Current Fish Oil Situation


#1

Per the latest blog post:

We have tried hard to find a suitable (in nutritional content, price, availability, etc) substitute for fish oil as a source of Omega 3s. Unfortunately, fish oil will be the one non-vegan ingredient in Soylent. But don’t fret! Soylent will be shipped with the oils separately (in 2oz vials that are mixed in to each daily batch), so vegans/vegetarians will be able to easily replace the Soylent oil blend with their own choice of oil. In the future we hope to offer a product that is 100% vegan, but we had to make this compromise for our initial formula.

For Soylent staff:
Is it possible for us to opt-out of recieving the fish oil at all? The qouted paragraph seems to misunderstand the concept of veganism, which is to not consume nor support the use of animal products. If we recieve the oil then certainly we can choose not to consume it, but the point would be moot. It’d still be sitting there being wasted after having already required the death of a fish…

Additionally - and this may be information included once the ingredients list is out - what type of fish oil is being used? Some vegetarians might be okay with krill-based oil for instance, though vegans would not.

For Soylent community:
Once the final ingredients list has been released, I should think we’ll want to locate a suitable(In that it has the same ratios and quantities that the ingredients list calls for) algae-based(As I’m not aware of any other valid source of DHA and EPA) oil to substitute. If I can locate such a source I will post it here.


#2

On the same page here, would be great if the fish oil was something one could opt out of.


#3

Agree that it would be ideal to not include the oil blend at all for our vegan customers.

At this time we’re not sure if it will be possible to accomplish this with our initial shipments, we have to balance between getting Soylent shipped out ASAP (adding another SKU for vegan-friendly Soylent would add time/complexity to several layers of our business) and satisfying an important minority of our users. In the future we definitely plan on making opting-out of the oil blend an option.


#4

Thanks for this thread. Definitely don’t want the fish oil. I guess I’ll let my cats have it if it ends up being delivered. Fingers crossed that the team will find a vegan oil and make that standard.

Keeping the fish oil out, I’m going to add this “Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend” from Vega. It’s vegan of course (not a shill). It’s kind of pricey, given that we’d have to add 2 ounces of it for each day’s batch, but it’s worth it, for now. Ⓥ!


#5

And is the sugar vegan (evaporated cane juice, raw sugar, vegan white sugar, agave, etc.)? Bone char is creepy.


#6

I think vegan customers shouldn’t have to settle for even having their money go towards fish oil. I personally will not be giving a cent to this company if they send me anything with animal product. Even if I “don’t use it.” I don’t want my money contributing to that at all.

Other vegans shouldn’t lay down or settle for that either. They either sell the product without any fish oil at all (not even on the side in pills) or I don’t buy it at all. I know a lot of other vegan customers feel the same way. The company should be aware of that.


#7

What is the problem in particular with flaxseed oil as source of n-3 fatty acids?


#8

“What is the problem in particular with flaxseed oil as source of n-3 fatty acids?”

Nothing. Its perfectly fine. Its just one of those nutritional crazes that gets socially popular. I guess people forget about all that lead and mercury that comes from fish, but supposedly its a better source of Omega Oil.


#9

Well, unfortunately it isn’t fine.

Flaxseed Oil gives you Omega-3’s in the form of ALA, which the body then inefficiently synthesizes into DHA and EPA. You can’t get enough DHA and EPA through this method for it to be considered nutritionally complete, however.

Golden algae would be an acceptable substitute - as it’s actually where many fish get their DHA and EPA in the first place - but apparently it won’t fill their cost/quantity ratio (Or they haven’t considered it, which I doubt is the case).


#10

I’m not going to disagree with that. Blue-green algae is a pretty good substitute.

Despite those facts on flaxseed oil, the bottom line is, vegan customers are not going to pay for this product if its not vegan or they are paying for animal products, or funding a company that regularly buys fish oil. There isn’t any way of getting around that. So they are going to need to figure out something out. Otherwise they will loose a huge number of customers who are vegan.

The fact that this company even started out with using fish oil, means this company is not fundamentally vegan friendly, even if they adapt to satisfy the needs of their vegan customers. They’ve already lost that trust with how they started out in the first place. Companies that are ‘vegan-friendly’ naturally, never need to be corrected or asked to change their ingredients. I feel (and I bet other vegans feel) that if they really cared about that stuff, they wouldn’t have used the fish oil at all. But they did, so.

I’m really confused what the members of this company see as vegan too. What “their” version or definition of vegan is. Are any of the company members even vegan? If we don’t want to consume the fish oil, what makes you think we want the pills to be sent to us on the side? Just really messed up logic.

Good luck to all other vegans looking at this product. I don’t think I will personally be buying from this company even if they come out with a separate “vegan” version.


#11

Edited since I didn’t want to get into it.


#12

For me personally, it is okay to buy a vegan product from a company even if they make some non-vegan products, but it is hugely preferred that they make only vegan products.

I honestly hadn’t given it much thought before it was brought up by @kdmcshane but I think most vegans are just as concerned that the companies they buy products from are vegan themselves.


#13

Well no, I don’t know if they even gave a second thought about the ethical implications concerning animals until they started getting Vegan commentors. The original point was merely to create a product that could substitute whole meals and provide complete nutrition. The original recepie used Whey isolate, even.

I do agree that they haven’t shown a good understanding of Veganism in the latest blog post, as I noted in my original post.

I’d like to point out in addition, that by including Fish Oil they are violating both Vegetarian values as well as Vegan. Pescatarians will pay for/consume fish products, Vegetarians will not.

It’s very unfortunate, as this is basically a Vegetarian/Vegan dream product (All the nutrition an average person needs, without all the lengths that you normally have to go to for staying ethical? Woo!).

Granted as was mentioned earlier, they do plan on eventually having an opt-out and/or vegan substituted version. However… I’d like to point out that for a handful of Vegetarians/Vegans that will obviously not be enough (As you can see from kdmcshane’s posts), because the company itself sells animal(fish) products, and thusforth becomes unsupportable.

Very unfortunate, especially considering their so close to satisfying that niche. Only one ingredient is violating it, and there are substitutes, if not entirely cost efficient ones…


#14

Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for your feedback regarding the Soylent vegan situation. We agree that our original workaround is not really acceptable, and are currently working out an alternative. This will be addressed in much more detail as part of this week’s post on blog.soylent.me.

Again, we appreciate the time and effort you’ve all spent in voicing your feedback regarding Soylent’s vegan status – we are grateful for having such an engaged group of supporters.


#15

While a few vegans may be upset with the fish oil, remember that the vast majority of people are not vegan. Most of us are concerned about nutritional value and price, not some minority’s special morality. If there’s a vegan option that has similar nutritional value and doesn’t cost more, then that’s great, and everyone can be happy. But if the company raises price or compromises nutrition in order to satisfy the vocal vegan minority, they’re gonna lose a lot more mainstream customers than the vegan ones they gain.


#16

That gets brought up every thread, and I think it’s a total red herring. What vegans are asking for in this thread will not affect your Soylent at all. This is pretty much the best solution you could hope for. Non-vegan Soylent is now the default. The only thing people are asking for in this thread (myself included) is to not have part of our order shipped. It does add another item number, but that is not going to jack up the price or cause a delay.


#17

Wow, thanks for your consideration!


#18

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re hardly a minority, after all, Julios response to vegan concerns has more likes than your criticism of them.


#19

Just because a minority is vocal doesn’t mean they’re still not a minority.


#20

It does mean that they’re heard though.
After all, no-one cares what the quiet kid thinks.