Soylent Is All People (Need)

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Undocking Undocking's picture
Soylent Is All People (Need)

So, Soylent started as a DIY food subsititute and chem/foodie Maker crowdsource then became a company with a damn nice website.

Much like the original inceptors of Soylent, I found that my life with food was tedious and expensive. I spent hours congregating around it, preparing it and consuming it. When I first experimented with Soylent, I was one of many who quickly discovered that it has the flavour of metamucil and the texture of oatmeal—in addition to a larger than recommended addition of sulphur, which produced anti-social effects in levels of flatulence that I won't soon forget. But the free time I gained was immense.

However, after a week my body normalized to Soylent (later removed the extra sulphur). It wasn't like I ate McDonalds or frozen pizzas before either. I cooked all my meals from scratch and meandered between paleo and raw diets with a good amount of homemade sushi. The thing is, I felt (and feel) better on Soylent than I did scrounging for my proper intake among expensive—comparatively—groceries (ordering the Soylent ingredients for a week is about 35 dollars).

My housemates thought I was in an odder than usual phase, my dean thought the white baggies where illegal substances, and my family thought I lost it. For their sake, I altered the serving to be 1700 calories and partook in a single meal a day in the same style as I once did, which I continue to this point (when dates are invited back for dinner they expect food food). Though, I added in natural flavouring from various sources to solve the taste problem—the texture is still meh.

What do you think of Soylent and proper food subsituting in general?

EDIT: What is your relationship with food?

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
I haven't tried it yet,

I haven't tried it yet, obviously, but it is an intriguing thought. I'm certainly in that category that wants to spend as little time possible making food which is why pasta is on top of my list. This seems like one of those things that you need to get used to but if you do it might improve your life. Sort of like polyphasic sleep.

A question I have is how good or bad it is for the environment to produce. I assume it is better than eating meat (almost anything is), but how does it compare to other sources of nutrition in terms of farmland area per person?

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OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
I like cooking, baking &

I like cooking, baking & BBQing. I love eating, especially anything that used to cute and fuzzy. I also love MRPs for convenience because I eat often. There's no healthy way for me to get the calories I need from solid food.

I think if you use fruit and nuts for treats, go out for fish and salad once a week and take a high quality multi vitamin you're gona be healthy.

As for your date? make sure she knows you didn't bring her home to *eat*. ;-)

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Undocking Undocking's picture
Lorsa wrote:

Lorsa wrote:

A question I have is how good or bad it is for the environment to produce. I assume it is better than eating meat (almost anything is), but how does it compare to other sources of nutrition in terms of farmland area per person?

The protein can come from an animal source, but I've been using whey, soy or rice protein. Technically, it is the same footprint as someone who would shop vegan at a usual grocery store. The original issue I had with the carbon footprint was all the items had to be shipped from quite far away, but I have managed to locate stores nearby that sell the various components in poweder form, though a few are still only available online (like phosphorus). There doesn't seem to be a farmer's market for this sort of thing.

OneTrikPony wrote:
I like cooking, baking & BBQing. I love eating, especially anything that used to cute and fuzzy. I also love MRPs for convenience because I eat often. There's no healthy way for me to get the calories I need from solid food.

I think if you use fruit and nuts for treats, go out for fish and salad once a week and take a high quality multi vitamin you're gona be healthy.

I have been eating boiled almonds (skins on), fruits and vegetables as snacks, and I still make sushi a couple times a week for dinner. I'm hesitant on the multivitamin, since my Soylent already has most of the ingredients in it already.

OneTrikPony wrote:
As for your date? make sure she knows you didn't bring her home to *eat*. ;-)

"Hey do want to come over for dinner, don't worry I'm not going to eat you," is not the smoothest of lines.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Carrot Juice Constitutes Murder

I am a fan of soylent, though some of the ingredients concern me. Too much sugar (yes, dextrose is sugar), artificial sweetener...

Also there have been no good studies on the stuff. Always need a good study.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
OneTrikPony wrote:I like

OneTrikPony wrote:
I like cooking, baking & BBQing. I love eating, especially anything that used to cute and fuzzy.

I am agreeing with this bit.Sorry I am too primitive And most go out and shoot bambi's mom for my next meal }:D>

but ya i get as a time replacement mechanism this would be very helpful to people but personally i enjoy the process to much its more the clean up that's the problem :P

There is also the issue with me that if there is no real amount of meat in a meal my body breaks it down very quickly and i get hungry sooner.

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Undocking wrote:The original

Undocking wrote:
The original issue I had with the carbon footprint was all the items had to be shipped from quite far away, but I have managed to locate stores nearby that sell the various components

In many cases, shopping local actual has a bigger carbon footprint than getting massproduced foods from far away. Bulk shipping is extremely efficient and the carbon release per freight weight is very, very low. Locally produced goods on the other hand are mostly transported around in vans, our local farmers drive around more too, Western farms typically use a lot of conventionally produced electricity, etc., and that often ends up emitting more CO2 than getting it from the other side of the world.

