• Thu, Aug 22 - 11:30 am ET

We Will Soon Replace All Food With Soylent, The Nutritious Vitamin Sludge Of The Future

Soylent is a liquid food substitute intended to meet all of the human body's nutritional needs

As a lady blog (one of several!), we get bombarded with a lot of information about fantastical new diets all the time. For the most part, they’re a repackaging of the same fluffy bullshit that celebrities parrot ad nauseam in gossip weeklies–broccoli and fish! grilled chicken and salad!–but occasionally we encounter something extremely bizarre and new.

You may have heard about Soylent–already the subject of a few stunt pieces around these here parts–but if you haven’t, it’s best you learn soon… because it may be the way of the future:

Soylent frees you from the time and money spent shopping, cooking and cleaning, puts you in excellent health, and vastly reduces your environmental impact by eliminating much of the waste and harm coming from agriculture, livestock, and food-related trash.

Granted, Soylent isn’t marketed as a diet program–it’s marketed as a nutrition-laden substitute for food (almost altogether), something cheaper and less time-consuming than actually preparing it. It aims to be better for the human body, counterbalance mass food spoilage and perhaps even ultimately address world hunger.

Soylent is the rather unfortunately-named brainchild of software engineer Rob Rhinehart, designed to (cheaply, effectively) meet all of the human body’s nutritional needs. In the words of the company’s website, Soylent is intended to “free your body.” And, thanks to an impassioned crowd-funding campaign, Soylent is aiming to be available to the general public in September. Our question is… do you care?

In its short life, Soylent has already stirred up controversy, tasking Rhinehart with addressing legitimate concerns about nutrition or unnatural ingredients, along with the regular logical fallacies that crop up whenever someone tries to change the status quo. Of the few writers who’ve tried Soylent, however, negative side effects have largely occurred in the first few days (when the body feels shitty while adjusting to drinking meals instead of eating them). After that, positive benefits include weight loss, increased mental altertness and lots of time/money saved.

But we’re curious–does drinking odorless beige slurry instead of eating delicious food appeal to you? While it certainly appeals to biohack-happy tech dudes, we’re curious to see if Soylent catches on–could the positive benefits ever outweigh the joylessness of it all? Could anything ever replace the pleasure of actually eating?

Are you interested in trying Soylent?

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  • Sean

    Beyond the body’s basic need for fiber to maintain proper function (which this apparently doesn’t have), I was willing to try it until you called it slurry. Now I’m convinced it’s pureed fish bits.

    • Elizabeth

      The wikipedia page says that it contains fiber, and kind of lists what it’s made of:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_(food_substitute)

      On a related note, man, does this sound gross.

    • Sean

      I still feel like you’d run the risk of muscular atrophy. I don’t think there’s enough fish bits in it to really equal solid food.

  • Cee

    Hm. Is that like Ensure and all that other stuff? I guess I would try it if it provides health benefits and helps lose weight, but I wouldn’t entirely give up food for this. Food is too delicious to give up.

  • Fabel

    I feel so strongly against this that I chose “MOAR CHEESEBURGERS” even though I am a vegetarian.

  • http://poorgoop.com/ Samantha

    I think there are a lot of potential positives in something like this becoming available – taking away the stress of food could help those in food deserts, those who are stuck in remote or war-torn areas, among others.
    And while eating as a social activity is great fun, I hate preparing meals for myself, so I’d probably welcome this into my life with open arms (open gullet?).

  • LuLu

    I have been waiting for this my entire life. Although it should be noted that I have sensory processing disorder issues (mostly with textures) and digestive issues, so there isn’t so much food I enjoy eating so much as food I don’t hate and upsets me (mentally and physically) notably less than other foods.

  • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

    I am very much Team Food.

  • Elizabeth

    I realize that this is probably a really good thing for a number of reasons — environmental and health reasons, of course, but also as a potential player in the global hunger crisis — but something about it just really weirds me out. I think I’d try it, and I don’t doubt that they can make a healthy (maybe even personalized?) version of this, but I don’t think I could bring myself to use it exclusively, or even regularly. It’s a bit Brave New World for my tastes.

  • Soylent Green

    I have never seen this movie, but my husband quotes the clincher line enough that I immediately thought of it when I read about Soylent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green These guys have picked a very unfortunate name for their product!

    • Clarissa Scidmore

      My thoughts exactly. I thought this post was making fun of that actually, until I found out it was serious.

  • claire

    I’d try it to replace some meals, like crappy lunches where I heat up a frozen burrito and eat at my desk. I’ve read some of his blog entries and he makes a good point- it doesn’t have to replace ALL of your meals. It’s not a cleanse or anything like that. I would be hesitant to have a ton of it, though, since it’s only been tested on a handful of people for a few months.

    And I’m sure some marketing execs will get a hold of this and make it a lot more appealing, flavor- and name-wise.

  • Misenhammer

    It truly looks and sounds wretched.