog a dry kibble and water every day and it is perfectly healthy. It cost less then $1 a lbs. Why can't the make a human equivalent of dry dog food? I absolutely hate the chore of eating. I would love it if I could just grab a bag of something and eat it all day long and get the protein and nutrients I need for like $1 per pound.

Michael Mantion
29th May, 2013 @ 06:20 pm PDT

I love to read the comments here. I have to wonder if people actually read the article. There are several comments complaining about GMOs, an argument for another time, which never appeared in the article. I am also perplexed at the number of people who complain about the lack of fiber. The second ingredient listed is Oat Powder as a source of fiber. I must admit I am disappointed in all of the readers here who worry about losing our 'connection to nature,' and other neohippie nonsense. This is an excellent solution to get, literally, all of the different vitamins and minerals you require. I know for sure that I am not able to account for all of the different dietary needs of my body on a day to day basis. If you claim otherwise, you really should look at the vitamin and mineral content of what you consume in a day.

Daniel Moreno
29th May, 2013 @ 08:29 pm PDT

Humans are omnivores, not herbivores. A properly balanced and natural diet must include red meat.

Omnivore biology requires B vitamins but cannot produce them. Herbivore biology produces B vitamins and stores them in muscle tissue.

Omnvores eat herbivores to obtain the vital B vitamins and other compounds theit biology requires but cannot produce by only eating plants.

A human body can store quite a bit of the B vitamins, but when it runs out things turn bad very quickly. Symptoms of B vitamin deficiency are similar to multiple sclerosis and dementia. Permanent brain damage can happen if you're without B vitamins for too long.

A vegan diet is NOT HEALTHY for humans or any other omnivores such as dogs.

It's simple scientific fact. Vegan = anti-science. We all should be very skeptical of any scientist and especially anyone in medicine who advocates a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Gregg Eshelman
29th May, 2013 @ 11:53 pm PDT

This is a great article for the first of April!

Great name though!

May want to consider/write about the nutritional loss that comes about from the processing of these ingredients.

That and the gas that is created from the Whey isolate.

Just a thought...

ADVENTUREMUFFIN
30th May, 2013 @ 01:31 pm PDT

Turn it into noodles and you will have more consumers of this product.

Gary Richardson
30th May, 2013 @ 02:07 pm PDT

I love the posts... the best one was Scion... hummm neighbor looks like a chicken leg... neohippy BS....

S Michael
30th May, 2013 @ 07:49 pm PDT

re; Marke

Eating once a day is very unhealthy and requires more food than eating 3 meals a day If rations are short divide the daily ration into 8 parts eating one when you first get up and the last not less than an hour before going to bed will give something close to maximum benefit from what you eat.

Slowburn
31st May, 2013 @ 01:44 am PDT

Not exactly a new idea,

As mentioned - the movie

Google - Astronaut Food

Call me Falafel, Baked Falafel.

Quinua should also be of interest in reinventing this wheel.

See wikipedia articles.

Also as mentioned above - The oat powder has enough soluable & insoluable fiber?

No chocolate ? Ok, that is crazy !

No mater what, it should look exactly like, have the exact same texture & smell & tasete as raspberries in whipped cream.

Maybe start with red beans & rice and work it out from there.

Dave B13
31st May, 2013 @ 05:53 am PDT

It is a kind of dog food or cat food for humans. Our animal foods are already quite complete in nutritional value. In fact, supplements added to animal food were produced many years ago for the specific purpose of keeping animals healthy because it was more expensive in the long run to let them get sick and then take them to the vet.

Adrian Akau
31st May, 2013 @ 01:31 pm PDT

So many comments.

1) Did they have to call it Soylent? I don't think I'd have gone there.

2) Is it really all that different than Muscle Milk? (which comes in a bunch of flavors).

3) Will it be truly satisfying? Even though I get irritated having to take time to eat, I love doing it (just not having to stop doing something else in order to eat). I like having a good pizza (usually not from chains), or the awesome country fried steak at Chili's or Chicken Marsala at Carrabba's or a juicy steak from Outback. And yes, I'd love to do it 3 times a day if my waistline and wallet could handle it.

4) If only they could make it taste like steak, or better yet, a 4 course meal, ala Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory...

Dave Andrews
3rd June, 2013 @ 04:00 pm PDT

I salute you sir! I actually was thinking of something like this during the last few days of high school in my AP Biology class, although my idea involved isolating nutrients from everyday foods by soaking them in enzyme/water solutions, drying them, and mixing them into a carbohydrate dough/binder to be cut into flavorless, bite-size pieces. I was thinking of experimenting with it over the summer to see if I could develop some highly nutritive substance to that would be faster to prepare and consume than an actual meal for use during college. I see your idea is likely much more efficient from a food preparation standpoint (and probably a great deal tastier than my idea would have been) and you've actually done the necessary research on the nutritional needs of the human body. On top of that you've highlighted some interesting things I didn't even know about concerning the wasteful nature of our "consumption culture". I'll definitely be considering this product for my own use when it becomes commercially available. Well done!!!

Ada Odey
8th July, 2013 @ 11:27 am PDT

This is an incredibly stupid idea and who hasn't thought of it. Listening to an electrical engineer about how you should eat is like listening to your garbage man tell you how to invest your money. Maybe Rob Rhinehart knows what he's talking about or maybe he's just trying to get rich anyway he can by selling you something he thinks is a good idea (with a huge profit margin), regardless of the health issues it may cause you and thousands of others. I'm sure his ignorance will allow him to sleep well at night but if not Rob could always try telling himself it's a, "buyer beware," world, that tends to help a lot of people like him sleep better.

Of course with GM foods and many peoples diets these days this might be better than what they are currently eating but I would ask your doctor or a nutritionist what they thinks before switching completely.

To use this as an occasional substitute sure it could help but there are already lots of products like this available, at a 1/4 the cost, with a decent taste. To use this product all the time would be a bad idea and good luck on the taste.

Lastly if nothing else says how stupid this idea is other than the name that was chosen then that speaks volumes for itself.

Matt Fletcher
14th January, 2014 @ 08:53 pm PST
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