It's typically better in terms of food quality and pesticide use to shop locally though. Especially some South American countries use extreme amounts of pesticide, to the degree that I begin to have not only health issues but also ethical concerns due to the damage to the people in the farming communities.

Lorsa Lorsa's picture
I seem to recall a study I

I seem to recall a study I saw that said it was more resource efficient to grow tomatoes in Spain and ship them here rather than grow them in Sweden. It's not true for everything but it's certainly a bit scary realising that not all transport is bad.

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nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
I buy that stuff in bulk for

I buy that stuff in bulk for my kids. I have a giant bottle attached to the wall in their play room and they can drink some whenever they want. It's so convenient.

Leng Plateau Leng Plateau's picture
nezumi.hebereke wrote:I buy

nezumi.hebereke wrote:
I buy that stuff in bulk for my kids. I have a giant bottle attached to the wall in their play room and they can drink some whenever they want. It's so convenient.

Really? Mine find alfalfa pellets more fun. We just fill the bottle with water.

At least with Lovecraft, nobody pretends the gods are nice. And wherever you end up, there is guaranteed to be tentacles.

consumerdestroyer consumerdestroyer's picture
My relationship with food is.

My relationship with food is...strained. I've been following Soylent since that first Vice interview, and if I wasn't poor (like, not "buying cheap groceries" poor but "food bank" poor), I'd be doing this up for sure. My partner likes eating meals, but I just find eating meals sort of inefficient and time-wastey. I like how the fellah who invented Soylent put it, which is that if he spends less than half of what he would normally spend on groceries for the month on one meal in a given month, it'd be a fancy-ass meal at a high class restaurant, and that's what the food experience is for him now, just excellent quality food rather than everyday survival/nutrition. I like that idea. When and if our household income affords us the ability to be eating purchased groceries I know my partner will prefer eating that, but if we can afford both I'm going to buy bulk-as-fuck amounts of Soylent and save money for dinner for two once a month at the fanciest vegan eatery and eat their most expensive and delicious looking dish.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Interesting. However, while

Interesting. However, while this product does sound like it covers all nutritional needs, I'm wondering what one could do about their bacteria needs? There is a reason why stuff like yogurt is considered healthy.

Undocking Undocking's picture
Smokeskin wrote:

Smokeskin wrote:

In many cases, shopping local actual has a bigger carbon footprint than getting massproduced foods from far away. Bulk shipping is extremely efficient and the carbon release per freight weight is very, very low. Locally produced goods on the other hand are mostly transported around in vans, our local farmers drive around more too, Western farms typically use a lot of conventionally produced electricity, etc., and that often ends up emitting more CO2 than getting it from the other side of the world.

Huh. Well, I can always go back to ordering the stuff from chem and lab suppliers across Canada, but out of convenience sake I have found that having stores nearby incase any ingredient runs out or doesn't arrive on time.

Lorsa wrote:
I seem to recall a study I saw that said it was more resource efficient to grow tomatoes in Spain and ship them here rather than grow them in Sweden. It's not true for everything but it's certainly a bit scary realising that not all transport is bad.

Canada has that in the winter with stuff like bananas and pineapples. Not that big of a deal in Ontario, shipping is cheap from the states—but it is cheaper to grow that sort of thing in say, Nunavut, than having it shipped all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk. Which I plan on driving to once the highway is finished.

nezumi.hebereke wrote:
I buy that stuff in bulk for my kids. I have a giant bottle attached to the wall in their play room and they can drink some whenever they want. It's so convenient.

I know right? I have this thermos that I carry it around in when I'm out so I don't slip to the temptation of inefficiency.

consumerdestroyer wrote:
I like how the fellah who invented Soylent put it, which is that if he spends less than half of what he would normally spend on groceries for the month on one meal in a given month, it'd be a fancy-ass meal at a high class restaurant, and that's what the food experience is for him now, just excellent quality food rather than everyday survival/nutrition.

That's how I've found my relationship to change with food. Pre-soylent it would be a pain to pack a lunch or even decide what to buy/eat for breakfast because it was only food. Now when I decide to cook brunch on a weekend, it is a big deal where I can whip open a cookbook and have fun. I'd like to go out more though.

DivineWrath wrote:
Interesting. However, while this product does sound like it covers all nutritional needs, I'm wondering what one could do about their bacteria needs? There is a reason why stuff like yogurt is considered healthy.

