Are there any DIY recipes that mimic official Soylent?


All the DIY recipes I’ve seen don’t seem to duplicate Soylent. Like they’ll use soybean oil instead of canola, or they’ll use whey protein instead of rice protein etc. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough but are there any that try to copy official Soylent exactly? ( I realize Soylent hasn’t been released yet so duplicating it will be impossible, but you know what I mean.)



Also, it looks like a lot of DIY recipes are using masa for the carbs. Is that easier to digest than oats? Better tasting? I’m really surprised I haven’t seen any DIYs that match what official Soylent is doing.


All the ingredients are there - nobody’s just gotten around to it yet. I will in the next couple weeks unless someone else does it first.


Here’s my best attempt:

To sum up, you’d basically have to be nuts to try to measure out fractions of micrograms of the various vitamins individually at home…

Anybody care to provide any correctives on the contributions of sodium and chloride? I assume they must be provided at sufficient levels by the other salts included to meet the DRI, but I haven’t gone back over it with a fine tooth comb as yet.

I haven’t been able to find any source for pure phytonadione (vitamin K1).

The recipe is also high on manganese. It could be that they have a mechanism for removing it from the oat bran they’re using as a source of beta glucans for fiber, but this hasn’t been specified anywhere. There are supplements (e.g., Swanson Organic Oat Bran Fiber) which don’t have manganese on the label – but that in itself is no guarantee that it’s either in or out. Using a supplement form would also add considerably to the price of the mix, given the quantity required – something on the order of several dollars per day.


@QuidNYC I noticed your realistic rendition of official Soylent recipe - did you try making some? Any reports on taste?


Nick – no, not as yet. I put together the “overly faithful” and “significantly more realistic” versions more or less as thought experiments (i.e., for “fun”). I’m happy enough with masa-based soylent and my own “superfood” recipe that I’m not really looking to change things up myself.

I ordered a week’s worth of the official Soylent. I’ll try that out when it comes, and if I like it enough I suppose I may revisit the question of using a DIY version closer to their formulation.

But if anybody cares to experiment with these recipes in the meantime, I will certainly be interested to hear their impressions…


Quid, please be aware that rats digest vegetable oils in a significantly different way than humans, and that incomplete digestion of the fatty acids, for rats, has health consequences that aren’t applicable to human digestion.

That being said, I prefer the taste of olive oil as well. The cost is higher, and the omega ratios slightly better according to common wisdom, but there is nothing demonstrably wrong with canola oil for human consumption.


jrowe – That’s a fair point about the rat studies. But I still find it very hard to avoid the conclusion that I’d rather avoid soybean and canola oil consumption if I can. And I can in fact afford an extra ~$0.50/day.

People have been consuming olive oil for thousands of years. And our more recent empirical evidence mostly points to potential health benefits (unlike certain other sources of lipids).

How many people even know what “canola” is? Rapeseed has existed for thousands of years as a toxic plant which grows readily in northern climes. It’s cheap to grow in part because even insects have enough sense not to eat it. In the past few decades industry has developed a version of this that purports to be safe for human consumption. Did Canada conduct any real studies on human health to reach this conclusion? Have they repeated them for their latest GMO variety?

I realize that we’re an evidence-based community here, and that being interested in soylent itself requires setting aside certain quasi-religious beliefs in the value of “whole foods” & the like. But the need for evidence goes both ways. Why should I assume that a new product is safe until that safety is demonstrated? The fact that it’s a highly profitable product found on shelves everywhere – in the context of a global food economy that is making more and more people sick as it spreads around the world – only underscores the need for caution.

So why should I – or anyone here – rely on “canola” for the large majority of our lipids when we don’t have to? By adopting a DIY soylent for the large majority of my energy intake, I’ve already given myself a unique opportunity to select superior ingredients, and thus be largely free of food products like canola oil without making avoiding them a constant obsession in my life.

Perhaps we can start a long-term human study that compares health outcomes between users of “olive oil soylent” and “canola oil soylent”? I think I know which population I’d sign up for (assuming it’s not double-blind randomized, in which case I’ll be sitting on the sidelines).




yes but the recepies that mimic soylent are very bad, because ! they gave me explosive^Diarrhea.

in any case, I am a HUUGER supporter of soylent!!!


