A meal replacement beverage.
A hands-down spectacular idea and implementation. Strongly recommended, not just for diet or general health but for lifestyle.
- I've been eating Soylent for months now, and have even eaten it as my only food. It's wonderful.
These notes are for the from-powder 1.5 version.
- 1 Resources
- 2 Time/convenience
- 3 Health
- 4 Costs
- 5 Consumption experience
- 6 Philosophy
- 7 Experience
- 8 Stigma
- 9 Versus regular foods
- 10 Random thoughts
- 11 Stuff
As far as I can figure, the general cycle of traditional meals would compare like so:
|Visit one or more stores.||Order online.|
|Buy and bring food home.||Home delivery or post office pickup.|
|Store food.||Stackable boxes, no refrigeration or freezing.|
|Prepare/cook/reheat food.||Bottle preparations, see above.|
|Washing up after cooking.||Cleaning a funnel, measuring cup etc, see above. Once a day.|
|Eat food.||Pour and drink a glass.|
|Washing dishes.||Wash a glass per-meal, and a 2L container or two daily.|
|Store leftovers.||Store a bottle in the fridge.|
|Worry about expiration.||Unprepared powdered Soylent has a great storage life, and 3 days when prepared. Others store it for longer without it spoiling.|
|Oral hygiene||Way easier to bush and floss.|
Meal planning is non-trivial. For some, this alone justifies the serious consideration of Soylent.
Soylent is engineered. While some are queasy about the notion of having something "assembled" into an artificial substance, these same people selectively forget about the sketchy practices in the food they already eat.
Being engineered, the things which go into Soylent can be controlled. It only has the things that it really needs to have, with minimal extras for conveniences like taste and texture, homogeneous mixing and shelf life.
Soylent doesn't have surprises. No subtle interactions or allergens*, food poisoning, salmonella, pesticides or other dangers.
*Soylent 1.5 does contain soy and gluten, but does not contain lactose or nuts.
Soylent isn't perfect. It sources ingredients which do have subtle traces of things I would rather avoid, like an artificial sweetener to moderate the taste. Even then, it has far far less nasty shit than is in other foods, especially the foods we all know we shouldn't eat.
Alternatives to Soylent. Those with allergies or disdain with any official ingredient can always make their own. See https://diy.soylent.com/
The savings for Soylent isn't just with the price tag, but other things like shopping trip expenses and cooking supplies.
Compared to various "diet shakes", Soylent is extraordinarily cheap.
Consumption experience ∞
There is a scent, but it's difficult to place. It's not nutty or like wet-flour as I would have expected. After drinking it just once, future drinks only have a smell that reminds me of Soylent.
After having eaten Soylent for some time, for me, there's no noticeable smell.
Soylent's stated goal is to make the taste neutral so that the user can customize it to their preference. Honey, nuts, fruit, maple syrup, brown sugar, peanut butter powder and who knows what else could be added. See Soylent flavouring. Keep in mind that every modification to Soylent is more being added to your food intake. This means a single peanut will add to your 2,000 calorie daily diet. If you have concerns, educate yourself on what you're adding.
Neutral taste is impossible, but Soylent's is agreeable. I was expecting to get an off smell, an initial "ok" flavour and then some sort of awkward "eww" reaction when taking the first swallow. None of that happened. Sipping or drinking is the same. Soylant isn't tolerable with a grimace, but rather unimportant with a shrug.
For me, there's no particular taste. It's boring as hell, and I like it that way.
For me, Soylent is something akin to the "substance" of the last bit of ice cream at the bottom of a thick shake. Imagine mixing it up and drinking that. This isn't to describe a "thickness" but a sort of feeling with it in the mouth and when swallowing.
The texture is neither gritty nor sandy. There is a slight powdery-esque texture that's barely noticeable when first beginning a drink and which remains a little after swallowing. The more extreme version of this experience would be something like taking a damp spoon, dipping it in flour, flicking excess off and licking that. Maybe something more between cookie dough ice cream and the little dusting of flour on fresh baked bread.
For me, there's no noticeable texture.
- Is Vegetarian
- Is Vegan
- Uses less electricity (chilling a container, or nothing at all for the pre-mixed Soylent 2.0)
- Uses less space
Uses less packaging, produces less waste
- There are, however, strict fresh-food lifestyles which generate only compostable scraps.
