Bourdain, Anderson Cooper on Soylent


A friend sent me the following. From the New Yorker or elsewhere?

A section form a longer article:

CNN’s silver foxes (Cooper, Bourdain) are crowded in the back of the kitchen, which is still finishing up a few French onion soups for straggling late lunchers. It’s been a marathon shoot, as Bourdain teaches Cooper five semi-exotic dishes for a new segment on Anderson Cooper 360 to promote the new season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. They made escargot, blood sausage, pig’s feet, tripe, and veal kidneys in mustard sauce. Fans of 360 know the punch line: Cooper is one of the pickiest eaters of the species Grown-Up. He recently had waffles for the first time on the show, asking, “What’s the point? It’s just a pancake with holes in it.”
After the filming, Bourdain takes a few selfies with the chefs, who always welcome him back like the prodigal son, and we ask Cooper what it was in his childhood that made him so food-phobic—we know his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who told us about her daily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches last year, also has a penchant for the comfort of simple meals.
“I was raised in a Wasp household, so the only food we had was Carr’s water biscuits and aquavit,” he quipped—a line he’s clearly had to repeat often. Now he eats the same thing for months at a time; right now it’s oatmeal with fruit and cinnamon (“that’s my big adventure”), a salad for lunch, and salmon sushi for dinner.
Food for Cooper is just fuel, and we ask if he’s ever considered trying Soylent—the shake that has all of the vitamins and minerals needed to stay alive, popular among computer-glued coders in Silicon Valley. “I’m obsessed with the idea of Soylent!” he said. “I have not actually tried it. If I could, to me, it’s the ideal solution.”
“It’s absolutely everything I’m against”—that’s Bourdain chiming in, who can’t let this stand—“it’s evil in a bottle, or a bag, or whatever it comes in. It’s just anti-human, it’s anti-everything, and it’s filled with heavy metals, apparently! It’s just wrong.”
Cooper: “I see it as saving time to give me pleasure in other realms. I’m wasting time eating when I could be receiving pleasure in other ways.”
Bourdain: “You’re chipping away at my soul with every word. You’re killin’ me here.”
But would he try it? Bourdain considers. “Yes. I would try.”
Cooper: “I’ve heard it doesn’t taste very good, so I’d put a little bit of cinnamon in mine.”


Vanity Fair


The article doesn’t say why he hasn’t been able to try it. Sounds like he handles gluten just fine, so why can’t he have Soylent? Glycemic index?


Rosa Labs should send Anderson Cooper a free sample.


Wow! If Anderson Cooper tries Soylent and then start singing it’s praises on CNN, woh, this thing could really explode. I suppose it already has. I wonder if RL will ever go public??


Interesting, now that you’ve got me thinking about it. The question in my mind is: what path will best preserve Rosa Labs’ more ambitious, more radical long-term vision of making nutrition as abundant and cheap as water? Maybe staying private is the best way to stay true to that vision and ensure the company doesn’t veer off course.

Kickstarter recently reincorporated as a public benefit corporation. The co-founders plan to never take the company public. That’s one really interesting path.


More than a small number of people react like Anthony Bourdain and I don’t understand it. I completely understand a reaction of “It’s not for me.” Tastes vary. But “It’s evil in a bag. It’s anti-human. It’s just wrong.” What’s up with that? It strikes me as very narrow minded.


Well, people like Bourdain aren’t going to travel the globe sampling how different cultures make Soylent. The cooking craze that has spread everywhere these days seems to be based on making food into a new species of entertainment. Soylent isn’t entertainment, it is sustenance.

So there is a very big conflict of interest.


@Conor, get that man some 2.0, stat.

(And Cooper’s mother is Gloria Vanderbilt? I had no idea.)


We’re on it! :grinning:


Bourdain’s life is food, his books are one of the reasons I became a chef, until having to cook what other people wanted me to cook and not what I wanted to cook made me seek other careers.

His type of reaction is similar to anything that outright replaces and invalidates a reason for living. Like if we could clone humans, women would be in a huge uproar because we have invalidated their primary purpose.


I think that might be the most sexist thing I’ve ever read…


I get that Bourdain is way into food but from the reactions I’ve seen people like him are offended that Soylent even exists and that people consume it. Bourdain summed it up well when he said “It’s anit-human.” Some people mean that sincerely.

It’s like if you’re way into a certain genre of music and then someone starts another genre and you’re not only way into your own genre, you’re angry the other genre even exists. If it upsets you that other people like different music than you then you’re taking the music too seriously.

Some people that are way into food simply can’t accept that other people do not feel the say way. Saying “It’s anti-human” or “It’s wrong” is just an attempt to take the feelings of people that are different than you and DEFINING those feelings as wrong.


[quote=“masonjam, post:11, topic:23723”]Like if we could clone humans, women would be in a huge uproar because we have invalidated their primary purpose.

I really hope that’s not what you meant to say. Women’s primary purpose is the same as all human beings’ primarily purpose — whatever that is.


I can be sexist towards men too.

Like if women could become pregnant from an artificial semen and have custom designer babies, men would be in a huge uproar because their primary reason for doing anything has been invalidated.


Okay, that’s better.

It’s rather limiting to think of people’s primary purpose as reproduction, though. There are no true purposes in nature; purpose is a uniquely human idea. So while in one sense it is true to say that an organism’s “purpose” to reproduce, in another sense it is equally true to say that an organism has no purpose. And even if nature did have purposes, why would we care? Our own purposes are what concern us, not nature’s. So we do not need to think of biological reproduction as people’s primary purpose, or even as one of their purposes.

Parents who adopt, or people who dedicate their lives to other things than having kids, have no less purpose-driven lives.



To play video games?


Hey, man, this isn’t one of those uptight “always on-topic” forums… We’re just seeing where the conversation takes us


I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and trying to come up with the best word or phrase to describe this… Does “empathy” work? Or does that imply intent?

My (diet, workout, religion, child status etc) works so well for me, I think everyone should do as I do… In a totally non malicious way, being completely inable to see the world from someone else’s perspective and contemplate why they may have arrived at a different approach.