This question arose when I expressed my doubts about inflicting soylent on prison inmates as a daily ration, and @bigepidemic asked me if I would change my tune “down the road a bit” once Soylent was “proven.” At that point it became necessary to consider exactly how and when we would be justified in regarding Soylent as proven and safe for general human consumption – even to the point of being administered to the inmates of prisons, psychiatric institutions, residential care facilities, etc.
For the purposes of this discussion we need to consider primarily the “official” version of Soylent, whatever that turns out to be once it starts to ship from the packer.
I would imagine that a crucial point of this discussion will be whether or not to consider Soylent a “chemically defined diet” in contradistinction to a conventional meal-replacement drink. I believe I’m essentially correct in stating that hardcore Soylent enthusiasts wish it to be as fully a CDD as possible, for example:
.[quote=“GodRaine, post:45, topic:3194”]
… by pure definition, I would like Soylent to be purely chemical.
To whatever extent we take that desire seriously as a goal for Soylent development, then to that extent it represents a huge experiment and a radical departure from conventional meal-replacement thinking.
So then: how do we decide when Soylent has proved its nutritional soundness AND its complete safety for general consumption by any and all sectors of the general public, up to and including inmates and confinees of various sorts? What should our criteria be? How should such proof be obtained and verified? How long is the process likely to take? What degree of certitude should be demanded? What relative degree of “safety” should we regard as acceptable and necessary? Who should decide these matters?
What do you think?