Is not organic
- I'm not convinced "organic" means anything whatsoever in the United States anyways..
Is not non-GMO
- Which doesn't fucking matter, but some people care for reasons they don't understand.
Is not kosher
- Has kosher certified ingredients and manufacturers, but the final product is not certified kosher. Probably to keep costs down.
- Probably isn't halal.
It isn't "local". Still, it's not as horrifying as the assemblage of foods most people put together, trucked in from all over the world.
The experience of Soylent is what made me switch.
After drinking it, I was full. Not full as I would have expected with drinking what could have easily been a mud pie, or a puréed turkey-shake, but I became non-hungry.
From meal to meal, I had no concept of hunger or thirst. Where I would normally have a bit of me which would be "full" after eating, and would tug at my attention in preparation for the next meal, that wasn't there. My mind was freed.
Imagine how much more focused one's mind can be without it being tugged on by the need and expectation of future consumption.
I do seem to have a bit of a leftover taste, probably because a little of what we consume enters part way into the nasal cavity. This is why you can hork and spit when brushing your teeth and see a little colouration if you've eaten chocolate. Eyes, ears, nose and mouth are all connected. People who are sensitive to spicy foods know what I mean about lingering taste. This taste was noticeable the first day or two I was trying Soylent out alongside regular meals, but I haven't noticed it since.
Also, my farts smell kindof girly.
"Eww that's weird" reactions are from people who can go fuck themselves. Fat people with that reaction can be heartily laughed at.
Generations of people are now unafraid to try interesting new things like Soylent.
One day, humanity will have to switch to more engineered foods; we simply won't have the resources to be so wasteful with things like corn and cattle. We've been engineering the process of growing "regular" food like fruits and grains for years now, so why not go a step further and remove much more wastage?
Versus regular foods ∞
The experience of regular foods is still very important. Shopping can be fun, variation can be exciting. Some people love to cook. Some couples enjoy cooking together or for one another, and sitting together to eat. Soylent isn't romantic.
Those I think should strongly consider Soylent ∞
I think these people should strongly consider Soylent:
Adults living and eating alone.
- Like busy students and professionals.
Adults experimenting with minor food changes for simple weight control.
- A complete or partial diet of Soylent might help take the decision worries out of meal planning.
Adults with difficulty shopping, or perhaps who just don't have the time.
- People who have difficulty travelling or carrying would benefit from having Soylent delivered. Soylent delivery, just a package delivery, is far cheaper than getting groceries delivered.
- Adults with difficulty planning meals, cooking or storing food.
- Adults with no teeth. =)
Those on a limited budget.
- Imagine Soylent being delivered to the impoverished.
Oral hygiene concerns such as:
- I've heard people worry about possible gum issues because there's less chewing from drinking Soylent. I understand the mechanics of the mouth well enough to know this is bullshit. I clench my jaw a little bit, so I'm not concerned. Anyone with issues should speak to their dentist and could probably just chew some gum.
Survivalists and others who want to maintain long-term supplies of food.
- Imagine Soylent being delivered to disaster areas.
- I think, for example, a hiker would really benefit from carrying less around.
- The pre-mixed Soylent 2.0 would probably be spectacular for having on-hand for people motoring around a city. Instant picnic, then get on with your tourism.
Those who should probably seek advice first ∞
I think these people could benefit from Soylent but should need to talk with their doctor:
Adults with digestion or mechanical issues such as:
Physical issues such as:
Complex Oral hygiene concerns such as:
Psychological issues such as:
Those who should probably be cautious ∞
These people should probably avoid Soylent:
- I would consider, perhaps, breakfasts for 14+ year-olds, but I would never consider broader usage unless I had specific dietary/health concerns. Even then, I would speak with a doctor.
Professional athletes and other diet-aware professionals or hobbyists.
- I don't know that eating more Soylent is the proper way to increase caloric intake necessary for any particular physical lifestyle.
Random thoughts ∞
I've heard people complain about Soylent being flat-packed, so some tinkering is needed to have the powder go to the bottom of the bag. Seriously, people give a flying fuck about this trivial effort?
As of 2015-10-03, Wikipedia lists a "proposed Proposition 65 lawsuit". I don't understand why gossip is allowed.. oh right, it's Wikipedia. There is no integrity. I wonder who has their mitts in As You Sow or if it's just them spinning their wheels because they have to justify their existence.