This issue has been raised by the community before. A common consensus is to do what a large majority of Soylers (not a thing) are doing and eat actual food in adittion to consuming Soylent. Hardcore Soylers add in kefir to encourage bacterial growth. I fall into the 'eats stuff still' category. so I have some greek honey yogurt and cottage cheese for salads or eggs.

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Undocking wrote:What do you

Undocking wrote:
What do you think of Soylent and proper food subsituting in general?

I think that more physicians and dieticians need to start looking at this. The health implications are as yet unknown.

Undocking wrote:
EDIT: What is your relationship with food?

Adversarial.



Erulastant Erulastant's picture
Undocking wrote:

Undocking wrote:

(ordering the Soylent ingredients for a week is about 35 dollars).

In part because of this thread, I've been considering giving this a try. Where are you ordering from? On the Soylent website the price for a week's supply is $85. Since I was partially looking at this as a way to save money (Somewhat similarly to ConsumerDestroyer's hopes for their Soylented future, with a nice meal every month or so) the higher price is a pretty big deal for me.

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.

otohime1978 otohime1978's picture
I have a love-love

I have a love-love relationship with food, so, personally, I see stuff like this as odd, to say the least. I love the flavours, the smell, texture, the sound of it cooking. Variety is the spice of life! But I do have my favourites. Dumplings, sausages, raddishes and tubers, rice, cabbage, almost any kind of sandwich or something I can hold and squeeze in my hands, red meats, fish sausages, eels, mushrooms, cheese and milk from most animals (kefir with berries is amazing!), fermented almost-anything, any and all grains....

You can do so much with rice, beans, eggs, berries, cabbage, and a spice rack! And it can be tasty and cheap!

There is a large emotional and social component to food for me, and a lot of other people for that matter. I can't see this catching on with all of us, haha.

Personally, I would love to see geothermal/solar/hydroelectric/nuclear power coupled to vertical farming techniques; and for local home and community gardens and hydroponics to become a part of the urban environment. Think of how much nicer NYC would smell if everyone had a ton of plants!

Although, now all I can think about is how similar Soylent is to old school, ancient, pre-reinheitsgebot beers. Makes me kinda curious into how it tastes.

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Undocking Undocking's picture
Erulastant wrote:

otohime1978 wrote:

There is a large emotional and social component to food for me, and a lot of other people for that matter. I can't see this catching on with all of us, haha.

Personally, I would love to see geothermal/solar/hydroelectric/nuclear power coupled to vertical farming techniques; and for local home and community gardens and hydroponics to become a part of the urban environment. Think of how much nicer NYC would smell if everyone had a ton of plants!

I can see why it is currently a fringe DIY movement, my parents and grandparents would never do it, but my brother has tried it when he had a long training session or wanted to spend extra time studying. People, once introduced to it, will generally use it when offered every now and again without it dominating their food lifestyle.

And I definitely want alternative gardening, including protein farming and the loveable cricket farms that give us chirps.

Erulastant wrote:

In part because of this thread, I've been considering giving this a try. Where are you ordering from? On the Soylent website the price for a week's supply is $85. Since I was partially looking at this as a way to save money (Somewhat similarly to ConsumerDestroyer's hopes for their Soylented future, with a nice meal every month or so) the higher price is a pretty big deal for me.

I'm ordering it in bulk from assorted laboratory and suppliment suppliers in Canada or buying in bulk from local places of a similar nature. The Soylent company charges more money for the brand, but prepackage it for you.

There are a bunch of DIY sites for Soylent that have places to order from in the states (apparently a lot of the stuff is on the US Amazon) to keep the costs in USD near the $40~ mark. Random deals and sales help out as well.

Panoptic Panoptic's picture
Food is a joy

I reserve judgement on whether Soylent or other food substitutes would work long term. Currently I have no interest in adopting them. Food, especially with unprocessed or lightly processed meats and vegetables, can and should be a joy to eat. Why would I deny myself that? Cooking can be inconvenient, but the results are usually well worth the effort.

Edit: Meant to say, both food and subtitutes can often benefits from seasoning. Spices are fun to mix up.

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Panoptic Panoptic's picture
An article relevant to the OP

An article relevant to the OP.

Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You
Antioxidant vitamins don’t stress us like plants do—and don’t have their beneficial effect.
By Moises Velasquez-Manoff

http://m.nautil.us/issue/15/turbulence/fruits-and-vegetables-are-trying-to-kill-you

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Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
It's been known since the

It's been known since the 1990s that antioxidants are not healthy, and that it actually progresses diseases like cancer. I don't think there's anyone outside of the tabloid health magazine industry that recommends them as supplements.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
you have not seen the

you have not seen the marketing machines in the US at work

Smokeskin Smokeskin's picture
Agreed, the sellers of

Agreed, the sellers of antioxidants also recommend it :)