I suppose I should clarify my criticism given these thoughtful replies. My primary reason for finding fault with the 100% Soylent approach is that it is wildly unrepresentative of how most consumers will actually consume Soylent. Think of ANY other food and ask yourself what it would be like to live exclusively off of it for any length of time. Let’s leave aside the health dimension and assume that your product of choice–cheeseburgers would be mine–is in fact healthy enough to sustain that one-product diet. How long do you think it would take you to get sick of that product? And how might your perceptions of it be shaped by the fact that it is the absolute only thing you are eating?
Second, there are known digestive issues with diving into Soylent 100%; our little booklets that ship with the box recommend a gradual uptick to the portion of the diet in order to avoid problems. (Personally, I found their gradual uptick to be way too fast and had to be much more gradual.) Now, if you need to ease into Soylent to avoid digestive problems, then it logically follows that one who does NOT ease in is that much more likely to have those digestive problems, otherwise why issue the warning? This in fact has been a complaint of many of these Soylent experimenters.
Third, because the entire engagement of Soylent is artificial and doesn’t reflect how a typical consumer will actually consume it, the impressions conveyed by the 100%ers is distorted and feeds into the false belief that is strangely widespread that somehow Soylent requires you to commit to it exclusively. Long ago there were threads on this point, and to this day people still ask me how it is that I can live on it, as if I am somehow obligated to avoid other foods because Soylent is part of my diet. Now for me, Soylent is a really high part of my diet, but that’s not really known by the folks who ask me this question; it is assumed by them, based on their reading these blogs. I know that most Soylent consumers drink it a lot less than I do, and certainly A LOT less than 100%.
In summary, I can think of no other product in which the standard method for communicating what it is all about is so fundamentally at variance with how the product is actually used by its existing consumers. It’s like reading a review of sports car that stresses its towing capacity or trunk space–features that exist in every car but that aren’t why you buy them if you are in the market for sports car. I don’t buy my other food based on expectations of what it would be like to live on it 100%. I have some other concerns with these blogs, but that captures the essence of my criticism.