Soylent: The Future Food That Wants To Be Your Only Source of Nourishment
Soylent is a new “future food,” and no, it’s not made out of people.
It is actually a food substitute, crafted with several ingredients that intend to give its consumers all of the necessary nutrients and calories required for a single day. This liquid concoction – which many have attested as to having an “oat-like, protein-shake taste” – was meticulously designed, by of all a people, a computer software engineer by the name of Rob Rhinehart.
With a crowdsourcing campaign generating over 2 million dollars USD (and another 1.5 million from venture capitalists), Rhinehart’s brew of nutrients has captivated backers for the past year. Thus, putting a tremendous amount of faith in this food replacement supplement, giving this innovative entrepreneur the funds to open a production center, and the means to distribute this mysterious future food.
So, what exactly is in Soylent? It is comprised of 31 basic ingredients, but in a nutshell, you’ll find healthy things such as rice protein, fish oil, canola oil, oat flour, an assortment of raw chemical powders, and various dietary minerals. There is no cholesterol, and the male version contains roughly 2400 calories. While Rhinehart’s formula is not readily available to consumers (and will likely be delayed even further due to unforeseen problems with rice protein distributors), many DIY recipes have been popping up all over the internet.
Preparing Soylent only requires a pitcher, water, and whisk; simply mix it, and drink. Many users claim that after a glass and few minutes they feel full – as if they’ve ate a normal meal. Since the product is still considered as a dietary supplement by the FDA, for now, how and where it is made is unregulated. There also has not been any reputable “long-term-use” scientific studies to determine whether or not it can be harmful to your health.
While Rob Rhinehart doesn’t truly intend for his product to be the “end-all” replacement of food as we know it, his ambition to make Soylent the majority of our meals may be exceeding reality – especially given the nature of humanity’s relationship with food. After all, the communal meal has been one of mankind’s tradition since our inception; I can’t imagine it being replaced by a sort of bland, future food, beverage.
Another – and more geopolitical reason – behind the push for the product, comes down to supply. Food riots, like the ones in Haiti in 2008 and Argentina in 2001, could have been thwarted if a low cost product like Soylent had been readily available at the time. Other factors, such as energy consumption in the production of food, have also been used as valid arguments.
Using Soylent as a means for health seems to be its redeeming quality. For instance, you could weave it in to your weekly eating schedule – i.e. having regular dietary foods 4 times out of the week, and Soylent the other 3 days. Some have even undertaken the challenge of consuming it solely for a month. However, drinking only Soylent in a 24 hour span will indeed keep you within your recommended amount of caloric intake – and combined with exercise – has been shown to dramatically reduce weight.
The underlying reason many users rally behind Solyent is its use in getting rid of “filler meals.” Think of these meals as the greasy burrito you pick up after a stressful day at work, the sandwich you eat alone at your cubicle, or that bag of chips you consume while watching T.V. – not a replacement for a lunch with co-workers or a family get together.
Where can I get it?
As I mentioned before, Soylent is not yet commercially available – but you can order it here, and expect to receive it sometime between April/May 2014. A week’s supply will run you $65.00, coming out to a total of $3.10 per meal. For myself personally, I tend to spend around $45-$50 a week on groceries (not counting the few meals I eat out), so the price is far from outrageous.
For the time being, home-made DIY recipes are available online – including a fantastic introduction found here. This process may be a bit overwhelming to an individual who is just looking to try it out – given you have to preciously calculate your ingredients, budget, and nutritional needs – but is a perfect guide for those who are enthusiastic about the idea.
What do you think of Soylent? Just a fad, or “future food” as we know it? Let me know in the comments below!