It obviously has a low environmental impact, so Soylent is Green.
28th May, 2013 @ 5:57 a.m. (California Time)
So you're basically crushing up/extracting stuff... If you have to grow it anyway how are you being more efficient?
28th May, 2013 @ 6:10 a.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 6:14 a.m. (California Time)
Tastes just like chicken flavored sand?
28th May, 2013 @ 9:18 a.m. (California Time)
How is this different from a meal replacement drink like a Weight Watchers shake?
28th May, 2013 @ 9:21 a.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 9:45 a.m. (California Time)
$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.
28th May, 2013 @ 9:58 a.m. (California Time)
Charlton Heston passed away five years ago, may he rest in peace, and was not recycled. So the reference was, well, a bit 'tasteless'.
28th May, 2013 @ 10:38 a.m. (California Time)
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?
28th May, 2013 @ 11:11 a.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 11:46 a.m. (California Time)
@ 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
28th May, 2013 @ 2:19 p.m. (California Time)
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)
28th May, 2013 @ 3:40 p.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 7:13 p.m. (California Time)
Nutritious, perhaps, but what about satiety value? I can't imagine drinking one of these and feeling full for more than a few minutes.
28th May, 2013 @ 7:52 p.m. (California Time)
Let me guess this guy has Anosmia, no sense of taste or smell.
28th May, 2013 @ 8 p.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 8:10 p.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 9:46 p.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 10:10 p.m. (California Time)
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.
28th May, 2013 @ 10:26 p.m. (California Time)
I predict FAIL.
28th May, 2013 @ 11:43 p.m. (California Time)
"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 Walker
29th May, 2013 @ 1:52 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 2:59 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 3:59 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 5:53 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 7:31 a.m. (California Time)
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
29th May, 2013 @ 8:24 a.m. (California Time)
Enjoy Bachelor Chow!! - Now With Flavor!! :-)
29th May, 2013 @ 9:23 a.m. (California Time)
Is this the stuff they are going to feed us once we are all hooked-up to the Matrix?
29th May, 2013 @ 9:26 a.m. (California Time)
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
29th May, 2013 @ 9:48 a.m. (California Time)
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'!
29th May, 2013 @ 10:01 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m. (California Time)
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).
29th May, 2013 @ 10:17 a.m. (California Time)
It may turn out to be a great solution too...
29th May, 2013 @ 11:04 a.m. (California Time)
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
29th May, 2013 @ 11:13 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 11:21 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 11:27 a.m. (California Time)
$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..
29th May, 2013 @ 11:33 a.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 12:01 p.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 1:24 p.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 1:38 p.m. (California Time)
One word... STUPID. It's like having children without having sex
29th May, 2013 @ 3:29 p.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 3:59 p.m. (California Time)
I have to call total bullshit.
GMO Pretty well everything.
SOY 93% is gmo
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 6:20 p.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 8:29 p.m. (California Time)
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.
29th May, 2013 @ 11:53 p.m. (California Time)
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...
30th May, 2013 @ 1:31 p.m. (California Time)
Turn it into noodles and you will have more consumers of this product.
30th May, 2013 @ 2:07 p.m. (California Time)
I love the posts... the best one was Scion... hummm neighbor looks like a chicken leg... neohippy BS....
30th May, 2013 @ 7:49 p.m. (California Time)
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.
31st May, 2013 @ 1:44 a.m. (California Time)
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.
31st May, 2013 @ 5:53 a.m. (California Time)
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.
31st May, 2013 @ 1:31 p.m. (California Time)
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...
3rd June, 2013 @ 4 p.m. (California Time)
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!!!
8th July, 2013 @ 11:27 a.m. (California Time)
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.
14th January, 2014 @ 8:53 p.m. (California Time)
Personally the chance to drastically cut my meal time from 1 hour prep cook and clean to a quick mix of essential nutrients tailored to my metabolism sounds like one less event diverting my time from what drives me and so I must say ive always been interested in a set tailored mix that allows me little to no lag time. All in you have the oppurtunity to not worry about groceries expiry dates energy consumption meal schedules all the while ingesting products that do not establish a balanced or effective health benefit. Simply put- the proper nutrients ingested throughout the day with an emphasis on my optimal health with the occasional dieticiens visit to ensure its keeping the body at its best production levels. Yeah thats what were all waiting for to eliminate our dietary guilt. Why hope your healthy when you can be certain your topped up on all your required fuels. What better concept to keep you at your prime all day Every Day!!! No I have not used the product but I love the cconcept.
4th August, 2015 @ 12:13 a.m. (California Time)