A Theory On The Phenomenon Of "...But Then It Grew On Me"


I have seen countless 1.4 tasters proclaim that after a day to a week, they’ve had the strangest love-hate relationship with their new Soylent. Many list complaints initially, only to come back later saying “well, it’s not so bad now that I think of it”.

I have a theory on this.

We often think of our mouth as only providing chewing for digestion and taste for communication, but could there be a third function? Certainly our saliva and various oral enzymes are breaking down and accelerating this whole business of eating, but could they also be relaying messages to the brain and stomach that go beyond the scope of mere taste or texture? Could these messages also contain information about quality, chemical structure and the like? Perhaps these messages are delayed - say a day, or a week - and by the time they reach their destination, you suddenly (or gradually) are programmed to like the product.

Am I reading too much into this?


This article is about how your brain cares about the calories in food and will encourage you to keep eating that food even if you don’t like the taste.


And this article mentions that diet sodas change your brain in a negative way because your brain is expecting calories associated with the sweet taste, but it doesn’t receive them.

Regarding the delay, that is probably just that your brain needs multiple experiences before associating a particular taste with calorie content.


I knew it had to be something! It seemed strange that people were having diametrically opposed reactions, and then I thought “what if the bacteria, enzymes etc are fighting over how to react and the taste is losing for once?”

EDIT: BTW thanks for the links! I’m reading the PopSci one now.


I was one of the ones that switched from “OMG I can’t drink this” to “hey that’s not bad.” It took me about a day. I had the same exact reaction when I was playing with DIY. I would try a new something and gag on it. By the next day (I’m too cheap to throw anything out) I would enjoy it pretty much the same as my previous recipe.

Currently I’m pretty darn happy with v1.4. Mostly because of the lack of death farts, but the flavor is fine for me also. I’ve been trying different flavorings. I think I could handle v1.4 plain, but why do that when flavor makes it so much better.


I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called but there is a very real phenomenon that causes your taste perception to change. I had this reaction with my DIY and when I added stevia to my DIY. The stevia had a weird taste and aftertaste but after about a week it went away and all I taste is the sweet.

This “taste adaptation” makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. If you’re in an area where the only food tastes bad but is otherwise nutritious you wouldn’t be as apt to eat it and wouldn’t be as healthy. But if after a short while the food started tasting good you would be more willing to eat it and therefore be more healthy than the people whose tastebuds didn’t adapt.


What about supertasters?


Perhaps unrelated, but there are lots of foods/drinks that are considered “acquired tastes”. (Beer, wine, oysters, sushi, etc., etc.)


Part of it is just your expectation not matching what you taste… The next time, you know what to expect.

There’s an “old saw” psychology experiment where they approach college students with free ice cream cones - only people taste them and are revolted.

Turns out that what looks like cool vanilla ice cream atop a sugar cone is actually warm mashed potatoes.

Then they taste it again and like it just fine, once they know what to expect.


What you say is very true for people who get over the taste in a day. What I’m trying to describe is more for the people who take “a week” to adjust. I’ve definitely noticed a change in the perception of taste.


Sort of like reverse conditioned taste aversion?

Conditioned taste aversion is when you feel really sick after eating something and then you have an aversion to that food, even if it wasn’t what made you sick.


No… Not exactly. The taste actually changes not my feelings about the taste. I’ve noticed this phenomenon with beer, DIY, and stevia. After several exposures the taste is actually different.


Acquired taste.



I didn’t have that experience with stevia - the only time it was weird was when I accidentally tried too much. But then again, that was likely my first time. Still has a weird taste if I overdo it.

I can’t seem to develop a real liking for beer, though. I’m definitely the odd one out, here.


I’ve tried beer and a number of other alcohols in my life. Not a single one has ever made me want to drink it a second time, and most I don’t want to even be within smelling distance. Yuck. Last time I consumed alcohol was probably 20 years ago or so, and I can’t imagine I would ever do so again. You are not alone, for sure.


Yeah, still not acclimated to the taste of alcohol here either… But with practice I was able to get somewhat (but not completely) adjusted to the taste of diet soda… Heh… I wonder if my soda+diet soda training would work with Soylent? Start off with a 90% 1.3 + 10% 1.4 batch and adjust ratios over time…


I’ve considered that too… that maybe with 1.5 we start transitioning but blending 1.3 with it. Since I imagine 1.5 will still be obviously different from 1.3, just hopefully not quite as intensely unappealing. Maybe we can transition over to it like 5% per day or something…


I like hard ciders, several mixed drinks, port… I just don’t care for hops, I think.


Well then I would suggest a good wheat beer. They are the least hopped variety of beer and a good one to get your feet wet with.


And on that note, did you guys know there’s a beer shampoo?

Another good thing to get your feet wet with.