Your premise is fairly shallow - chemistry isn’t magic, and there haven’t been any studies even indicating a weak potential for harm. The fatty acids are broken down completely in a way that’s very well understood, chemically, leaving no unexpected metabolic pathways - unlike, for example, fructose. The biggest problem with canola that I’ve found is the harm it does in the form of smoke, and the chemical changes it undergoes at high temperatures (read: deep fried stuff.)

Again, I respect your right to choose, but please refrain from labeling canola oil as even potentially harmful without bringing evidence to the table… I’ve searched, and continue to search, for any solid indicator.

Also, erucic acid isn’t toxic, or even dangerous. It’s just another omega 9 fatty acid, which when it’s the majority of an oil (pre canola rapeseed,) makes it markedly unhealthy (because of ratios, not because of its nature) and makes it more susceptible to oxidization, and thus rancidity. The reason canola wasnt used for so long was simply the reason humans do everything else - economics. It didnt store well, it was hard to process, and tasted like crap because of the gradual oxidization.

Take the time to dig into the subject, and don’t rely on second-hand writeups, blogs, etc. There’s quite a collection of studies out there demonstrating it’s safety, and not any that I’ve been able to find that demonstrates even a weak potential for harm, even long term. You have to rely on human studies, because animals have very different metabolisms, digestive processes, and even cell behavior that can be affected by plant oils (not just canola.)

You definitely don’t have to. It’s just cheap, and there’s no substantive reason not to, given all available scientific evidence.


jrowe – Can you point us to any of the collection of human studies that demonstrate the safety of canola oil? I’m genuinely interested.

While we’re waiting, let’s also consider the decidedly non-magical chemistry involved in the processing of soybean and canola oil – specifically the conversion of PUFA into trans fats during the deodorization process:

Levels of Trans Geometrical Isomers of Essential Fatty Acids in Some Unhydrogenated US Vegetable Oils. Journal of Food Lipids 1994;1:165-176.

Concentrations of trans isomers of 18:2w6 and 18:3w3 were measured in soybean and canola oils purchased in the U.S. […] The degree of isomerizations of 18:2w6 and 18:3w3 ranged from 0.3% to 3.3% and 6.6% to 37.1%, respectively. The trans contents were between 0.56% and 4.2% of the total fatty acids. Consumers will obtain isomerized essential fatty acids from vegetable oils currently marketed in the U.S.

Deodorization of vegetable oils. Part I: Modelling the geometrical isomerization of polyunsaturated fatty acids

Laboratory-scale treatments of canola oils similar to deodorization were carried out by applying the following conditions: reduced pressure with nitrogen or steam stripping at different temperatures ranging from 210 to 270°C for 2–65 h. The formation of the group of trans linolenic acid isomers follows a first-order reaction and the kinetic constant varies according to the Arrhenius’ law. […] The degree of isomerization of linolenic acid is unaffected by the decrease of this acid content observed during the deodorization. Deodorization at about 220–230°C appears to be a critical limit beyond which the linolenic isomerization increases very strongly.

I won’t bother asking for the human health studies on trans fatty acids.


That study was from 21 years ago on a selection of consumer available canola oils, before trans fat was well known to be unhealthy. Since then, the amount of trans fats in canola (and many other vegetable oils) has been reduced to negligible amounts - it’s not just a labeling issue.

You’d get 1/4th of one calorie from trans fats from the amount of canola in official Soylent.

The processing methods have become lower temperature, more efficient, and healthier due to lower trans fats, to the extent that it’s not an issue, in my mind. The risk of harm from trans fat in Soylent is nonexistent - there are literally no current, relevant studies demonstrating potential for harm from canola oil as a source of fats.

High temperature cooking with canola, exceeding the smoke point, inhaling canola smoke, and eating the oxidized oil, is a different matter entirely. Those risks are well documented, but aren’t relevant to the Soylent context, diy or otherwise.

Here’s some softball sources. There’s some links to harder material if you want to drill down.

Have a look, and try to find any studies indicating a real risk.

I’ve spent many boring days trying to find anything substantively wrong with canola oil. Rat studies are suspect at best, because of their known issues with vegetable oils (olive oil, however, is very good for them. As are buckyballs… but I digress. :stuck_out_tongue: )

It’s hard to find irrefutable evidence - or even plausibly relevant evidence - of canola having negative health risks. I haven’t found any, and I’ve looked hard. And I’ve looked at what experiments were done, what types of oils were used (when documented) and what other factors contribute to the findings. So far, I’ve found nothing that concerns me.